Owens-Brockway has been on a hot hold since July 2023, meaning it is not making glass, due to a slowdown in business. Emissions are very low while the facility is in this state, and Owens-Brockway must notify DEQ in writing on the day it resumes glass production.
In December 2023, DEQ approved a seven-week delay in the installation of pollution controls. Owens-Brockway is in the process of securing a City of Portland building permit to begin construction of the controls. DEQ confirmed with the City that this is a reasonable timeframe and that Owens-Brockway has been diligently providing information for its permit. According to the new timeline, the controls must be installed by June 30, 2024.
Background: In June 2021, DEQ issued a $1 million civil penalty and order to Owens-Brockway for air quality violations, including ongoing exceedances of the total particulate matter and opacity limits in the permit. In October 2021, DEQ signed an agreement with Owens-Brockway resolving the enforcement action and giving Owens-Brockway two options: install pollution controls or shut down.
In June 2022, Owens-Brockway notified DEQ of their intention to install pollution controls and submitted a Notice of Approval application, permit modification and associated materials. Their application proposes installation of a catalytic ceramic filter, to control particulate matter. In addition, the filter will control emissions of nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide.
In November 2022, DEQ issued Owens-Brockway's construction air quality permit to install its pollution controls. View the presentation from the public hearing. This started the 18-month timeline for Owens-Brockway to complete the installation of controls. Owens-Brockway reports monthly to DEQ on its progress towards installing the controls, and has completed the following milestones in the project since November 2022:
- February 2023: Execute a contract to install controls – DONE.
- September 2023: Complete construction drawings. – DONE.
- Jan. 30, 2024: Begin pollution control installation.
- June 30, 2024: Pollution controls fully installed.
Read the monthly progress reports from Owens-Brockway to DEQ:
In addition to installing controls, there are two other things Owens-Brockway has to do:
- Interim opacity limit. Until Owens-Brockway installs controls, the company will continue to be subject to an interim opacity limit. Opacity is a surrogate for PM, and the limit helps ensure that Owens-Brockway will operate the facility in a manner that reduces PM emissions until the company installs controls. Violations of the interim limit will result in a penalty of $18,000 per violation. In July 2023, DEQ issued a $213,600 penalty to Owens-Brockway under these provisions of the agreement. DEQ issued a $54,000 penalty in January 2024 for three violations of the interim opacity limit in June 2024.
- Supplemental environmental project. DEQ required Owens-Brockway to spend $529,404 of the penalty on one or more projects that will provide air quality benefits to the surrounding community. In March 2022, DEQ approved Owens-Brockway's application for a supplemental environmental project to contribute these funds to Friends of Trees for tree planting efforts in neighborhoods surrounding the facility. Owens-Brockway submitted a SEP progress report to DEQ in June 2023 and will submit its next report in June 2024. Learn more about supplemental environmental projects in general at DEQ's Supplemental Environmental Projects page.