The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has issued a $26,400 penalty to Owens-Brockway Glass Container Inc. for exceeding the limit on visible emissions from its glass manufacturing plant. According to the DEQ, the company’s glass making plant in Portland exceeded the limit three times over the past two years.
The violations of the visible emissions standard (opacity limit) occurred when emissions were released from the plant’s glass melting furnaces.
According to the DEQ, exceeding the opacity limit is a violation of the facility’s Title V air quality permit and indicates “excessive particulate matter emissions.” Particulate matter in the air can contribute to health problems including decreased lung function, irregular heartbeat and chronic bronchitis.
In assessing the penalty, DEQ says it considered Owens-Brockway’s similar violations in 2004, 2010 and 2011 at the same facility. Owens-Brockway had paid a total of $23,200 to settle previous penalties. In 2011, DEQ issued an order requiring the company to develop and implement a plan to eliminate excess opacity at the plant. The company has implemented the plan but it has not prevented additional opacity violations, according to the DEQ.