Source: Dow Jones News Service, March 14, 2013
Posted on: http://envfpn.advisen.com
Generic-drug maker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (TEVA, TEVA.TV) will pay $2.25 million to settle allegations its plant in Missouri broke environmental laws over a period of years, including by releasing pollutants that discolored part of a nearby river, the U.S. Justice Department said.
The Israel-based company was accused of violating federal clean-air and clean-water laws and hazardous waste laws at its facility in the city of Mexico, Missouri, officials said.
A representative from Teva, which is the world’s biggest manufacturer of generic drugs, wasn’t immediately available for comment.
In 2007, inspectors from the Environmental Protection Agency found that Teva’s facility was discharging pollutants above permitted levels, overwhelming the city’s ability to treat its domestic sewage, officials said. In 2008, the company was found to be releasing a green effluent that changed the color of the Salt River in late 2008.
Teva also failed to control its air pollution emissions from its wastewater in 2007, the Justice Department said.
And in 2009, state regulators found that the company failed to identify hazardous waste, illegally stored it, and offered it for transport without proper documentation.
“With numerous violations over a period of years, Teva’s actions resulted in significant environmental damage to the air and water,” said Karl Brooks, administrator of EPA Region 7.
Half of Teva’s penalty will be paid to the U.S. Treasury, while the other half will be paid to the state of Missouri.
The company has also agreed to take other actions valued at around $2.5 million, including installing equipment to reuse around 59.5 tons of methylene chloride and reduce its other emissions.
Teva has benefited from surging growth in recent years as patents expire on many high-demand pharmaceuticals.
Growing competition has pressured many generic drug makers’ margins, and Teva’s fourth-quarter earnings fell 37% to $ 320 million, amid weaker sales of generic drugs and lower overall sales in the key U.S. market.
Shares closed at $41.06 on Thursday and were unchanged after hours. The stock is up 10% since the start of the year.