Indiana will receive $275,000 as its part of a $1.1 million civil penalty against Anchor Glass Container Corp. for emitting harmful pollutants in violation of the Clean Air Act.
The U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a proposed settlement agreement Monday with Anchor Glass to improve compliance at its glass manufacturing facilities in six states, including a manufacturing plant in Lawrenceburg, Indiana.
As part of the agreement, the company will install pollution controls to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and particulate matter. It will also implement two environmental mitigation projects at a total cost of at least $600,000. The wood burning appliance change-out project will replace or retrofit inefficient higher-polluting wood-burning appliances in homes and non-residential buildings in select counties in Minnesota, and the clean diesel project will retrofit, replace or repower buses and other higher-polluting diesel vehicles or equipment in Jacksonville, Florida.
In addition, Anchor will pay $1.1 million as a civil penalty. The sum will be divided, with the United States receiving $550,000 and Indiana and Oklahoma receiving $275,000 each.
“Under the terms of today’s settlement, Anchor Class Container Corporation will take steps to reduce harmful air emissions from its facilities,” said Susan Bodine, EPA’s assistant administrator of the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “The resulting pollution reductions will mean cleaner and clearer air for communities in six states.”
The proposed settlement, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Jacksonville Division, is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval. Information for making a comment is available here.
According to the complaint, Anchor modified its glass manufacturing furnaces or changed the method of operating the furnace without obtaining air permits or installing equipment to control emissions. At the facility in Lawrenceburg, which is home to one container glass production furnace, a larger ejector fan was installed in Furnace 2 in 2002.
The modifications brought significant net emissions increases in nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and particulate matter. These pollutants can cause respiratory problems in children and adults, especially in people with pre-existing heart or lung disease, and can contaminate the environment, having adverse impacts on air and water quality as well as global warming.
The agreement establishes a schedule for compliance at each of Anchor’s plants.
In Lawrenceburg, the plant, located at 200 W. Belleview Drive, will have to install nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide monitoring systems within one year from the time the court grants the consent decree. It will also have to employ the batch optimization method at the time the court grants the consent decree to reduce the sulfur dioxide and particulate matter emissions.
To further reduce nitrogen oxide emissions, the agreement also calls for Anchor to install new oxyfuel furnaces, cleaner burning machines, at its facilities. The Lawrenceburg plant would have to have the equipment by July 31, 2020. However, instead of the oxyfuel furnace, the company does have the option of installing and continuously operating a selective catalytic reduction device which would break down nitrogen oxide into nitrogen and water.
“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.”