Hydro Remelter in Oregon Resolves Air Quality Concerns

Sample article from our Sustainability & Social Responsibility

January 11, 2024 (press release) –

In August 2022, after a several year investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as lengthy discussions to resolve that investigation, Hydro Extrusion USA, LLC entered into a plea agreement admitting to violating the U.S. Clean Air Act. More specifically, Hydro agreed to plead guilty to one misdemeanor count of “negligent endangerment” under the Clean Air Act for melting certain aluminum scrap from July 2018 to June 2019 that contained mineral oil on it and therefore was not considered “clean” scrap in violation of the Clean Air Act and The Dalles Facility’s air permit.

On December 11, 2023, a U.S. federal district court formally sentenced Hydro to an agreed-upon criminal fine of USD 550,000 for the Clean Air Act violations.

In connection with the criminal resolution, Norsk Hydro ASA and Hydro Extrusion USA, LLC have also entered into a three-year administrative agreement with the EPA. This agreement resolves the potential suspension and/or debarment of Hydro from U.S. government contracting. Hydro has already taken steps designed to ensure compliance with the agreement. Hydro’s facility in The Dalles was previously the subject of a 2019 investigation by the U.S. state of Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) into air and water permit violations. The company resolved this civil case in 2021 through a fine of approximately USD 765,000.

Since learning of these concerns, Hydro has cooperated with ODEQ and EPA to improve the monitoring, operating, and recordkeeping efforts of The Dalles facility in support the site’s Clean Air Act Title V permit and other relevant environmental regulations. In addition, Hydro has invested approximately USD 36 million to upgrade the facility with a new casting line, natural gas melting furnace, and state of the art emissions control system. Following the completion of these investments, the site’s air quality permit was updated in December 2023, allowing the facility to process a broad range of aluminum scrap.

Hydro is committed to the continuous improvement of its operations at The Dalles and full environmental compliance across its global businesses.

About Hydro Extrusions

Part of the Norway-based Hydro group, Hydro Extrusions is a world-leading aluminum extrusion business counting around 100 production sites in 40 countries and employing 21,000 people. Through our unique combination of local expertise, global network, and unmatched R&D capabilities, we can offer everything from standard profiles, to advanced development and manufacturing for most industries.

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