DUBLIN, Ga. — On Tuesday, Feb 19, Valmiera responded to our request for comment. They said:
Both of the emissions issues were discovered at the new facility’s first emission test, which was conducted on June 20, 2018. The results of the testing indicated that the plant’s glass furnace was emitting particulate matter and nitrogen oxides above its permit limits. Upon receiving the test results, and before being contacted by GA EPD regarding the results, Valmiera Glass worked quickly to identify and correct the issues.
Although the furnace is emitting slightly more than allowed by the current permit, the plant’s overall emissions are still below the amount allowed for the year (100 tons), and the furnace’s limit is being updated.
Valmiera Glass regrets that these issues have resulted in environmental violations, however minor they are, but recognizes that there is a learning curve involved in building an unusual type of manufacturing plant from the ground up. Our leadership believes that the learning curve is now complete, and no further issues will occur. The emissions will continue to be tested at least once per year according to the permit requirements and under the supervision of GA EPD. Valmiera Glass also wishes to stress that the additional emissions are quite small, are of common types that are not considered to be hazardous, and although there were minor violations for one individual emission source at the plant, the overall plant’s emissions were still below the amount allowed for the year.
The Georgia Environmental Protection Division plans to fine a Dublin company $7,053 over air quality violations.
An EPD enforcement order issued on January 30 says a glass melting furnace was putting too much particulate matter and Nitrous Oxide into the atmosphere.
The Environmental Protection Agency says excessive amounts of particulate matter in the atmosphere can cause breathing and heart problems. Nitrous Oxide is considered a green house gas.
The order says if the company doesn't correct the problem, it could face increasing fines in the future.
The company celebrated the grand opening of a major new manufacturing facility in Dublin in 2018.
Valmiera makes specialized products out of glass fibers. They can be used in building, insulation, as well as products where smoke and heat resistance are important.
So far, the company hasn't responded to a request for comment from WMAZ.