Conn. AG praises approval of plea agreement with Unilever

By Bryan Cohen | Dec 6, 2013

HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) -- Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen on Thursday praised the approval of a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorneys' Office and Conopco Inc. over the state's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

Under the terms of the agreement, Conopco, which is better known as Unilever, must provide $2.5 million in funding for the new Institute for Community Resiliency and Climate Adaptation at the University of Connecticut.

Jepsen also announced a settlement with Unilever to resolve allegations the company violated its DEEP wastewater discharge permit by discharging thousands of gallons of untreated wastewater.

"The state's settlement includes $100,000 in civil penalties, to be satisfied by payment of the supplemental environmental project funds specified under the company's plea agreement with the U.S. attorneys' office," the attorney general said.

"In addition to the $2.5 million for the Connecticut Resiliency and Climate Adaptation Center, $500,000 will fund various environmentally beneficial projects in the town of Clinton and $500,000 will be used to design and construct a fishway at the Chapman Mill Pond in Clinton."

The settlement with the state requires Unilever to put a plan in place for the cleanup of its former industrial site in Clinton and requires the company to comply with water pollution regulations at the site.

"This injunction will ensure that Unilever complies with state environmental law in cleaning up its former industrial site in Clinton," Jepsen said. "Individuals or businesses that violate our laws may endanger public health and safety and the environment. Violations of this nature are not acceptable.

"I'm pleased that this agreement will require Unilever to safely close its facility and to fund various environmentally beneficial projects that will promote smart growth, energy efficiency and brownfield redevelopment."

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