$100K penalty for selling hydrocarbons

42293806_sUSA: A Wichita-based company is set to pay a $100,000 civil penalty for marketing and selling hydrocarbon refrigerants in contravention of the Clean Air Act.

A proposed consent decree has been lodged with the Kansas District Court on behalf of the US EPA against Northcutt Inc alleging that Northcutt introduced substitutes for ozone-depleting substances onto the US market, while failing to comply with the CAA’s SNAP requirements.

The consent decree requires Northcutt to discontinue domestic marketing and sales of the substitutes, pay a $100,000 civil penalty and send a warning letter to past domestic purchasers of the substitutes.

In the US, a consent decree is an agreement or settlement to resolve a dispute between two parties without admission of liability.

In a Finding of Violation (FOV) letter sent to Northcutt on June 26, 2014, the EPA alleges that between March 2010 to on or around January 28, 2015, Northcutt marketed, sold and distributed flammable hydrocarbon refrigerants HC-12a, HC-22a and HC-502a for use in residential and commercial air cooling systems. They were designed as replacements for the ozone-depleting CFCs R12 and R502 and the HCFC R22.

The EPA maintains that neither HC-22a or HC-502a are approved as ODS substitutes under the SNAP programme and HC-12a is only approved as an ODS substitute in industrial processing.

According to the EPA, Northcutt stopped all sales of the refrigerants in the United States on or around January 28, 2015. The company continues to market, sell, and distribute each of the three products outside of the United States.

Northcutt has denied, and continues to deny, all the alleged violations.

Related stories:

Hydrocarbon refrigerant seller hit for $300K – May 14, 2015
USA: A US company has agreed to cease sales of unapproved hydrocarbon refrigerants and pay a $300,000 civil penalty. Read more…

EPA to adopt five flammable refrigerants – March 2, 2015
USA: The EPA is about to publish its final rule allowing five flammable refrigerants to be used in certain refrigeration and air conditioning applications. Read more…

EPA proposes approval of hydrocarbons – June 27, 2014
USA:  The US Environmental Protection Agency has proposed four hydrocarbon refrigerants be approved for use in six refrigeration and air conditioning applications. Read more…


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