Safeway to spend $4 million to fix ozone-depleting refrigerant leaks

Safeway agreed to pay a $600,000 fine and spend around $4 million to reduce emissions of ozone-depleting substances from refrigeration equipment at 659 stores around the country.

The settlement resolves alleged Clean Air Act violations by the nation's second-largest grocery store chain. Safeway (NYSE: SWY) is based in Pleasanton, Calif.

Regulators accused the retailer of failing to promptly repair leaks of HCFC-22, a hydro-chlorofluorobcarbon used as a coolant in refrigerators, and keep adequate equipment servicing records. HCFC-22 is much more potent than carbon dioxide when it comes to global warming, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

The steps that Safeway has agreed to take will prevent more than 100,000 pounds of releases of refrigerants that destroy the ozone layer, EPA states. The ozone layer reduces the amount of ultraviolet rays that strike the earth. UV rays can cause skin cancer, cataracts and suppressed immunity systems.

Click here to read more about Safeway's agreement.

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