The U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a settlement agreement with Anchor Glass Container Corporation today that will resolve alleged Clean Air Act violations at all six of Anchor’s container glass manufacturing facilities located in Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Minnesota, New York and Oklahoma and improve the company’s compliance with federal [and state] clean air laws. Under the proposed settlement, Anchor will install pollution controls to cut emissions of nitrogen oxide (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2) and particulate matter (PM) at its container glass manufacturing facilities. The states of Indiana and Oklahoma participated in the settlement.
“In this settlement, Anchor Glass Container Corporation has agreed to bring all of its manufacturing facilities into compliance with Clean Air Act requirements, which will help reduce harmful air pollutants to ensure the health and safety of communities in six states,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey H. Wood for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “The Justice Department will continue to work closely with the EPA and to partner with states to ensure compliance with federal clean air laws nationwide.”
“Under the terms of today’s settlement, Anchor Glass Container Corporation will take steps to reduce harmful air emissions from its facilities,” said Susan Bodine, EPA’s Assistant Administrator for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “The resulting pollution reductions will mean cleaner and clearer air for communities in six states.”
“Protecting the health and safety of Indiana residents is one of my office’s top priorities,” said Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill. “Settlements such as this one help ensure that future generations will breathe cleaner air, and I’m grateful for the collaboration of our federal and state partners in bringing about this positive result.”
“I am pleased with the results of the settlement and hopeful this will help protect Oklahoma’s future,” said Executive Director Scott Thompson for the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality.
Today’s settlement resolves allegations that Anchor violated the Clean Air Act when it failed to seek permits for New Source Review major modifications at its container glass facilities. Anchor’s facilities manufacture beer bottles, liquor bottles, other beverage bottles, jars, and other glass containers.
Under this settlement, Anchor will implement pollution controls to reduce its NOx emissions at nine of its eleven furnaces (two furnaces already have pollution controls installed), and the company will meet more stringent NOx emissions limits at all of its furnaces. Anchor will also implement pollution controls and take other actions to reduce SO2 and PM emissions. The settlement also requires Anchor to install and operate continuous emissions monitors for NOx and SO2 at all eleven of its glass furnaces and to install continuous opacity monitors required by the Clean Air Act. The company will spend approximately $40 million in implementing these pollution reduction changes to its facilities.
This settlement will result in substantial reductions of NOx, SO2 and PM emissions at Anchor’s plants. NOx emissions will be reduced by over 2,000 tons per year, SO2 emissions will be reduced by over 700 tons per year and PM emissions will be reduced by over 100 tons per year. Additionally, Anchor will complete two mitigation projects, a woodburning appliance change-out project and a project to repower, retrofit, or replace vehicle diesel engines, further reducing NOx, SO2, and PM emissions.
As part of this settlement, Anchor will also pay a $1.1 million civil penalty.
NOx, SO2 and PM, three key pollutants emitted from glass manufacturing plants, have numerous adverse effects on human health and are significant contributors to acid rain, smog, and haze. The pollutants are converted in the air into fine particles of particulate matter that can cause severe respiratory and cardiovascular impacts and premature death. Reducing these harmful air pollutants will benefit the communities located near the Anchor plants, particularly communities disproportionately impacted by environmental risks and vulnerable populations, including children.
The proposed consent decree was lodged today in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida and is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval. Information about submitting a public comment is available at: www.justice.gov/enrd/consent-decree/us-et-al-v-anchor-glass-container-corporation
For more information about the settlement: www.epa.gov/enforcement/anchor-glass-container-corporation-clean-air-act-settlement
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Author: August 3, 2018