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News Releases from Region 02

EPA Funds Project to Reduce Harmful Refrigerants at Food Companies in Newark, $158,000 Grant to Rutgers

Contact Information: 
John Martin (martin.johnj@epa.gov)

(New York, N.Y.) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $158,000 to Rutgers University to provide training and technical assistance to food production, processing, storage and distribution companies in the Newark, New Jersey area to reduce their releases of greenhouse gases.

"With cold storage capacity at Port Newark expected to double over the next ten years, this program has the potential to significantly cut the amount of chlorodifluoromethane used in the Newark area," said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck.

Rutgers will assist food companies in switching from using the refrigerant chlorodifluoromethane (commonly known as "HCFC") to anhydrous ammonia, which has less of a harmful effect on the environment. In addition to being a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change, chlorodifluoromethane depletes the ozone layer. Chlorodifluoromethane is also less energy efficient than anhydrous ammonia and is more likely to leak into the atmosphere. Although chlorodifluoromethane is being phased out nationally under the Clean Air Act, many smaller companies lack the knowledge and resources to switch to anhydrous ammonia. This project will also provide source reduction training and technical assistance on energy efficiency and water conservation to these food supply facilities.

Rutgers will work with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to raise awareness of this project through direct contact and information sharing sessions targeted at the food and logistics industries in Essex and Hudson counties. Training of specific companies will then begin in June 2016.

This grant is part of the approximately $5 million in grants the EPA awards each year to prevent pollution across the nation.

For more information on the EPA's pollution prevention program, visit http://www2.epa.gov/p2.

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