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Leaking Havoc: Exposing Your Supermarket’s Invisible Climate Pollution

An EIA investigation into dozens of supermarkets in the greater Washington, D.C. area, including Virginia and Maryland, found a majority of stores to be leaking super-pollutant hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants. Our investigation focused on Walmart and other top-grossing supermarkets in the region and used industry-accepted refrigerant leak detectors. Sixty percent of the Walmart stores investigated by EIA had a refrigerant leak. Fifty-five percent of the stores we visited were measurably leaking super pollutants. In a few cases, leaks were still present months later. The invisible nature of the gases has allowed companies to overlook refrigerant emissions and calls to action; but with the right equipment, these gases are neither invisible nor immeasurable. Read Leaking Havoc: Exposing Your Supermarket’s Invisible Climate Pollution to see what companies, policymakers and citizens can do to fix this problem.

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Recent Blog Posts

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A new year’s gift for our climate came wrapped in the coronavirus relief package passed by Congress at the end of 2020. Among the bill’s several significant climate provisions is the American Innovation and Manufacturing Act, or AIM Act, that enacts a phase-down of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).

Recent Reports

LETTER: EIA, IIAR and over 120 Stakeholders Call on California to Require Climate-Friendly Cooling in Ice Rinks
12/10/2020
EIA and the International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration (IIAR) joined by over 120 other stakeholders, submitted a letter to the California Air Resources Board calling to limit refrigerants in new ice rink refrigeration systems to under a 150 global warming potential (GWP).
The Risk of Ozone-Depletion Persists - Comments to EPA
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Recent Press Releases

Leaking Havoc
02/15/2021
An EIA investigation into dozens of supermarkets in the greater Washington, D.C. area, including Virginia and Maryland, found a majority of stores to be leaking super-pollutant hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants
U.S. Congress Passes Bipartisan HFC Legislation
12/23/2020
Legislation passed by the U.S. Congress this week to provide COVID relief and fund the U.S. government includes a bipartisan climate agreement to phase-down production and consumption of super-pollutant hydrofluorocarbons (HFC). The bill authorizes the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to implement the 2016 agreement to phase down HFCs under the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, and provides broader authority to manage existing sources of HFC emissions.

Recent Videos

Leaking Havoc: Exposing Your Supermarket’s Invisible Climate Pollution
02/15/2021
An EIA investigation into dozens of supermarkets in the greater Washington, D.C. area, including Virginia and Maryland, found a majority of stores to be leaking super-pollutant hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants
What are the HFC-free Technologies?
Widespread adoption of HFC-free technologies is cost-effective, energy efficient, and climate-friendly. Read EIA’s report Putting the Freeze on HFCs for hundreds of examples of HFC-free technologies available and in use today.
A Global HFC Phase-down
The October 2016 Montreal Protocol meeting in Kigali, Rwanda yielded a global agreement to phase down HFCs. Now countries must ratify and implement the Kigali Amendment! Read and share EIA's briefing on this great opportunity and obligation to avert climate catastrophe.
Help us mitigate climate destroying gases
Where are HFCs used?
What are HFCs?
How to Recycle Your Fridge