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Costco agrees to pay $335, 000 over alleged Clean Air Act violations

RBR Staff Writer Published 05 September 2014

Warehouse club major Costco Wholesale has agreed to pay $335,000 fine in a settlement with American authorities over alleged Clean Air Act charges.


The retailer has also agreed to spend $2m over three years to fix refrigerant leaks and make other improvements at its 274 stores.

The US Environmental Protection Agency and the Justice Department allege that from 2004 to 2007, Costco failed 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% by 2017.

Costco, presently, operates 466 warehouse stores in the United States and Puerto Rico, and 660 worldwide.

Image: Costco in Moncton, New Brunswick. Photo: Courtesy of MGA73bot.