December 1, 2022

ACN Center

Area Control Network

Federal Settlement with Recycling Company Will Reduce Release of Ozone Depleting Refrigerants That Contribute to Climate Change

13 min read

Company Will Implement Refrigerant Recovery Management Programs at 40 Facilities Across the United States and Pay a Civil Penalty

The United States, on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has reached a proposed settlement with Schnitzer Steel Inc. of Portland, Oregon, to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Air Act and regulations designed to protect stratospheric ozone at 40 scrap metal recycling facilities throughout the United States.

If approved by the court, the settlement will require the company to pay a civil penalty of $1,550,000, implement compliance measures worth over $1,700,000 to prevent the release of ozone-depleting refrigerants and non-exempt substitutes from refrigerant-containing items during their processing and disposal and complete an environmental mitigation project. The complaint filed together with the consent decree alleges that Schnitzer failed to recover refrigerant from small appliances and motor vehicle air conditioners before disposal or to verify from the supplier that the refrigerant had been properly recovered prior to delivery to Schnitzer’s facilities.

“To help protect stratospheric ozone and reduce the risks of climate change, the Department of Justice will seek to ensure companies like Schnitzer comply with the Clean Air Act when recycling appliances and motor vehicles containing harmful refrigerants,” said Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.

“Many refrigerants are potent greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming if released into the atmosphere,” said Acting Assistant Administrator Larry Starfield for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “This settlement will help protect our climate by ensuring that these chemicals are managed properly at 40 recycling facilities across the country.”

Under the settlement, Schnitzer must implement an EPA-approved Refrigerant Recovery Management Program (RRMP) at its 40 U.S. facilities. The RRMP includes, among other things: installation of refrigerant recovery systems at Schnitzer’s facilities; screening procedures for scrap appliances and vehicles; new forms for statements and contracts to verify any refrigerant recovery from appliances and motor vehicles prior to receipt by Schnitzer; notices to customers regarding proper procedures for delivering items currently or previously containing refrigerants; employee training on procedures for ensuring compliance with regulations designed to prevent the release of refrigerants; and recordkeeping and reporting obligations.

The settlement also requires Schnitzer to perform an environmental mitigation project involving the destruction of all R-12 refrigerant in scrapped appliances and automobiles received at its facilities. R-12 contains chlorofluorocarbons and has over 10,000 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide.

Today’s action was filed by the United States, on behalf of the EPA.

More information:

The proposed consent decree, lodged in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, is subject to a 30-day public comment period and approval by the federal court. To view the proposed consent decree or to submit a comment during the public comment period, visit:  justice.gov/enrd/consent-decrees

Clean Air Act enforcement: epa.gov/enforcement/air-enforcement

Ozone Protection Under Title VI of the Clean Air Act:  epa.gov/ozone-layer-protection/ozone-protection-under-title-vi-clean-air-act

Climate Change: epa.gov/climate-change

More from: April 22, 2022

  • Man who ran from police heads to federal prison
    In Justice News
    A 28-year-old Corpus [Read More…]
  • Former North Carolina Police Sergeant Resentenced for Using Excessive Force Against an Arrestee
    In Crime News
    The Justice Department announced today that Robert George, 49, was resentenced today by U.S. District Judge Kenneth D. Bell to three years in prison and one year of supervised release in connection with a 2013 incident that occurred while he was a Sergeant with the Hickory Police Department in North Carolina.

    [Read More…]

  • Senior Administration Officials Preview of National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken’s Trip to Anchorage, Alaska
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • Manager of Hospice and Home Health Companies Sentenced to Prison for Role in $150 Million Health Care Fraud Scheme
    In Crime News
    A Texas man was sentenced today to 27 months in prison for his role in a conspiracy at the Merida Group, a chain of hospice and home health agencies throughout Texas, to falsely convince thousands of patients with long-term incurable diseases they had less than six months to live in order to enroll the patients in hospice programs for which they were otherwise unqualified, thereby increasing revenue to the company. 

    [Read More…]

  • Secretary Blinken’s Meeting with Romanian Foreign Minister Aurescu
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • Justice Department Again to Monitor Compliance with the Federal Voting Rights Laws on Election Day
    In Crime News
    The Justice Department today announced its plans for voting rights monitoring in jurisdictions around the country for the Nov. 3, 2020 general election. The Justice Department historically has monitored in jurisdictions in the field on election day, and is again doing so this year. The department will also take complaints from the public nationwide regarding possible violations of the federal voting rights laws through its call center.  

    [Read More…]

  • Rebuilding Iraq: Reconstruction Progress Hindered by Contracting, Security, and Capacity Challenges
    In U.S GAO News
    The Department of Defense (DOD) has relied extensively on contractors to undertake major reconstruction projects and provide support to its deployed forces, but these efforts have not always achieved desired outcomes. Further, the Iraqi government must be able to reduce violence, sustain reconstruction progress, improve basic services, and make a positive difference in the daily lives of the Iraqi people. This statement discusses (1) factors affecting DOD’s ability to promote successful acquisition outcomes on its contracts for reconstruction and for support to deployed forces in Iraq, (2) the deteriorating security situation and the capabilities of the Iraqi security forces, and (3) issues affecting the Iraqi government’s ability to support and sustain future reconstruction progress. The testimony is based upon our work on Iraq reconstruction and stabilization efforts, DOD contracting activities, and DOD’s use of support contractors spanning several years. This work was conducted in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.The challenges faced by DOD on its reconstruction and support contracts often reflect systemic and long-standing shortcomings in DOD’s capacity to manage contractor efforts. Such shortcomings result from poorly defined or changing requirements, the use of poor business arrangements, the absence of senior leadership and guidance, and an insufficient number of trained contracting, acquisition and other personnel to manage, assess and oversee contractor performance. In turn, these shortcomings manifest themselves in higher costs to taxpayers, schedule delays, unmet objectives, and other undesirable outcomes. For example, because DOD authorized contractors to begin work before reaching agreement on the scope and price of that work, DOD paid millions of dollars in costs that were questioned by the Defense Contract Audit Agency. Similarly, DOD lacks visibility on the extent to which they rely on contractors to support their operations. When senior military leaders began to develop a base consolidation plan, officials were unable to determine how many contractors were deployed and therefore ran the risk of over- or under-building the capacity of the consolidated bases. U.S. reconstruction efforts also continue to be hampered by a security situation that continues to deteriorate. Although the number of trained and equipped Iraqi security forces increased to about 323,000 in December 2006 and more Iraqi Army units have taken the lead for counterinsurgency operations, attacks on coalition and Iraqi security forces and civilians have all increased. Aggregate numbers of trained and equipped Iraqi forces, however, do not provide information on the capabilities and needs of individual units. GAO has made repeated attempts to obtain unit-level Transition Readiness Assessments (TRAs) without success. This information is essential for the Congress to make fully informed decisions in connection with its authorization, appropriations, and oversight responsibilities. As the U.S. attempts to turn over its reconstruction efforts, the capacity of the Iraqi government to continue overall reconstruction progress is undermined by shortfalls in the capacity of the Iraqi ministries, widespread corruption and the inability to fund and execute projects for which funds were previously budgeted. Iraqi government institutions are undeveloped and confront significant challenges in staffing a competent, nonaligned civil service; using modern technology; and managing resources and personnel effectively. For example, according to U.S. officials 20 to 30 percent of the Ministry of Interior staff are “ghost employees” whose salaries are collected by other officials. Further, corruption in Iraq poses a major challenge to building an effective Iraqi government and could jeopardize future flows of needed international assistance. Unclear budgeting and procurement rules have affected Iraq’s efforts to spend capital budgets effectively and efficiently, according to U.S. officials. At the Ministry of Oil, for example, less than 1 percent of the $3.5 billion budgeted in 2006 for key enhancements to the country’s oil production, distribution, and export facilities, had been spent as of August 2006.

    [Read More…]

  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: Changes in Global Hawk’s Acquisition Strategy Are Needed to Reduce Program Risks
    In U.S GAO News
    Global Hawk offers significant military capabilities to capture and quickly transmit high-quality images of targets and terrain, day or night, and in adverse weather–without risk to an onboard pilot. Global Hawk first flew in the late 1990s as a demonstrator and supported recent combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. In 2001, the Air Force began an acquisition program to develop and produce improved Global Hawks. In 2002, the Department of Defense (DOD) restructured and accelerated the program to include a new, larger and more capable air vehicle. GAO was asked to review the program and discuss (1) the restructuring’s effect on the Air Force’s ability to deliver new capabilities to the warfighter and (2) whether its current business case and management approach is knowledge-based and can help forestall future risks.The restructuring of the Global Hawk program impacts the acquisition program in multiple ways. More and accelerated funding: Funding, which previously spanned 20 years, now is compressed in about half the time. The restructured plan requires $6.3 billion through fiscal year 2012; the original plan would have needed $3.4 billion by that time. The budget request is now three times higher for some years. Immature technologies: Several critical technologies needed to provide the advanced capabilities are immature and will not be tested on the new air vehicle until late in the program, after which most of the air vehicles will already have been bought. New requirements, new costs: DOD’s desire to add additional Global Hawk capabilities tripled development costs. The program acquisition unit cost increased 44 percent since program start, yet fewer vehicles are to be produced than originally planned. Challenges, trade-offs, and delays: The addition of new capabilities has led to space, weight, and power constraints for the advanced Global Hawk model. These limitations may result in deferring some capabilities. Some key events and activities–many related to testing issues–have been delayed. Global Hawk’s highly concurrent development and production strategy is risky and runs counter in important ways to a knowledge-based approach and to DOD’s acquisition guidance. The restructuring caused gaps in product knowledge, increasing the likelihood of unsuccessful cost, schedule, quality, and performance outcomes. Because the restructured program is dramatically different from the initial plan for the basic model, the business case now seems out of sync with the realities of the acquisition program.

    [Read More…]

  • Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katharine T. Sullivan and Office for Victims of Crime Director Jessica E. Hart Recognize Domestic Violence Month at a Law Enforcement and Domestic Violence Roundtable
    In Crime News
    Yesterday, Office of [Read More…]
  • June 23, 2021, letter commenting on AICPA’s Professional Ethics Executive Committee’s Proposed Interpretations and Definition of the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct, Responding to Non-Compliance with Laws and Regulations
    In U.S GAO News
    This letter provides GAO’s comments on the proposed interpretation and definition entitled Responding to Non-Compliance with Laws and Regulations, which the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) prepared. GAO provides standards for performing high-quality audits of government organizations, programs, activities, and functions and of government assistance received by contractors, nonprofit organizations, and other nongovernment organizations with competence, integrity, objectivity, and independence.1 These standards, often referred to as generally accepted government auditing standards (GAGAS), are to be followed by auditors and audit organizations when required by law, regulation, agreement, contract, or policy. For financial audits, GAGAS incorporates by reference the AICPA’s Statements on Auditing Standards. For attestation engagements, GAGAS incorporates by reference the AICPA’s Statements on Standards for Attestation Engagements.

    [Read More…]

  • Research advances curative options for people with sickle cell
    In Human Health, Resources and Services
    For nearly two decades, [Read More…]
  • Ohio Treatment Facilities and Corporate Parent Agree to Pay $10.25 Million to Resolve False Claims Act Allegations of Kickbacks to Patients and Unnecessary Admissions
    In Crime News
    Oglethorpe Inc. and its three Ohio facilities, Cambridge Behavioral Hospital, Ridgeview Behavioral Hospital, and The Woods at Parkside, will pay $10.25 million to resolve alleged violations of the False Claims Act for improperly providing free long-distance transportation to patients and admitting patients at Cambridge and Ridgeview who did not require inpatient psychiatric treatment, resulting in the submission of false claims to the Medicare program. 

    [Read More…]

  • Owner of New York Tax Preparation Business Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to File False Returns
    In Crime News
    A Queens, New York return preparer pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to defraud the United States by filing false returns, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.

    [Read More…]

  • The United States Presents its Universal Periodic Review National Report
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • Former Army Contractor Receives 151-Month Sentence for Fraud Scheme Targeting Thousands of U.S. Servicemembers and Veterans
    In Crime News
    A Nevada man was sentenced Thursday to 151 months in prison after pleading guilty in connection with his role in a transnational fraud and money laundering conspiracy that targeted over 3,300 members of the U.S. military community resulting in $1.5 million in losses.

    [Read More…]

  • Firearm Injuries: Health Care Service Needs and Costs
    In U.S GAO News
    What GAO Found There is no complete information on the health care costs of firearm injuries. National data allow for estimates of the costs of initial hospital treatment and some first-year costs, but less is known about costs the more time passes from the injury. Examining available data and information, GAO found the following: Initial hospital costs: Using hospital data from 2016 and 2017—the most recent that were available—GAO estimated that the initial hospital costs of firearm injuries were just over $1 billion annually. However, physician costs not captured in the data could add around 20 percent to that total. GAO also found that each year there were about 30,000 inpatient stays and about 50,000 emergency department visits to initially treat firearm injuries, and that patients with Medicaid and other public coverage accounted for over 60 percent of the costs of this care. First-year costs: Findings from studies on health care costs within the first year of hospital discharge after a firearm injury suggest that those costs can be significant. For example, studies estimating first-year hospital readmissions costs found that up to 16 percent of firearm injury survivors with an initial inpatient stay were readmitted at least once for their injury, with average costs of $8,000 to $11,000 per patient. Long-term costs: Less is known about the costs of health care for firearm injuries beyond the first year after hospital discharge. GAO identified studies that estimated lifetime costs of these injuries, but the estimates relied on data from over 20 years ago, making them no longer a reliable indicator of costs. Clinical experts GAO met with described a wide range in both physical and behavioral health care needs for firearm injury survivors after hospital discharge, with some survivors needing lifelong care. These experts also told GAO that survivors often face barriers to receiving needed care, such as being denied care when it is not covered by their insurance. While not receiving needed services may minimize costs initially, the consequences of unmet health needs for firearm injury survivors may ultimately result in greater costs. Range of Physical Health Care Needs for Firearm Injuries after Hospital Discharge Why GAO Did This Study In 2019, close to 40,000 people died from a firearm injury in the U.S., and around twice that number sustained non-fatal injuries. Over 100 organizations representing health care providers consider the number of firearm injuries that occur each day to be a public health epidemic. Health care costs associated with firearm injuries—both those for services provided during initial hospital treatment and those for services provided long-term—are paid for, at least in part, by public payers, such as Medicaid and Medicare. GAO was asked to review the health care costs of firearm injuries. This report describes the initial hospital costs of firearm injuries in the U.S. and what is known about the costs of subsequent care, as well as the post-discharge services that may be needed to treat these injuries. GAO analyzed hospital data for 2016 and 2017 collected by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality related to the initial costs of treating firearm injuries, and conducted a literature review on the health care costs of these injuries following discharge. In addition, GAO moderated meetings with 12 experts, representing clinicians, economists, and others—selected with assistance from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine—to discuss the post-discharge health care service needs and costs of firearm injuries. The Department of Health and Human Services provided technical comments on a draft of this report, which GAO incorporated as appropriate. For more information, contact Carolyn L. Yocom at (202) 512-7114 or yocomc@gao.gov.

    [Read More…]

  • Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission Issue Joint Statement to Preserve Competition in Post-Hurricane Relief Efforts
    In Crime News
    The Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) today issued a joint statement detailing antitrust guidance for businesses taking part in relief efforts and those involved in rebuilding communities affected by Hurricane Ida without violating the antitrust laws.

    [Read More…]

  • Norwegian National Day
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • 20 arrested for conspiracy to distribute thousands of pounds of marijuana
    In Justice News
    A total of 16 Laredoans [Read More…]
  • Security at the 2019 Women’s World Cup nearing the final goal
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Angela French, DSS [Read More…]

Source: Network News
Area Control Network

Copyright © 2022 ACN
All Rights Reserved © ACN 2020

ACN Privacy Policies
ACN TOS
Area Control Network (ACN)
Area Control Network
Area Control Network Center