News Releases from Region 2
EPA Orders Bacardi to Comply With Clean Water Act
Release Date: 9/15/2005
FOR RELEASE: Thursday, September 15, 2005
(#05106) SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ordered the Bacardi Corporation to comply with the Clean Water Act. Bacardi has been violating limits for wastewater discharges into the Atlantic Ocean from its rum distillery in Catano, Puerto Rico. Bacardi must meet limits on the amount of lead, zinc, copper and all other materials it currently discharges into the ocean. The EPA has issued an Administrative Order for violating its permit, under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program.
"Following repeated attempts to come to a resolution, EPA determined that it was in the best interest of environmental protection to proceed with a unilateral order and require Bacardi to comply," said Alan J. Steinberg, EPA Regional Administrator, "If the company fails to comply, it will face stiff fines."
The order requires Bacardi to achieve compliance with permit limits. With this enforcement action, EPA is also incorporating interim limits for a period of up to 180 days to allow Bacardi to continue discharging while working to achieve compliance with the NPDES permit. The interim limits will require that Bacardi treat its waste during this period to the maximum extent possible to minimize pollutants discharged into the ocean. EPA will be tracking Bacardi's progress and take appropriate followup action to ensure that Bacardi achieves compliance with the Clean Water Act.
For more information on wastewater treatment permits visit: http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes. To learn more about the Clean Water Act visit: http://www.epa.gov/region5/water/cwa.htm. The EPA's ECHO database has information on Clean Water Act violations and may be viewed at http://www.epa.gov/echo/.