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Anchor Glass Container Corporation Clean Air Act Settlement

(Washington, DC - August 3, 2018) - 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.

Overview of Company

Anchor Glass Container Corporation is headquartered in Tampa, Florida. Anchor is one of a handful of large container glass manufacturing companies in the United States.  Anchor’s facilities manufacture beer bottles, liquor bottles, other beverage bottles, jars and other glass containers. 

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The settlement resolves claims that Anchor failed to obtain pre-construction permits and install and operate the appropriate nitrogen oxide (NOX), sulfur dioxide (SO2) and particulate matter (PM) control technology for major modifications at one or more of its glass manufacturing plants, resulting in significant emissions increases. The changes violated requirements contained in Section 165(a) of the Clean Air Act, regulations set forth in 40 C.F.R. § 52.21 and corresponding state regulations in state implementation plans (SIPs). 

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Injunctive Relief

Under this settlement, Anchor will convert six of its furnaces to oxyfuel furnaces, in addition to the two furnaces it has already converted to oxyfuel, and will meet NOx emission limits at these eight furnaces that are consistent with or better than the current best available control technology (BACT) at each kiln. For the company’s three remaining furnaces, Anchor will install oxygen enriched air staging (OEAS) and meet tightened emissions limits.  

To control for SO2, Anchor has agreed to install dry or semi-dry scrubber systems on two furnaces, and to meet enforceable SO2 emission limits on those furnaces of 0.70 pounds of SO2 per ton of glass pulled, which is the most stringent SO2 BACT limit at any glass furnace to date. The remaining furnaces are required to achieve batch optimization and meet enforceable emissions limits. 

To address PM, Anchor will install two new electrostatic precipitators (ESPs) to control PM emissions. All furnaces will also be subject to final emission limits, and will be required to comply with New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) requirements. 

Anchor will also install NOx and SO2 continuous emissions monitoring systems (CEMS) at all furnaces, and will install PM continuous opacity monitoring systems (COMS) at all furnaces subject to a COMS requirement under NSPS. 

Additionally, Anchor will spend $600,000 in mitigation dollars on a wood burning appliance change-out project and a diesel engine repower/retrofit/replacement project, further reducing NOx, SO2 and PM emissions.

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Pollutant Impacts

This settlement is part of EPA’s National Enforcement Initiative to control harmful emissions from large sources of pollution, which includes glass manufacturing plants, under the Clean Air Act’s New Source Review requirements. The total NOX emission reductions from the settlement are over 2,000 tons per year. The settlement will also reduce SO2 emissions by over 700 tons per year and PM emissions by over 100 tons per year. 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.

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Health and Environmental Benefits

NOx, SO2 and PM all have adverse effects on human health and the environment, as discussed below:

  • Nitrogen Oxides – NOx can cause or contribute to a variety of health problems and adverse environmental impacts such as visual impairment, water quality deterioration, ground-level ozone, acid rain and global warming. Affected populations include children, people with lung diseases such as asthma and people who work or exercise outside.
  • Sulfur Dioxide – High concentrations of SO2 can affect breathing and may aggravate existing respiratory and cardiovascular disease. Sensitive populations include asthmatics, individuals with bronchitis or emphysema, children and the elderly. SO2 is also a primary contributor to acid deposition and visibility impairment.
  • Particulate Matter – Particulate matter (PM), especially the fine particles, can travel deep into a person’s lungs causing coughing, decreased lung function, chronic bronchitis and even death. Sensitive populations include the elderly, children and people with pre-existing heart or lung disease. Particulate matter also contributes to haze which can affect visibility, and causes outdoor monuments and structures to become dirty.

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Civil Penalty

Anchor will pay a civil penalty of $1,100,000, to be divided between the United States and the two state signatories under the consent decree, Indiana and Oklahoma.

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Comment Period

The proposed settlement, lodged in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval.  Information on submitting comment is available at the Department of Justice.

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For more information, contact:

Sara Froikin
Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance
U. S. Environmental Protection Agency
290 Broadway
New York, NY 10007

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