KELLOGG AGREES TO RESOLVE CLEAN AIR ACT VIOLATIONS
AT ITS BATTLE CREEK AND GRAND RAPIDS FACILITIES
GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN – Kellogg USA, Inc., Keebler Company, and Kellogg Company (collectively, “Kellogg”) and the federal government have entered into a Consent Decree to resolve Clean Air Act violations that occurred at Kellogg manufacturing facilities in Battle Creek and Grand Rapids. Kellogg has agreed to pay a $500,000 penalty, to reduce its Volatile Organic Compound (“VOC”) permit levels at both facilities, and to perform a mitigation project to replace a cooling and dehumidifying system that uses the refrigerant R-22 with a chilled water system that does not use R-22, at an estimated cost in excess of $435,000.
The government alleges that in 1993 and 2002, Kellogg installed and began operating flavor-coating equipment on two cereal manufacturing lines at its Battle Creek facility, without first obtaining required permits. The equipment applies flavorings that contain VOCs that are emitted during the flavor-coating process, resulting in significant increases in Kellogg’s potential VOC emissions as well as increases in its actual emissions. In addition, at various times between 2005 and 2007, two boilers at Kellogg’s Battle Creek facility exceeded their permit levels for Nitrogen Oxide emissions. At the Grand Rapids facility, Kellogg operated without a required renewable operating permit for approximately seven years after it acquired the facility in 2001. It also failed to obtain permits relating to equipment and manufacturing changes it made in 2005 and 2007 at its Grand Rapids facility, resulting in increased VOC emissions.
High concentrations of VOCs (and other substances) contribute to ground-level ozone and smog. The refrigerant R-22 is an ozone-depleting hydrochlorofluorocarbon and a greenhouse gas. U.S. Attorney Patrick A. Miles said, “This agreement will result in a cleaner, healthier environment by ensuring accountability for permitting and emissions violations, by requiring Kellogg to adopt more stringent VOC emissions limits, and by establishing a mitigation project that will hasten reductions of ozone-depleting chemicals and greenhouse gas emissions.”
The U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency filed their Complaint and the proposed Consent Decree in the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan today. The Consent Decree is subject to a 30-day public comment period as well as court approval.
The Consent Decree was negotiated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District
of Michigan, the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice,
and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The case was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney
Ryan D. Cobb for the U.S. Attorney’s Office..