CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Failure to repair refrigerant leaks resulting in the venting of 200 pounds of R-22 has produced a $118,000 fine against a Cambridge, Mass., production facility.

According to a statement issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Cambridge Brands Inc. has agreed to pay the fine. The company is a subsidiary of Tootsie Roll Industries.

According to the EPA statement, "Cambridge Brands failed to repair leaks to industrial refrigerators at its candy manufacturing facility, resulting in the release of over 200 pounds of ozone depleting refrigerant into the atmosphere." David Deegan, a spokesperson for the EPA New England office, said the refrigerant in question was R-22.

"In addition to failing to perform appropriate maintenance on the refrigeration equipment, Cambridge Brands failed to conduct leak repair tests and keep required service records for repairs of some refrigeration units," said the EPA in its statement.

The statement said officials from the EPA's New England office in Boston discovered the violations after conducting an inspection of the facility.

In a somewhat related statement issued June 27, the EPA reported that Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. will pay a $176,000 fine in response to an EPA complaint that the helicopter manufacturer in Stratford, Conn., "violated leak repair and follow-up testing requirements to two industrial refrigeration units." Deegan said those systems also operated on R-22.

The statement does not acknowledge a specific release of refrigerant in the Sikorsky situation, but did say the company corrected its violations.

Publication date: 07/17/2006