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ORLANDO-In the largest civil case to date related to ozone-damging emissions by a commercial firm, Meyer’s Bakeries Inc. of Little Rock, AR is paying a record fine of $3.5 million for exceeding federal-allowable levels of cholorofluorocarbons, known as CFCs, and hydrochlorofluorocarbons.

The leaks placed thousands of pounds of destructive gases into the atmosphere, according to the Justice Department.

The violations occurred between 1995 and 1998 at the bakery’s plants in Orlando; Hope, AR; Arizona City, AZ; Wichita, KS; and Cleburne, TX.

In Orlando alone, the Justice Department charged the bakery topped allowable leakage levels by 6,000%. The chemicals were emitted from the bakery’s mixing and chilling machines at its plant in the Airport International Park Orlando.

The Justice Department reported no violations after the company’s ownership changed hands in mid-1999. Meyer’s says the problem has been resolved.

In a prepared statement, the company says, “While this matter never affected the high quality of our products, we have put in place an advanced environmental program and we have gone to extraordinary lengths to ensure that our operations are in compliance with all applicable laws.”

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