EPA fines Portland, Oregon glass company $39k for violating toxic chemical reporting rules
Owens-Brockway Glass failed to report chromium used in glassmaking
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has penalized Owens-Brockway Glass Container, Inc. $38,900 for violating the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act when it failed to report information about toxic chromium compounds at its Portland facility.
Owens-Brockway Glass Container uses iron chromite to make green glass at the facility. When super-heated in a furnace, iron chromite produces new chromium compounds which are then incorporated into green glass bottles.
Under TRI, facilities that store, process, or manufacture certain toxic chemicals above threshold amounts must file annual reports of their chemical releases and transfers with EPA and appropriate state agency. In this case, EPA found that in 2017 and 2018 Owens-Brockway Glass Container failed to file required reports indicating it manufactured and processed chromium compounds in quantities that exceeded the threshold reporting amounts of 25,000 pounds.
The information in the reports serves as the basis of the Toxics Release Inventory, a national database that can be reviewed by communities, government, and industry. Because Owens-Brockway Glass Container’s TRI forms were not submitted in a timely manner, the information for these chemicals was not available to the public.
EPA targeted the Owens Brockway facility for inspections due in large part to its location within an economically disadvantaged community. EPA is strengthening enforcement in such communities to address disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of industrial operations on minority and low-income populations.