Sept 3 Costco Wholesale Corp will pay a
$335,000 fine and spend about $2 million over three years to fix
refrigerant leaks and make other improvements at 274 stores to
settle allegations that the warehouse club operator violated the
federal Clean Air Act.
The U.S. Department of Justice and Environmental Protection
Agency on Wednesday said Costco failed from 2004 to 2007 to
promptly repair leaks from its refrigeration equipment of the
refrigerant R-22, an ozone-depleting greenhouse gas with roughly
1,800 times more global warming potential than carbon dioxide.
Costco also failed to keep adequate records of its servicing
of refrigeration equipment to prevent leaks, the agencies said.
The settlement requires Costco to retrofit or replace
commercial refrigeration equipment at 30 stores. Costco must
also adopt procedures designed to prevent and repair coolant
leaks and reduce its leak rate by at least 20 percent by 2017.
Based in Issaquah, Washington, Costco recently said it
operates 466 warehouse stores in the United States and Puerto
Rico, and 660 worldwide.
Costco did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Dan