EPA imposes record fine for greenhouse gas smuggling

By Lesley Clark | 03/22/2024 07:01 AM EDT

The penalty is part of EPA’s crackdown on the planet-warming hydrofluorocarbons used in refrigeration and air conditioning.

A row of stocked freezers and refrigerators in a store

EPA has fined a chemical manufacturer for the illegal import of hydrofluorocarbons, potent greenhouse gases used in refrigeration systems. Open Grid Scheduler/Grid Engine/Flickr

EPA has reached a settlement with a company accused of importing greenhouse gases into the Port of Los Angeles, resulting in the largest-ever penalty for illegally bringing hydrofluorocarbons into the country.

Under the agreement — announced Thursday — Resonac America will pay a $416,003 penalty and destroy 1,693 pounds of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) for illegally importing the planet-warming chemicals on four occasions in 2023 and 2024.

“EPA continues to prioritize enforcement against companies that illegally import refrigerants that damage our climate and imperil future generations,” said David Uhlmann, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.


He noted that the case marks the largest penalty imposed to date as part of EPA’s National Enforcement and Compliance Initiative on Mitigating Climate Change — and the first to require the company to destroy the HFCs.