Brewery Fined $2.8 Million for Clean Water Act Violations

Posted on 6/30/2016 by Roger Marks

In a June 23 press release, US EPA announced a consent decree between EPA, the US Department of Justice, and a beer brewer that operates two large-scale breweries in Pottsville, Pennsylvania. According to the press release, the brewer allegedly violated the Clean Water Act by discharging industrial waste to municipal publicly owned treatment works (POTWs). 

Clean Water Act Permit Compliance

When facilities discharge industrial wastewaters through a municipal system, typically the site’s Clean Water Act permit will require some form of pre-treatment. This is because municipal POTWs are not usually set up to handle all of the hazardous constituents in industrial wastes. Specifically, according to EPA, the brewery sites violated these pre-treatment permit requirements by discharging wastewater with too much biological oxygen demand (BOD), phosphorus, zinc, and more.

Water treatment POTW facility

To settle the alleged violations, the brewer will pay a $2.8 million civil penalty and implement an environmental management system (EMS) to achieve Clean Water Act compliance.
In addition to implementing the EMS, the company will conduct audits and inspections to ensure ongoing compliance, construct a pretreatment center at one of its breweries, hire two certified wastewater treatment operators, and take other steps.

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Tags: Act, Clean, EPA, fines and penalties, Water

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