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Oshkosh Company Settles State Lawsuit Over Air Pollution Violations For $120,000


OSHKOSH - Bemis Company, Inc., which owns and operates two flexible packaging manufacturing facilities on Badger Avenue in Oshkosh, has agreed to pay $120,000 to settle state claims under Wisconsin's air pollution laws.  The judgment resolves charges that Bemis failed to properly monitor and control air emissions at its Oshkosh facilities from 2004 to April 2008.


The Bemis facilities emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from 26 machines.  Under Wisconsin law, Bemis is required to obtain and follow a permit that controls the emissions of VOCs from the facility.  The complaint charges that Bemis operated in violation of its permit by failing to undertake inspections and repairs and to keep accurate and complete records, and by failing to maintain overall control efficiency for one press and to achieve capture efficiency for another press.


According to the complaint, Bemis self-reported all of the violations, and upon verification by the Department of Natural Resources promptly took steps to correct the violations and to go beyond compliance by upgrading its internal operations and retaining a consultant to perform an environmental audit.


"Bemis self-reported the violations and took prompt and complete steps to ensure future compliance with permit requirements designed to protect the public from harmful air emissions," said Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen. "The DOJ will continue to work with the DNR to ensure that Wisconsin's citizens and natural resources are protected through compliance with the law."


Assistant Attorney General JoAnne F. Kloppenburg prosecuted the case.  Winnebago County Circuit Court Judge William Carver approved the settlement.