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Yuengling to payout $10m over water pollution claims

Yuengling, the oldest brewing company in the US, has agreed to pay almost US$10 million to settle federal water pollution charges at two of its breweries in Pennsylvania.

Yuengling is the oldest brewery in the US, and one of the largest

While it has not admitted liability, Yuengling has agreed to spend approximately $7m to improve environmental measures at both breweries and pay a separate $2.8m penalty, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Justice confirmed yesterday.

The company had been accused of violating Clean Water Act by discharging industrial waste into the Greater Pottsville Area Sewer Authority municipal wastewater treatment plan numerous times between 2008 and 2015.

Under federal law, companies must obtain a permit and comply with limits on discharges of industrial waste that goes to public treatment facilities, which in many cases require “pretreatment” of waste before it is discharged.

“Yuengling is responsible for serious violations of its Clean Water Act pretreatment discharge limits, posing a potential risk to the Schuylkill River which provides drinking water to 1.5 million people,” said EPA regional administrator Shawn M. Garvin.

“This history of violations and failure to fully respond to orders from the Greater Pottsville Area Sewer Authority and EPA to correct the problems resulted in this enforcement action.”

In a statement, chief administrative officer Wendy Yuengling said the company took its environmental responsibilities seriously and was pleased to have settled the case.

Measures agreed by Yuengling to prevent future violations include designing and implementing an environmental management system for both breweries to ensure compliance with environmental laws; Conducting a series of environmental audits and inspections to ensure ongoing environmental compliance; and constructing a comprehensive pretreatment system at the Old Brewery. It will also pay a $2.8m fine.

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