Guardian Settles With EPA Over Pollution Allegations

September 29th, 2015 by Editor

Guardian Industries Corp. has reached a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Air Act at the company’s flat-glass manufacturing facilities throughout the United States. Guardian will also pay a fine of $312,000. It’s the EPA’s first settlement involving the flat-glass manufacturing sector.

Under the proposed settlement, Guardian will spend more than $70 million to control emissions of nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter and sulfuric acid mist at its flat-glass manufacturing facilities. Guardian will also fund an environmental mitigation project valued at $150,000 to reduce particulate matter pollution in California’s San Joaquin Valley.

Guardian’s flat-glass manufacturing facilities are located in Kingsburg, Calif., DeWitt, Iowa, Carleton, Mich., Geneva, N.Y., Floreffe, Pa., Richburg, S.C., and Corsicana, Texas.

“Guardian is pleased to have reached a mutually beneficial agreement with the EPA,” said Guardian president Kevin Baird in a statement. “Guardian was proactive by initiating discussions with the EPA, and this Consent Decree ensures compliance at our float glass manufacturing facilities through best available control technologies, while providing reasonable operational flexibility. This agreement is aligned with Guardian’s vision to create value for our customers and the communities in which we operate. That vision includes the commitment to maintaining safe, environmentally sound operations. We are pleased to be the first float glass company to sign such an agreement with the EPA under this initiative and we have already begun the process of upgrading our facilities in the United States.”

The proposed settlement was filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit and is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval.

“Air pollution from flat glass facilities can impact communities hundreds of miles away, which is why today’s announcement is so crucial to address pollution at the source and protect public health,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “By investing in pollution control equipment and funding a mitigation project that will protect the health of low-income residents, Guardian is setting an example for the flat glass industry for how to control harmful air emissions at its facilities.”
The settlement resolves allegations that Guardian violated the Clean Air Act and state air pollution control plans when it made major modifications to its flat-glass furnaces that the EPA says significantly increased harmful air emissions.

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