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EPA Settlement with Upper Southampton Includes Pharmaceutical Education to Protect Drinking Water Sources

Release Date: 03/17/2008
Contact Information: David Sternberg (215) 814-5548, sternberg.david@epa.gov

PHILADELPHIA (March 17, 2008) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced a proposed settlement with Upper Southampton Sewer Authority in Southampton, Bucks County, Pa., for violations of the Clean Water Act.

As part of the settlement, the authority will conduct an awareness campaign to encourage proper collection and disposal of unused pharmaceuticals in order to help protect drinking water sources. The campaign will include preparing and distributing materials to institutional customers such as local hospitals, retirement communities, and schools about the proper disposal of prescription drugs.

“This settlement is extremely timely given recent information about pharmaceuticals in drinking water. While there is no evidence that trace-amounts of pharmaceuticals in drinking water causes a health threat, we all need to do what we can to make sure our water remains healthy to drink,” said Donald S. Welsh, EPA Regional Administrator for the mid-Atlantic region.

The settlement resolves unpermitted sanitary sewer discharges to Mill Creek from 2002 through 2006. The estimated cost of the pharmaceutical project is $10,800. Under the settlement, the authority will also pay a $16,200 penalty.

The proposed settlement will undergo a 40-day comment period before becoming final.

For more information about pharmaceuticals in drinking water go to: http://www.epa.gov/ppcp/

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