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FLORIDA IMPORTER PLEADS GUILTY TO CLEAN AIR ACT VIOLATION

Release Date: 01/04/2002
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FRIDAY, JANUARY 4, 2002

FLORIDA IMPORTER PLEADS GUILTY TO CLEAN AIR ACT VIOLATION

Luke C. Hester 202-564-7818 / hester.luke@epa.gov


Clifford Windsor of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., pleaded guilty on Dec.19 to violating the Clean Air Act by illegally importing into the United States approximately 300 cylinders of R-12, the ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) refrigerant. Some of this contraband was then sold to businesses. R-12 is commonly used in air conditioners in automobiles manufactured before 1994. The importation of R-12 has been highly restricted under the Montreal Protocol because its release into the atmosphere depletes the earth =s ozone layer which protects people from the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation such as cataracts and skin cancer. When sentenced, Windsor faces a maximum sentence of up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000. The case was investigated by EPA = s Criminal Investigation Division, the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Customs Service and the Ft. Lauderdale Police Department. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney=s office in Miami.

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