The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced it wants to fine a refrigerant plant in Garrett, IN for improper labeling of equipment. EPA said it could fine the plant, which makes refrigerant recovery equipment designed to protect the environment, more than $49,000.

The owner of the plant, Richie Engineering Company said that the charge is unfounded and the fine would be "way out of proportion" to the supposed violation. An attorney representing the company said that no natural resources were destroyed and that the company is "amazed" that EPA would come up with a figure so high. The plant said it has always complied with federal regulations on its labels and provides more information than is required by EPA.

Three categories for appliances such as refrigerators and air conditioners have been created by EPA – low-pressure, high pressure, and very high pressure. The categories are based upon the type of refrigerant used in the appliances. Richie listed all of the types of refrigerants its equipment is designed to extract but didn't list the categories.

EPA is hoping to fine Richie for violation of federal clean-air regulations from January until the company began using a supplemental label on the equipment in July. An EPA attorney said there was a real threat the equipment could be used on the wrong appliances.

(Source: EPA)