Crown Cork & Seal agrees to fines for repeated air quality violations

Largest fine in the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency’s history


Beverage can manufacturer Crown Cork & Seal Company (Crown) agreed to pay $1,945,305 as penalties due to its violations of air quality regulations, according to news from the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency (ORCAA).

ORCAA, which enforces air quality regulations in Thurston and nearby counties, imposed the fine, which it noted was the largest penalty yet to be collected by the agency, resulting from various violation notices, which individually carried fines ranging from $18,000 to $744,000.

ORCAA issued a series of notices starting in February 2021 for violations as Crown expanded its facility before securing permits.

"Crown did not wait for ORCAA approval before beginning construction on the plant expansion project," according to Jeff Johnston, ORCAA's executive director, who added, "In addition, once completed, Crown failed to operate the air pollution control devices as specified in their permits."

The agency issued nine notices of violations for nearly three years starting in January 2021 when it was discovered that emissions from the company’s facility in Fones Road, Olympia, exceeded the permissible limit for air pollutants. 

"This marks the largest penalty ever collected by ORCAA," ORCAA said in a news release.

The Olympia outlet of the international manufacturing company had used a can-coating material, which resulted in additional emissions, and also bypassed emission control equipment as it operated its assembly line, allowing formaldehyde emissions to exceed the limits.

According to the news release, Crown has addressed the issues to ORCAA’s satisfaction and brought its facility to full compliance with the requirements. 

The facility's expansion also led to new air permitting requirements, which helped decrease the facility’s emissions.

Reached by The JOLT, the company refused to comment. 


6 comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here

  • KentReister

    Besides the chemical pollution, their can decoration machine is so loud it can be heard as a dull whine for miles around.

    Wednesday, February 28 Report this

  • LauratheBruce

    Almost $2mil. Where does that money go? Who does it benefit? Are they going to clean the air with it? or perhaps use it for some other pollution? Please let us know.

    Thursday, February 29 Report this

  • Boatyarddog


    Some of the fine pays Legal Fees to Attorneys.

    Other parts go to Monitoring ect.

    An example is in 2018 the Port of Olympia paid a Settlement to The State for Water Pollution in the amount of 1.3 Million.

    700,000+ went to Legal expenses 600,000 went to enviromental Pollution Watchdogs.

    Thursday, February 29 Report this


    Our manufactured home community of Colonial Estates is adjacent to Crown Cork & Seal. The article on 2/28 speaks to the penalties that this company must pay for violating the air quality standards. It would also be very important to know what are the health risks associated with these air quality violations to an adjacent community such as ours. That would be the point of having air quality standards would it not? Do you have any information about this or know how we could find out?

    Friday, March 1 Report this

  • Boatyarddog


    The fines imposed are for NOT using equiptment in accordance with permitted requirements

    This would be the starting point at which one would ask the air quality board what happened and during what period.

    Lawsuits need factual information.

    Friday, March 1 Report this

  • Fedupwithit

    Being someone with firsthand knowledge of all the great things this company does for this community this fine is simply the result of Crown moving on because sometimes it’s easier to do just that. The political landscape in Washington is a joke and it’s driving all the good jobs out of state. Hopefully that doesn’t happen here. If I were you I’d worry more about all the genetically engineered crap in your food and water that you consume everyday instead of something as trivial as car exhaust.

    Friday, March 8 Report this