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Proposed EPA rule change a threat to Blenko Glass

Herald-Dispatch photo by Sholten Singer Mark Davis works a glass bowl into form on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016, at Blenko Glass in Milton.
Herald-Dispatch photo by Sholten Singer
Mark Davis works a glass bowl into form on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016, at Blenko Glass in Milton.

MILTON, W.Va. — After a recent tour of Blenko Glass in Milton, U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va.) says a proposed rule change by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could possibly shut down the glass manufacturing company.

“We received a call a few months ago from Blenko Glass telling us that they had received a letter from the EPA asking for a long list of information, documents, production and data regarding their operations at Blenko Glass because the EPA is thinking about proposing new rules to change an existing rule relating to glass manufacturing,” Jenkins said.

In September 2007, the EPA proposed rules to curb emissions from the nation’s glass factories.

 The rules the agency published for public comment were simple: Make over 50 tons of glass a year and use one of six hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) – arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, manganese or nickel – in your raw materials, and the EPA would require filters to limit those poisons to 0.02 pounds of fugitive emissions per ton of glass produced.

Currently, Blenko Glass manufactures more than 50 tons of glass each year, but it does not have “continuous” furnace operations. Blenko Glass uses intermittent furnaces “periodically” that are exempt from a federal rule designed to limit toxic air pollution. Under current rules, only furnaces that make glass without interruption, 24 hours a day and seven days a week, must follow the rule.

“The EPA is looking at deleting the intermittent furnace exemption…

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