The United States, on behalf of the US Environmental Protection Agency, has reached a proposed settlement with Schnitzer Steel Inc. of Portland, Oregon, to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Air Act and regulations designed to protect stratospheric ozone at 40 scrap metal recycling facilities throughout the United States. If approved by the court, the settlement will require the company to pay a civil penalty of USD 1,550,000, implement compliance measures worth over USD 1,700,000 to prevent the release of ozone-depleting refrigerants and non-exempt substitutes from refrigerant-containing items during their processing and disposal, and complete an environmental mitigation project. The complaint filed together with the consent decree alleges that Schnitzer failed to recover refrigerant from small appliances and motor vehicle air conditioners before disposal or to verify from the supplier that the refrigerant had been properly recovered prior to delivery to Schnitzer’s facilities.Under the settlement, Schnitzer must implement an EPA-approved Refrigerant Recovery Management Program at its 40 U.S. facilities. The RRMP includes, among other things: installation of refrigerant recovery systems at Schnitzer’s facilities; screening procedures for scrap appliances and vehicles; new forms for statements and contracts to verify any refrigerant recovery from appliances and motor vehicles prior to receipt by Schnitzer; notices to customers regarding proper procedures for delivering items currently or previously containing refrigerants; employee training on procedures for ensuring compliance with regulations designed to prevent the release of refrigerants; and recordkeeping and reporting obligations.The settlement also requires Schnitzer to perform an environmental mitigation project involving the destruction of all R-12 refrigerant in scrapped appliances and automobiles received at its facilities. R-12 contains chlorofluorocarbons and has over 10,000 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide.