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EPA settles clean air case with Silgan Containers

Release Date: 10/16/2003
Contact Information: Lisa Fasano (415) 947-4307

    SAN FRANCISCO -- Yesterday the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a settlement with Silgan Containers Corp. to reduce emissions at six of its San Joaquin Valley plants by as much as 118 tons per year at an estimated cost to the company of $1.57 million.

    The company also agrees to pay a fine of  $659,900 for alleged violations of the federal Clean Air Act.

     In 1998, Silgan began to evaluate compliance with the Clean Air Act and New Source Review requirements for 38 of its facilities in the United States.  As part of the audit, the company opted to disclose its own findings to the EPA.  The six Silgan facilities included in this settlement include Stockton, Kingsburg, Riverbank and three Modesto facilities.

    "Silgan's commitment to reduce emissions is a step in the right direction for valley air," said Jack Broadbent, the EPA's Air Division Director for the Pacific Southwest region.  "Improving air quality will require compliance from all valley industries with Clean Air Act rules and regulations."

    Silgan Containers manufactures cans in the San Joaquin Valley that emit volatile organic compound   or VOCs   emissions.  VOCs contribute to ozone, or smog, formation.  The San Joaquin Valley ranks second to the Los Angeles area as the smoggiest area in the country and, according to preliminary data from the California Air Resources Board, exceeded the one-hour federal health standard 37 times during this year, as of Oct. 13.

     VOC emission reductions from Silgan's facilities will be achieved by converting from solvent to water-based coatings, improving the amount of pollutants captured that are routed into a control device, and converting to powder coatings on one line currently using solvent-based coatings.  Silgan has also agreed to air permit restrictions to limit VOC emissions from several of its facilities.  The alleged violations relate to the installation of new equipment or modification of existing equipment without complying with New Source Review permitting requirements.

    Founded in 1987, Silgan has become one of the largest consumer goods packaging companies in the United States.  It manufactures metal food containers and plastic containers that are used for products such as: Campbell's Soup, Del Monte Fruits and Vegetables, Listerine and Friskies Pet Food.
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