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EPA Acting Regional Administrator Callahan Honors Environmental Performance Track Member in Puerto Rico

Release Date: 12/07/2004
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(#04179) VEGA BAJA, Puerto Rico -- Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, LLC of Vega Baja, Puerto Rico has been accepted in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) National Environmental Performance Track program. The company is one of more than 300 facilities that are part of EPA's leading voluntary program for facilities that consistently exceed regulatory requirements, work closely with their communities and commit to continued improved environmental performance.

"Performance Track is about protecting the environment, and honoring environmental performers who are committed to environmentally sound practices that will protect public health and the health of our nation's land, air and water," said EPA Acting Regional Administrator, Kathleen C. Callahan. "Pfizer Pharmaceuticals Vega Baja is committed to going beyond environmental protection to act as an environmental steward for the other facilities in Puerto Rico."

The Pfizer Pharmaceuticals Vega Baja facility manufactures, packages and distributes prescription pharmaceuticals and consumer healthcare tablets. The facility employs more than 1000 people and is the largest employer in Vega Baja. Pfizer Vega Baja has been recognized for environmental achievements in the past. One notable achievement has been the company's use of 100% of the effluent from its wastewater treatment facility to run cooling towers and other utilities. This outstanding accomplishment was recognized by The American Water Works Association, and the Water Federation honored Pfizer Vega Baja in a ceremony.

"We decided to participate in Performance Track because it's the right thing to do. We have a responsibility to our neighbors, consumers and children to protect the environment and their health," said John Kelly, Senior Facility Manager, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals Vega Baja. "Performance Track serves as a helpful guide in this effort and recognizes our achievements."

Pfizer Vega Baja will continue to take action through its four Performance Track commitments. The commitments focus on reducing environmental impacts at the facility and lowering nitrogen oxide emissions by 30 tons, bringing emissions well below its 98 ton per year permit limit. In addition, by shutting down an air cooled chiller located several hundred feet from a residential area, they will eliminate noise pollution from the unit. Pfizer Vega Baja will also reduce volatile organic compounds, by decreasing the use of isopropanol for cleaning, disinfecting and polishing. Lastly, the facility has committed to lowering its generation of non-hazardous solid waste by recycling and reusing 22.5 tons of waste that was previously sent to landfills.

Pfizer is one of 15 facility members of Performance Track in Puerto Rico and one of 44 members in EPA Region 2. Members in Puerto Rico include:

Members of Performance Track benefit from regulatory flexibility, positive public recognition and reduced federal inspection priority.