Brooklyn Heights

Gristedes to pay nearly $14 million over refrigerator coolant leaks

July 2, 2024 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — GROCERY STORE CHAIN Gristedes, owned by billionaire mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis, has admitted fault in a lawsuit over systemic violations of Environmental Protection Agency rules on emissions from refrigeration units, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams announced on Tuesday, and has agreed to pay $400,000 in civil penalties and spend $13.5 million on upgrades and repairs for its fridges. Between 2019 and 2021, Gristedes failed to repair, test, report and replace faulty equipment at its 20 NYC locations that leaked strictly regulated refrigerants known as hydrochlorofluorocarbons and hydrofluorocarbons into the air, leading to emissions equivalent to driving a car 140,000,000 miles. The chain has now entered into a Consent Decree that will require it to reduce emissions by more than 70%, down to industry standards. 

Failure to comply with the Consent Decree will give rise to significant additional penalties, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

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