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Image of the Virginia AG Seal

Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

Mark Herring
Attorney General

202 North Ninth Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219

 

For media inquiries only, contact:  
Charlotte Gomer, Press Secretary
Phone: (804)786-1022 
Mobile: (804) 512-2552
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

ATTORNEY GENERAL HERRING AND DEQ REACH SETTLEMENT WITH RUBBERMAID

~ Rubbermaid to pay $184,500 as part of the settlement resolving violations of the Virginia Air Pollution Control Law ~

RICHMOND(September 25, 2019) – Attorney General Mark R. Herring and Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) today announced a settlement has been reached with Rubbermaid over violations of the Virginia Air Pollution Control Law and the applicable permits and regulations. As part of the settlement, Rubbermaid will pay $184,500 in civil penalties for past violations and will be subject to stipulated penalties should it commit violations in the future.

 

“Rubbermaid knowingly and blatantly constructed and operated these machines without the proper permits, even after they had been notified by DEQ multiple times of their violations,” said Attorney General Herring. “Machines like these can have serious negative impacts on the air and the environment around them if they are not properly permitted and regulated. I hope this sends a message to other similar companies that Virginia will not tolerate the unpermitted construction and operation of machines that could potentially harm the environment.”

 

“DEQ ensures that regulated facilities in Virginia adhere to regulations, which is why we notified the Office of the Attorney General about these repeated violations,” said DEQ Director David Paylor. “Regulations are established to protect the environment and the public health and we expect all facilities to comply in order to protect our communities.”    



Between February 2016 and July 2018, Rubbermaid failed to get permits prior to installing and operating machines including a bake-off oven, powder coating equipment and a laser cutter. During this time, DEQ issued multiple warnings and two Notices of Violation to the company, but Rubbermaid continued to operate unpermitted equipment even while it was in middle of the permitting process. Additionally, Rubbermaid misled DEQ about the machines they were operating and the timeline in which the machines were installed and in use.

 

According to the terms of the settlement, Rubbermaid is to:

  • Pay a civil charge of $184,500
  • Pay stipulated penalties for:
  • Construction/modification/reconstruction at a Rubbermaid Virginia manufacturing facility or portion of a facility without required air permit coverage;
  • Failure to provide notification of equipment installation or startup required pursuant to any permit issued pursuant to the Virginia Air Pollution Control Law and the Regulations at any Rubbermaid Virginia manufacturing facility;
  • Failure to comply with the corrective action plan; and
  • Failure to comply with the terms of the consent order.
  • Undertake a corrective action plan that requires:
  • Rubbermaid to conduct a “Comprehensive Environmental Compliance Evaluation addressing Environmental Requirements and Rubbermaid’s process, measures, or other means for ensuring compliance with Environmental Requirements . . .”;
  • An evaluation to “be conducted by an independent auditor who shall evaluate each Virginia Rubbermaid manufacturing facility ;
  • Rubbermaid to identify all applicable environmental requirements applicable to the Facility and to comply with them, including delineating clearly who is responsible for compliance, having in place mechanisms for assessing compliance; and
  • Rubbermaid to submit quarterly reports “regarding the progress of the environmental evaluation”.

 

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