Fossil FuelsResonac America Fined over smuggling of Greenhouse Gases

Resonac America Fined over smuggling of Greenhouse Gases

US: The biggest fine for importing greenhouse gases illegally into the nation has been achieved as a consequence of an agreement the EPA reached with a corporation that was allegedly smuggling greenhouse gasses into the Port of Los Angeles.

Resonac America will forfeit 1,693 pounds of greenhouse gases and pay a $416,003 fine as part of the agreement, which was made public on Thursday. The company had illegally imported the chemicals that warmed the globe four times between 2023 and 2024.

Assistant Administrator David Uhlmann of the EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance stated, “EPA continues to prioritize enforcement against companies that illegally import refrigerants that damage our climate and imperil future generations.”

Additionally, as part of the EPA’s National Enforcement and Compliance Initiative on Mitigating Climate Change, he pointed out that this case is the highest fine ever levied and the first in which the corporatio mandated to destroy the HFCs.

The agreement reached weeks after a man from San Diego became the first person to face legal action under a 2020 legislation that forbids the import of HFCs without EPA approval to slow down climate change. The individual charged with bringing greenhouse gases into the country illegally from Mexico and then selling them.

Regarding the most recent case, EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Martha Guzman stated, “HFCs are a potent climate pollutant, so companies importing them into our nation must do so in strict accordance with environmental laws.”

“A clear message that the federal government is vigilantly monitoring imports of HFCs and will hold illegal actors accountable,” according to Guzman, the case is the most recent in a string of EPA HFC enforcement actions nationally.

Aerosols, foam insulation, air conditioning, refrigeration, and fire extinguishing systems all use HFCs, which strong greenhouse gases composed of hydrogen, fluorine, and carbon. An HFC has the potential to cause hundreds or even thousands of times more global warming than carbon dioxide.

The EPA claims that Resonac imported 6,208 pounds of illicit HFCs at three different times in October, November, and December of 2023. According to the EPA, the imports broke the law that forbids bringing in large quantities of restricted substances into the country without the necessary authorization.

Additionally, Resonac neglected to notify the EPA of planned HFC shipments for both a February 2024 shipment and a 2023 shipment as required. Also, according to the EPA, the corporation neglected to timely submit reports to the agency containing details about HFCs that it imported during the first and second quarters of 2023.

According to the EPA, the action keeps about 6,208 pounds, or 2.816 metric tons, of unlawful HFCs out of the country. Also, The amount of HFCs that might emitted into the atmosphere if they released is roughly 41,677 metric tons of CO2, or the emissions needed to power 8,225 houses with energy for a year.

Developed nations required by the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol to gradually reduce HFC imports and production by 85% from historical levels by the year 2036.

Administrator of the EPA Michael Regan cautioned that efforts by federal regulators to reduce the use of HFC pollutants may hampered by the emergence of a black market for the pollutants. According to EPA, it has prioritized the enforcement of HFC rules and, since January 2022, it has worked with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to prevent the arrival of about 81 shipments of illicit HFCs.

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