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MADISON — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that APS Express, Inc. (APS) was ordered to pay $50,000 in penalties for its improper handling of salvaged refrigerants at its former plant in the City of Waukesha. APS is a nationwide corporation that collects used appliances, including those containing regulated refrigerants, from appliance stores. The Waukesha plant processed appliances from Janesville, Appleton and Milwaukee stores between March 2008 and September 2009. APS re-sold the usable appliances on the resale market, and sold waste appliances to scrap yards after removing any refrigerants. APS has since sold its Waukesha facility and is no longer operating in Wisconsin.
The civil complaint filed by the Department of Justice in Waukesha County alleges that APS failed to prevent refrigerant releases during dismantling of refrigeration equipment, operated without an approved registration from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to salvage or dismantle refrigeration equipment, dismantled refrigeration equipment without the supervision of an individual certified under DNR's regulations, failed to provide the appropriate documentation to the scrap metal dealer purchasing the appliances, and failed to certify safe transport of the refrigerant with the DNR from May 2008 until April 2010.
On April 24, 2012, the Honorable J. Mac Davis, Waukesha County Circuit Court judge, approved the parties' stipulation and ordered that APS pay a total of $50,000.00 in forfeitures, statutory surcharges, and costs.
"Since 1990, Wisconsin law has regulated the salvaging and dismantling of any type of refrigeration or air-conditioning equipment that contains refrigerants. Wisconsin law is very clear that refrigerants must be properly recovered using safe techniques and with proper documentation filed with the DNR. Improperly released refrigerants can impact the earth's ozone layer and workers exposed to refrigerants from improper recovery may experience severe health problems," Attorney General Van Hollen said.
The case was investigated by the DNR. The DNR and the Waukesha County District Attorney asked the Department of Justice to bring this action. Assistant Attorney General Steven Tinker represented the State.
Copies of the Stipulation and Order for Judgment, and the Judgment are available at the following links: