Current Status: DEQ signed an agreement with Owens-Brockway resolving the enforcement action described below. The agreement gives Owens-Brockway two options: install pollution controls or shut down. In March 2022, DEQ approved Owens-Brockway's application for a supplemental environmental project to contribute $529,404 to Friends of Trees for tree planting efforts. DEQ incorporated this into Owens-Brockway’s agreement with DEQ. The project would pay to plant trees in the Sumner neighborhood, where the facility is located, as well in the adjacent neighborhoods of Cully, Parkrose, Argay and Wilkes, and within the nearby Columbia Slough Watershed in northeast Portland.
Background: On June 3, 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.
On Oct. 22, 2021, DEQ signed an agreement with Owens-Brockway resolving the enforcement action and giving Owens-Brockway two options: install pollution controls or shut down.
There are three main components to the agreement: deadlines, an interim opacity limit and a supplemental environmental project.
- Deadlines. By June 30 2022, Owens-Brockway must either shut down or submit to DEQ a permit application to install pollution controls. The controls must reduce particulate matter, or PM, emissions by 95% and ensure compliance with applicable PM limits. Within 18 months of DEQ's approval of that application, Owens-Brockway must complete installation of the controls.
- Interim opacity limit. Until Owens-Brockway shuts down or installs controls, the company will 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.
- Supplemental environmental project. DEQ is requiring Owens-Brockway to spend $529,404 of the penalty on one or more projects that will provide air quality benefits to the surrounding community. Learn more about supplemental environmental projects at https://ordeq.org/sep.
The total settled civil penalty is $661,756 from the original $1 million. The penalty reduction, as compared to the penalty assessed in DEQ's June 2021 notice of civil penalty assessment and order, is primarily due to Owens-Brockway's commitment to install controls.