Mo. AG announces $2.25 million settlement with Teva Pharmaceuticals

By Bryan Cohen | Mar 15, 2013

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Legal Newsline) - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster announced a joint consent decree Thursday in federal court to resolve alleged environmental violations by Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, a pharmaceutical company that manufactures antibiotics in Missouri.

In December 2008, state and federal environmental officials observed a fluorescent green-colored discharge in the state's Salt River from a wastewater treatment plant in Audrain County. Officials traced the discharge to Teva's facility just outside of Mexico, Mo. The discharge caused discoloration to the Salt River for more than 22 miles to the Mark Twain Reservoir.

Officials inspected Teva's waste management practices and alleged violations of federal and state environmental laws that are meant to protect the water and air. Teva also allegedly violated hazardous waste management laws.

"Missourians have a right to expect local businesses to comply with environmental laws designed to protect the state's valuable water resources," Koster said. "Thanks to a joint effort by the Department of Natural Resources and the Environmental Protection Agency, these violations were promptly discovered and addressed by Teva. My office will continue to protect Missouri residents from those who try to shortcut laws designed to keep the public safe."

Under the terms of the settlement between the Environmental Protection Agency, Koster's office and Teva, Teva must visually observe its water discharge once a day, assess past violations, recommend actions to prevent a reoccurrence, ensure all hazardous waste containers are properly stored and labeled, and put an enhanced leak protection program into place. Teva must also undertake mitigation projects to reduce hazardous emissions and pay a $2.25 million civil penalty.

Half of the civil penalty will go toward the Audrain County School Fund. Teva will also pay the state $59,357 for attorney and court costs, $65,685 in hazardous waste fees and taxes, $26,000 for natural resource damages and $1,752 for air emission fees.

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