Plumbing Company Penalized for Illegal Sales of Refrigerant

Based on the findings of an undercover inspector, EPA has proposed a penalty of $30,000 against a Fall River, Mass., plumbing and supply company for selling ozone-depleting refrigerants in violation of federal regulations.

According to EPA’s New England office, Robinson Plumbing and Heating Supply Co. sold ozone-depleting refrigerants to non-certified technicians at two separate sales outlets in Massachusetts, in violation of the Clean Air Act.

“Vendors of refrigeration supplies have a responsibility to make sure the buyers are certified to purchase these refrigerants,” said Curt Spalding, administrator of EPA’s New England office. “Release of these refrigerants to the atmosphere depletes the stratospheric ozone layer, which protects us from the sun’s harmful rays.”

EPA regulations restrict the sale of ozone-depleting refrigerant to persons who are trained and certified, or otherwise properly regulated, in order to limit illegal releases that would further damage the stratospheric ozone layer.

On July 13, an undercover EPA inspector attempted to buy refrigerant at three Robinson Supply sales outlets. Although the inspector was not a certified technician, he was able to purchase refrigerant at two of the Robinson Supply outlets, in Avon and Woburn. No sale was made at Plainville.

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