Tacoma Owes $525K for Damage to Ozone

The city of Tacoma, Washington will pay a settlement to the EPA due to a flawed refrigerator disposal project it was running. The disposal service was mismanaged from 2004 to 2007, releasing chlorofluorocarbons into the environment. More than 14,600 appliances were serviced in order to recover refrigerants that can damage the ozone layer. The recovery process accidentally released 4,600 pounds of refrigerant, which reportedly is equivalent to 32,000,000 pounds of CO2. CFCs cause ozone depletion, which contributes to climate change and can have negative health impacts on humans. The accidental releases violated the Clean Air Act.

Dennis McLerran, Regional Administrator for EPA Region 10 said, “Every pound of CFCs that enters the environment is a blow to the Earth’s protective ozone layer and a setback in controlling climate change.”

The penalty portion of the settlement is a payment of $225,000. In addition the city will spend about $300,000 on air pollution prevention. To reduce climate change emissions, the city will replace one diesel waste collection truck with a hybrid one that has better fuel efficiency. A diesel tractor used at the city landfill will also be replaced by a hybrid one. Additionally ten diesel tractors will be fitted with particulate matter filters to reduce air pollution.

These measures will help offset the accidental emissions caused by the faulty disposal program. It was not reported exactly what the figures are in emissions reductions, but at least it is a start.

In 2008, the city passed a resolution stating they would be in sync with the climate change reduction goals of the Kyoto Protocol.


Mari Enchanted
Mari 's5 years ago

Plant trees!

K s Goh
KS Goh5 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Laurie H.
Laurie H.6 years ago

Thank You, Jake for this article. The new word for this year should be, "ACCOUNTABILITY"!~

Anne F.
Anne F.6 years ago

sloppy work. CFCs were a big deal and the City should have followed the rules.

Judith H.

One thing I meant to mention is that it is the people who will pay the fine, either by increase in taxes or decrease in services. People should get outraged at their governments who get such a fine. It will not come out of their pay or their retirement. Government employees are immune from prosecution. Great that the problem has been brought to attention, but they already knew the rules and apparently intentionally violated them. They left and went to another city to clean up there. But the people are still living in the city limits and will have to cough up the dough.

Marilyn L.
Marilyn L.6 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Cherie Ann Day
Cherie Day6 years ago

Well I am still going to focus on the good side of this bringing more awareness and the possibility for the people to take the owners of the corporations to court to create new legislation to protect the people and hold companies including corporations that have interest in our trust, accountable for their humanitarian actions towards humanity and our earth. More articles like this are what I want.

Judith H.

Adria M. Thank you for your comment. Isn't this politics in any city, especially Washington State. I lived in Kirkland, which I call Crookland. Too bad gvmt people ruin things then run away to a nice clean spot. Cities are Registered as Corporations and I understand they are registered in foreign countries. Any of you please call you city and confirm this. So who are the government employees working for? For the benefit of the corporation, to increase their wealth which tax payers will never see. Those profits are in a second set of books. You can learn about this on www.carf1.com, or google 2nd set of books. Why do they care if the land is polluted, or the people are dying from their mistakes. It makes me nauseated. The mayors in all major cities attend the national Mayors meetings in some fancy place where they all give each other ideas on how to circumvent the law, keep citizens from owning arms (that is their latest), or how to shut up a citizen whistle blower. No laws to protect them you know.

John Van Hise
John Van Hise6 years ago


Joel Scott S.
Joel Scott S.6 years ago

I do hope they pay the fine in full amount.