United States And Tennessee Reach Agreement With King Pharmaceuticals To Resolve Allegations Of Clean Air Act Violations

Friday, June 28, 2013

King Pharmaceuticals LLC (King) will pay $2.2 million and take measures to comply with the Clean Air Act to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Air Act (CAA) at its pharmaceutical manufacturing facility located in Bristol, announced the Department of Justice, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC).

From the $2.2 million civil penalty, $1.1 million will be paid to the United States and $1.1 million will be paid to TDEC.  From TDEC’s $1.1 million penalty, $650,000 will be applied to a TDEC state project for homeowners.  The settlement also requires the facility to demonstrate compliance with CAA National Emission Standards for Pharmaceuticals Production (PharmaMACT regulations) and to apply for a Title V permit.  The PharmaMACT regulations impose “Maximum Achievable Control Technology” (MACT) standards, which are industry-specific measures that must be implemented to control hazardous air pollutants in order to prevent harm to human health or the environment.

The TDEC state project calls for implementation of a program dedicated to providing financial assistance to low-to-moderate income homeowners in making improvements to residential housing focused on weatherization, insulation and energy efficiency.  This project will focus on the reduction of energy usage and decreasing emissions associated with the generation of electricity or use of fossil fuels in home heating.  TDEC plans to use existing local programs in the Bristol area to identify and channel assistance to eligible homeowners.

“This settlement will protect public health and the environment by requiring additional hazardous air pollution controls at the pharmaceutical facility in Bristol,” said Robert G. Dreher, acting assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.  “This significant civil penalty should send a strong signal to the pharmaceutical industry regarding our commitment to enforce PharmaMACT.”

“Upholding the public health benefits of the Clean Air Act is a critical responsibility of EPA,” said Beverly H. Banister, acting deputy regional administrator of EPA’s Southeastern office.  “This settlement will result in better management practices that will ultimately lead to greater protection of public health and the environment for the citizens of Bristol.”

“The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation is pleased the proposed settlement could be reached in this litigation to address air emissions and permitting requirements, and that the facility will move forward to meet those requirements,” said TDEC Commissioner Bob Martineau.  “Additionally, the state project included in the settlement will promote emission reductions by reducing the energy needs of low-income residents in the area.”

King began pharmaceutical manufacturing operations at the Bristol facility in 1993.  King was acquired by Pfizer Inc. in 2011, becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of Pfizer. On May 29, UPM Pharmaceuticals announced that it will acquire the Bristol facility.  The sale of the facility will not affect the injunctive relief required by the settlement.  The alleged violations were discovered during a May 2006 inspection and subsequent investigation by EPA and TDEC.  The United States and the state of Tennessee jointly brought the complaint.

 The Department of Justice filed the complaint and lodged the consent decree contemporaneously on behalf of EPA in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee on Fruday.  Notice of the lodging of the consent decree will appear in the Federal Register allowing for a 30-day public comment period before the consent decree can be entered by the court as a final judgment. It is available on the Justice Department website at www.usdoj.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html.


TDEC Announces Lifting Of Little Pigeon River Water Contact Advisory

Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau announces the lifting of a water contact advisory of the Little Pigeon River, downstream of Sevierville in Sevier County. Water contact advisories have also been lifted for several small tributaries to the West Prong of the Little Pigeon, including Gnatty Branch, Baskins Creek, King Branch, Roaring ... (click for more)

Outdoor Chattanooga Outdoor Expo Brings Gear And Adoptable Pets To Coolidge Park Saturday

Outdoor Chattanooga will host its 8th annual Outdoor Expo & Gear Swap, and Adoptapalooza dog adoption event this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the east side of Coolidge Park.  The free, public event happens rain or shine. The Outdoor Expo & Gear Swap will gather several dozen outdoor organizations, clubs, conservation organizations and outfitters together to ... (click for more)

City Set To Move Ahead On Study For Light Rail System; But Some Council Members Skeptical

City officials are set to move ahead in applying for a grant to study setting up a light rail system in Chattanooga, though some City Council members are skeptical. Blythe Bailey, city transportation director, said it might cost $20 million to set up a system that would use the Missionary Ridge Tunnel to go from downtown to the Chattanooga Airport as well as the Enterprise South ... (click for more)

Funeral Arrangements Set For Renee Card Monroe, Killed Monday In ATV Accident

Funeral arrangements have been set for Renee Card Monroe, 60, who was killed, along with her two grandchildren, Reagan and Jaxson Cohen, in an ATV accident on Monday when their ATV toppled into a pond. A lifelong resident of Chattanooga, Ms. Monroe was an active member of Eastwood Baptist Church where she helped lead a small Bible study group. Ms. Monroe was an entrepreneur ... (click for more)

UAW Is Dropping Appeal Because Of Opposition

Let's tell the truth here: the UAW attempted infiltration of the Nissan plant in Smyrna, Tenn. a couple of years back and lost. They appealed to the NLRB three times and each time the vote went against the UAW more and more.   When you consider the local political opposition, citizenry and worker opposition, sentiment toward the UAW is even more staggering in Chattanooga ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Clemson Prayer And Much More

Clemson’s football program, which has won 11 games in each of the past two years and was ranked 8 th in the nation after whipping Ohio State in this year’s Orange Bowl, has just been “blind-sided.” The Freedom from Religion Foundation claims Coach Dabo Sweeney and his staff are doing far too much “to promote Christianity to their student athletes.” Clemson promptly roared back ... (click for more)