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 user 2005-05-23 at 12:30:00 pm Views: 67
  • #9748
    EPA cites printer in
    chemical leak

    The U.S. Environmental Protection
    Agency has cited a St. Cloud printing company for what the agency says are
    violations of the Clean Air Act.

    The EPA said Quebecor World failed to repair refrigeration equipment that
    leaked “excessive amounts” of ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs. In
    addition, the EPA said the company violated requirements for testing, record
    keeping, notification and planning to retrofit or retire failing equipment.

    The EPA released its preliminary findings Friday. The agency could issue a
    compliance order, assess a penalty or bring a lawsuit against the company.

    A fine is possible, although it’s premature to speculate about the amount,
    said Bill Omohundro, spokesman for the EPA’s Region 5 office in Chicago.

    Quebecor has 30 days to meet with the EPA to discuss resolving the
    allegations or rebuke the findings, which include:

    * That from 2001 to the end of 2004, one of Quebecor’s refrigeration units
    leaked at a rate in excess of what the Clean Air Act allows.

    * That although Quebecor repaired the unit, the repairs did not lower the
    leak rate to an acceptable level.

    * That Quebecor failed to test the unit to verify that the repairs had fixed
    the leak, to plan to retrofit or retire the faulty unit and to notify the EPA
    that the repairs hadn’t worked.

    * That the company did not record the amount of refrigerant added on three
    separate dates.

    CFCs deplete the ozone layer, causing unsafe amounts of cancer-causing
    ultraviolet rays from the sun to strike Earth.

    Production of some of these chemicals was stopped in 1995, and federal law
    strictly controls their use and handling.

    George Wilkes, vice president and general manager of Quebecor in St. Cloud,
    referred questions to the company’s corporate headquarters in Montreal.

    A spokesman there did not return a call Friday.