SEATTLE, WA— On December 11th, 2019 Puget Soundkeeper and Waste Action Project sent a Notice of Intent to Sue Letter to the glass manufacturer, Ardagh Glass Inc. formerly known as Saint Gobain Containers, operating in the South Seattle neighborhood of Georgetown.

Ardaugh Group is a Luxembourg-based producer of glass and metal products. As of 2012, the company operated 89 facilities in 22 countries and had approximately $8.5 billion in revenue. The Seattle glass plant is located on East Marginal Way in a Seattle neighborhood where health studies have shown Washington residents live sicker and die younger than people in other parts of Seattle due, in part, to high pollution emitted by manufacturers in the area.

From 2006 – 2016, Ardagh emitted some of the most toxic industrial air emissions by volume. EPA measures Ardagh as one of three low volume air polluters accounting for 90% of Seattle’s toxic air emissions. In October 2019, Puget Soundkeeper urged King County decision makers to consider Ardagh’s long history of air & water pollution problems, as well as non-compliance issues, in reviewing Ardagh’s lease renewal.

Puget Soundkeeper now intends to sue Ardagh Glass on behalf of Soundkeeper’s members and supporters under the Clean Water Act citizen suit provision. Regulated by the Industrial Stormwater General Permit (ISGP), Ardagh is required to meet federal and state requirements when discharging industrial stormwater to the Duwamish River. Soundkeeper has found Ardagh’s pollution violations to include:

  • Stormwater discharge evidence showing water quality standard violations for turbidity, copper, zinc, pH, and oil in the Duwamish River
  • Violations of effluent limits for total suspended solids (TSS) consistently and without improvement since 2015
  • Failure to apply required practices and technology to control pollutants
  • Failure to collect stormwater samples at all locations and for all periods required by permit
  • Failure to install stormwater treatment systems despite triggering permit requirements, which should have resulted in installing treatment every single year since 2014
  • Illegal discharge of fluids other than stormwater to the Duwamish River
  • Failure to notify agency of illegal discharges

“We won’t stand idly by while a major corporation ignores Washington’s pollution laws,” said Puget Soundkeeper’s Staff Attorney, Katelyn Kinn, “at a time when our salmon and orca are fighting to survive and when reports are showing the impacts of air & water pollution to the life expectancy of our community members, we must stand up to bad actors like Ardagh and tell them that they cannot offset their true cost of doing business onto the communities of South Seattle or the Duwamish River.”

Puget Soundkeeper is an environmental non-profit whose mission is to protect and preserve the waters of Puget Sound. Since 1984, Soundkeeper has filed over 200 legal actions and all funds from successful settlements go to restoring polluted waterways in the region through the Puget Sound Stewardship & Mitigation Fund.

Puget Soundkeeper and Waste Action Project will be represented in this matter by Katherine Brennan and Richard Smith at Smith & Lowney PLLC and Soundkeeper’s Staff Attorney Katelyn Kinn.

Notice of Intent to Sue Letter: Sent via US Mail Dec 11, 2019 to Ardagh, WA Dept of Ecology and US EPA

Media Contacts:
Katelyn Kinn, Staff Attorney, (206) 297-7002
Paulina Lopez, Executive Director, Duwamish River CleanUp Coalition/ TAG (206) 251-2038