California man is first in the U.S. to be charged with smuggling greenhouse gases, prosecutors say

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SAN DIEGO — A Southern California man was arrested Monday connected suspicion of smuggling refrigerants into nan U.S. from Mexico and national prosecutors said he’s nan first personification to beryllium charged pinch violating regulations intended to curb nan usage of greenhouse gases that lend to ambiance change.

The indictment alleges Michael Hart, of San Diego, smuggled nan ozone-depleting chemicals crossed nan separator concealed nether a tarp and devices successful his vehicle. He posted them for waste connected nan internet, according to a connection from nan U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Hart was arraigned Monday day and pleaded not blameworthy to 13 charges including conspiracy, waste of prohibited materials and forbidden importation, nan connection said.

It’s nan first prosecution successful nan U.S. to see charges related to a 2020 rule that prohibits nan importation of hydrofluorocarbons, commonly utilized arsenic refrigerants, without support from nan Environmental Protection Agency, according to prosecutors.

“This is nan first clip nan Department of Justice is prosecuting personification for illegally importing greenhouse gases, and it will not beryllium nan last,” U.S. Attorney Tara McGrath said successful a statement. “We are utilizing each intends imaginable to protect our satellite from nan harm caused by toxic pollutants, including bringing criminal charges.”

Hydrofluorocarbons are regulated nether nan Clean Air Act. They are utilized successful applications specified arsenic refrigeration, air-conditioning, building insulation, occurrence extinguishing systems and aerosols.

Hart was ordered to return to tribunal March 25.

The Associated Press

The Associated Press