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Enforcement

Rocky Mountain Bottle Company, LLC Settlement

DENVER (June 30, 2017) -- The U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the State of Colorado announced a settlement with Rocky Mountain Bottle Company, LLC, that will improve air quality by strengthening air pollution controls and compliance with federal and state clean air laws at Rocky Mountain Bottle Company’s glass manufacturing facility in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, a western suburb of Denver, Colorado.   

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Overview of Company

Rocky Mountain Bottle Company, LLC is located in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, a western suburb of Denver, Colorado, and manufactures glass containers for the food and beverage industry.  

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Violations

The United States alleges in the complaint that Rocky Mountain Bottle Company conducted a furnace expansion project without first obtaining pre-construction permits and installing required pollution control equipment. This resulted in significant emissions increases of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulfur dioxide (SO2). The United States also alleges in the complaint that Rocky Mountain Bottle Company violated Title V of the Clean Air Act (CAA) by failing to submit an application that included all applicable requirements in Rocky Mountain Bottle Company’s Title V permit.

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Injunctive Relief

Rocky Mountain Bottle Company is required under this settlement to implement emissions controls to reduce emissions of NOx and SO2. The NOx and SO2 pollution controls must be fully operational by the end of March 2019. The Rocky Mountain Bottle Company will also need to continue to operate its existing continuous emission rate monitoring systems that will allow it to monitor NOx and SO2 emissions on an hourly basis. Specific emissions controls and limits include:

NOx Controls

The Rocky Mountain Bottle Company will convert two of its three furnaces to one oxy-fuel furnace. The third furnace at the facility already uses oxy-fuel combustion. Oxy-fuel combustion will significantly reduce NOx emissions. The use of oxy-fuel combustion is designed to reduce the Rocky Mountain Bottle Company’s NOx emissions by approximately 60 percent from previous levels, to 1.1 pounds of NOx per ton of glass produced on a 30-day rolling average basis.

SO2 Controls

The Rocky Mountain Bottle Company must route all emissions through a continuously operating scrubber system to reduce SO2 emissions by approximately 60 percent from prior amounts, to 0.8 pounds of SO2 per ton of glass produced on a 30-day rolling average basis. 

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Pollutant Impacts

EPA estimates that this settlement will result in the following emission reductions once all emission controls have been installed and implemented:

  • NOx   - 200 tons per year
  • SO2   - 150 tons per year

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Health Effects and Environmental Benefits

Nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide have adverse effects on human health and the environment.

  • Nitrogen Oxides – Nitrogen oxides can cause or contribute to a variety of health problems and adverse environmental impacts, such as ground-level ozone, acid rain, global warming, water quality deterioration, and visual impairment. Affected populations include children and people with lung diseases such as asthma. Exposure to these conditions can cause damage to lung tissue for people who work or exercise outside.
  • Sulfur Dioxide – High concentrations of sulfur dioxide 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, or acid rain.

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Civil Penalty

Rocky Mountain Bottle Company, LLC will pay a $475,000 civil penalty with half of the penalty going to the United States Treasury, and half of the penalty going to the State of Colorado, an active partner in the settlement.

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Comment Period

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

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For more information, contact:

Tahani Ann Rivers
Air Enforcement Division
U. S. Environmental Protection Agency
5 Post Office Square
Mail Code: OES04-3
Boston, MA 02109-3912
(617) 918-1299
rivers.tahani@epa.gov

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