The US Environmental Protection Agency said that under the agreement reached between Trident, the EPA and the US Department of Justice, Trident will spend up to $23 million to reduce coolant leaks from refrigeration and other equipment, use alternative refrigerants, and improve company-wide compliance.
The proposed settlement was lodged in the US District Court for Alaska on Feb. 19 and is subject to a 30-day public comment period and court approval. Trident will also pay a $900,000 civil penalty.
The EPA alleges that Trident violated the Clean Air Act by failing to promptly repair leaks of the refrigerant R-22, an ozone-depleting hydrochlorofluorocarbon. According to the EPA, Trident’s failures allowed its appliances to leak refrigerant at high rates for thousands of days, causing over 200,000 pounds of the refrigerant to be released into the atmosphere.
According to the EPA, Trident will retrofit or retire 23 refrigeration appliances used on 14 marine vessels to use an alternative refrigerant that does not harm the ozone layer compared to typical refrigerants. Trident agreed to retrofit nine of these appliances as part of a supplemental environmental project. With these retrofits, nearly 100,000 pounds of the harmful refrigerant will be removed from use, and future leaks will not damage the ozone layer.
Trident will also conduct routine leak inspections of all appliances, promptly repair leaks, install leak detectors to monitor appliances for leaks, add fluorescent dye into appliances to assist staff in detecting leaks, compile information to assist in identifying common failure points on appliances, and train employees to properly manage the appliances.
The settlement also sets a corporate-wide refrigerant leak cap and requires Trident to retain a third-party auditor to review the company’s compliance with the consent decree and regulations.
Trident and its subsidiaries Royal Viking Inc, and Golden Dawn LLC own and operate four factory processors, one freight vessel, nearly 30 catcher and tender vessels and 10 land-based facilities in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. In most of these vessels and facilities, Trident uses ozone-depleting HCFCs in its refrigeration appliances.
The settlement is available online at https://www.justice.gov/enrd/consent-decrees.