Portland, OR—Today, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality signed an agreement with Owens-Brockway resolving the June 2021 enforcement action
. The agreement, officially called a Mutual Agreement and Final Order, gives Owens-Brockway two options: install pollution controls or shut down.
“As I said previously, the best thing Owens-Brockway could do to come into compliance and protect the community is to install pollution controls,” said Nina DeConcini, DEQ’s Northwest Region Administrator. “And if the facility decides to install pollution controls, this agreement requires they demonstrate that the controls achieve a 95% reduction in particulate matter emissions.”
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 a permit application to install pollution controls to DEQ. If the company chooses to continue operating past June 30, 2022, it must install the pollution controls within 18 months of DEQ’s approval of its application. During those 18 months Owens-Brockway must demonstrate progress toward the design, procurement and installation of controls.
• Interim opacity limit. Until controls are installed or the facility is shut down, Owens-Brockway will be subject to an interim opacity limit, in addition to the existing permit limits. Opacity is a surrogate for particulate matter, and the interim limit holds Owens-Brockway accountable for reducing particulate matter emissions until controls are installed. Violations of the interim opacity limit will result in a penalty of $18,000 per violation.
• Supplemental environmental project. DEQ is requiring that Owens-Brockway spend $529,404 of its penalty amount on a project that will provide air quality benefits to the surrounding community. Learn more about supplemental environmental projects at https://ordeq.org/sep.
“This settlement represents a victory for public health and air quality,” said Kieran O’Donnell, manager of DEQ’s Office of Compliance and Enforcement. “By requiring pollution controls, an interim opacity limit and over a half million dollar investment in the community, this settlement begins to redress the negative environmental impacts from the facility’s non-compliance. It sends a message that DEQ holds violators accountable.”
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. DEQ is still in the process of reopening the facility’s permit, evaluating its Cleaner Air Oregon Risk Assessment, and implementing Regional Haze requirements. More information is available on the Owens-Brockway webpage
Read the full Mutual Agreement and Order
Media Contact: Lauren Wirtis, Public Affairs Specialist, 503-568-3295, firstname.lastname@example.org