Description: Enforcement action against owner-operator of scrap metal recycling facilities for allegedly failing to comply with requirements for recovery of refrigerants from appliances.
United States v. Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc.
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 06/22/2022 Motion Download United States filed consented-to motion to enter consent decree with incorporated memorandum of law. 04/22/2022 Consent Decree Download Consent decree entered. Consent Decree Resolved Refrigerant Management Enforcement Action Against Scrap Recycler. The federal district court for the District of Massachusetts entered a consent decree that resolved a federal enforcement action against a company that owns and operates 40 scrap metal recycling facilities in the United States and Puerto Rico. The United States alleged that the company failed to comply with Clean Air Act requirements requiring final processors of small appliances to recover any remaining refrigerants—which deplete the ozone layer and are potent greenhouse gases—from appliances and verify that all remaining refrigerant has been recovered. The United States alleged that the company, by failing to comply with these requirements, failed to protect stratospheric ozone and reduce the risks of climate change. The consent decree requires the company to pay a $1,550,000 penalty and to develop and implement a refrigerant recovery management program at all its facilities. The company also must implement a mitigation project that involves complete destruction of all “R-12” refrigerant recovered at the company’s facilities for five years after entry of the consent decree. The United States said R-12 contains dichlorodifluoromethane, “which has one of the highest global warming potentials of any refrigerant, over 10,000 times that of CO2.” 04/21/2022 Complaint Download Complaint filed.