“Despite empty promises, Walmart continues to use and leak potent super-pollutant chemicals. It is appalling that supermarkets are failing to confront and control these easily preventable emissions, given our climate crisis,” said Avipsa Mahapatra, EIA’s Climate Campaign Lead. “Our investigation makes it obvious that this glaring inaction is a crime against our climate, and should really be illegal.”
EIA’s investigation, which focused on Walmart and other top-grossing supermarkets, shows that 60% of Walmart stores visited had an HFC refrigerant leak. Across all other stores investigated, more than half were measurably leaking these super pollutants. A few stores had high concentrations of HFCs still present months later. The leakage of climate-damaging, ozone-depleting refrigerants can be avoided through proactive refrigerant management. In spite of the current lack of regulations on HFCs, the recently passed American Innovation and Manufacturing Act (AIM) Act authorizes EPA to regulate production, use, and emissions of HFCs.
“It’s alarming that today’s regulatory landscape still allows supermarkets to legally use and leak HFCs in massive quantities,” said Christina Starr, Senior Policy Analyst at EIA. “With recent passage of the AIM Act, it’s high time for the EPA to design more effective regulations to accelerate replacement of HFCs with climate-friendly refrigerants and to require companies to monitor and mitigate leaks.”
Avipsa Mahapatra, Campaign Climate Lead, EIA, [email protected]