There抯 an invisible climate threat seeping from grocery store freezers. Biden wants to change that.

New undercover survey suggests leaks of powerful planet-warming gases pervade many supermarkets


By Juliet Eilperin and Desmond Butler, The Washington Post

Feb. 15, 2021


Some of the climate impacts of a grocery store trip are obvious, like the fuel it takes to get there and the electricity that keeps its lights glowing, conveyor belts moving and scanners beeping. But then there are the invisible gases seeping out into the atmosphere when you reach for your ice cream of choice.


In nearly every supermarket in America, a network of pipes transports compressed refrigerants that keep perishable goods cold. Most of these chemicals are hydrofluorocarbons ?greenhouse gases thousands of times more powerful than carbon dioxide ?which often escape through cracks or systems that were not properly installed. Once they leak, they are destined to pollute the atmosphere.


The Biden administration now sees eliminating these chemicals from the nation抯 refrigerators as low-hanging fruit in its broader effort to rein in climate pollutants. The Environmental Protection Agency issued a public call last week for companies to report production and import data on HFCs.


Under the American Innovation and Manufacturing Act, which passed in December, the EPA must phase down the production and import of these potent greenhouse gases 85 percent over the next 15 years...


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