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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

EPA Resolves Emission Violations of Nitrogen Dioxides by NJ Glass Manufacturer

Under a settlement announced today by the Department of Justice and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Durand Glass Manufacturing Company Inc. has agreed to install emissions controls on its three glass furnaces that will reduce more than 173 tons of nitrogen oxides (NO2) and 23 tons of particulate matter (PM) per year. Emissions of these pollutants can cause serious respiratory illnesses, aggravate asthma and contribute to the formation of ground level ozone or smog. Durand also installed monitoring systems that will allow it to continuously measure its NO2 emissions, and agreed to pay a $300,000 civil penalty to resolve violations of the Clean Air Act.

“This agreement includes the lowest limit for nitrogen oxide emissions in the glass industry, designed to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides by 90 percent,” said Ignacia S. Moreno, Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice. “Through this agreement, a significant source of harmful air pollution will be reduced at its source and serve as an example of how compliance with the nation’s environmental laws and employing the latest science and technology can result in long-term benefits for the public’s health and the environment.”

“This agreement will reduce nearly 200 tons of particulate matter and nitrogen oxides every year, as well as lower unhealthy levels of smog pollution,” said Judith A. Enck, EPA Regional Administrator. “Air pollution can make people sick, especially particle pollution that can penetrate deep into the lungs and pose serious health risks, including increasing the risk of cancer and aggravating the symptoms of asthma and other respiratory problems. Asthma affects 25 million people in the United States, including seven million children. This agreement is a step in the right direction for air quality.”

“I commend Durand Glass for working with the State to resolve these issues by proactively installing the emissions control equipment in advance of signing the settlement agreement,” said Bob Martin, Commissioner for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. “By taking these steps, the company is improving air quality in the Vineland area, at the same time protecting jobs that are important to the region’s economy.”

The complaint alleges that Durand constructed a new glass melting furnace at its facility in Millville, N.J., resulting in increased emissions of NOx and PM, without first obtaining pre-construction permits or installing the required pollution control equipment.

The consent decree requires Durand to operate the emissions controls to reduce NOx and PM pollution, including the first Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) device on a tableware glass furnace in the United States. The SCR pollution controls are designed to reduce Durand’s NOx emissions by at least 90 percent from previous levels, to 1.2 pounds of NOx per ton of glass produced on a 30-day average basis, and 1.0 pound of NOx per ton of glass produced on a long-term, 365-day average basis. Durand must also operate continuous emission rate monitoring systems that will allow it to monitor NOx emissions on an hourly basis and the company has already installed particulate filters to reduce its PM emissions. The pollution controls and monitoring systems are now fully operational.

The state of New Jersey was an active partner in the settlement.

Reducing air pollution from the largest sources of emissions, including glass manufacturing plants, is one of the EPA’s National Enforcement Initiatives for 2011-2013. NOx and PM, two key pollutants emitted from glass plants, have numerous adverse effects on human health. Reducing these harmful air pollutants will benefit the communities located near the facility, particularly those disproportionately impacted by environmental risks and vulnerable populations, including children.

The proposed consent decree, lodged in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval before becoming effective. A copy of the consent decree lodged today is available on the Department of Justice website at:

More about the settlement:
More information on EPA’s national enforcement initiative: