Contact l Sitemap

home industries issues reasearch weblog press

Home  » Industries » Chemicals

US: Kraft, US Surgical Caught Leaking Ozone Depleting Chemicals


Environmental News Service
February 13th, 2006

A fine of more than $100,000 may be levied against the international company Kraft Foods for Clean Air Act violations at the company’s Woburn, Massachusetts processing plant.

The complaint, issued by the New England regional office of the The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), asserts that Kraft Foods Global failed to adequately repair a leak of ozone-depleting substances from an industrial process refrigeration unit and failed to conduct leak repair tests or keep required service records for repairs of some units, all in violation of the federal Clean Air Act.

The Woburn complaint stemmed from an EPA inspection in October 2004 following a leak in 2003 which released 125 pounds of refrigerant.

The EPA is seeking a penalty of $112,200 for violations that include a leak of ozone depleting substances into the atmosphere.

The stratospheric ozone layer protects humans from being exposed to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. Federal stratospheric ozone protection regulations were established to limit the emissions of substances that destroy the ozone layer. These regulations provide strict rules governing the service, maintenance, repair and disposal of ozone-depleting substances.

Most of these refrigerants are being phased out and replaced with safer alternatives.

“The ozone layer provides important protection to all of us from the sun’s harmful rays,” said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “It’s important that companies and individuals who work with ozone-depleting substances follow appropriate steps to ensure the materials are not released into the atmosphere. This helps keep the ozone layer intact.”

Kraft, a multinational corporation, has food processing facilities located in nearly every state. In 2004, Kraft took part in an EPA initiative to eliminate the use of ozone-depleting refrigerants at nine U.S. bakeries and converted more than 60 refrigeration systems containing ozone depleting substances to operate with safer alternatives.

A fine of $165,000 may be levied under a similar EPA complaint against the US Surgical of North Haven, Connecticut. The EPA outlines violations that include leaking more than 500 pounds of ozone depleting refrigerant into the atmosphere.

US Surgical manufactures wound closure products and advanced surgical devices. The North Haven facility contains 46 industrial process refrigeration units.




This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.