Conservationists Sue San Joaquin Valley Glass Manufacturer for Violations of the Clean Air Act

On Wednesday, the San Joaquin Raptor/Wildlife Rescue Center (SJR), Central Valley Safe Environment Network (CVSEN) and Protect Our Water (POW) filed a complaint in the Eastern District of California against Ardagh Glass Inc. and Ardagh Group S.A. alleging violations of the Clean Air Act. 

According to the complaint, SJR is a California non-profit corporation, and CVSEN and POW are non-profit associations sponsored by SJR. The complaint states the plaintiffs’ organizational purposes are protecting and preserving wildlife habitats and the environment including combating pollution of the air and waterways in the San Joaquin Valley. 

The complaint further states that Ardagh Glass Inc. is a Delaware corporation that operates a glass manufacturing facility in the San Joaquin Valley and is a fully-owned subsidiary of Ardagh Group S.A.. Additionally, the complaint purports that Ardagh’s facility is under the jurisdiction of the San Joaquin Valley Air District. 

The complaint alleges that the defendants have received a renewed permit from the Air District to operate the facility’s glass melting permit. According to the plaintiffs, the permit granted by the Air District requires the facility to adhere to emission and other requirements of the Clean Air Act and is authorized under the Clean Air Act’s authority.  

The plaintiffs allege that the defendants have exceeded the permit’s emission limit at least 359 times over the last five years. Further, the plaintiffs allege that the defendants have not properly operated and maintained continuous emissions monitoring systems in accordance with the facility’s permit. Additionally, the complaint states that the defendants have failed to comply with additional reporting, testing and monitoring requirements under the facility’s permit. 

The plaintiffs argue that the defendants’ violations of the facility’s permit and the Clean Air Act have injured the plaintiffs’ members’ health-related, aesthetic, recreational, environmental and economic interests. Specifically, the plaintiffs argue that the defendants’ actions will cause the plaintiffs’ members to breathe polluted air that may cause negative health effects, will prevent them from viewing and enjoying natural scenery, wildlife and a sky that is unimpaired by pollution and protecting the natural ecology, including raptors and other wildlife of the region from air pollution-related impacts. 

Accordingly, the plaintiffs bring the present suit seeking declaratory and injunctive relief, civil penalties of $51,796 per day for each violation, attorney’s fees and costs for the defendants’ alleged violations of its Air District permit and the Clean Air Act. 

The plaintiffs are represented by Aqua Terra Aeris Law Group.