(AP) Grocery store chain Safeway, Inc. will pay a fine of $600,000 and has agreed to a nationwide reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from refrigeration equipment at its 659 U.S. stores.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Justice on Wednesday said the settlement with the Pleasanton, Calif.-based retailer is the largest ozone protection case ever reached under the Clean Air Act.
The government says Safeway violated the nation's clear air laws by not promptly fixing leaks of HCFC-22, a heat-trapping gas that contributes to climate change, from its refrigerators. The government says Safeway also failed to keep proper maintenance records.
Safeway did not return a call seeking comment.
Safeway also agreed to reduce its company-wide average leak rate from 25 percent to 18 percent or below by 2015.