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.



Genetic Testing Verifies New State And Potential World Record Black Crappie

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has received results from a genetic analysis and is verifying a new state record black crappie caught by an angler from Philadelphia, Tn.  Application for world record status will have to be submitted by the angler to the International Game Fish Association.   It’s been a long four-and-a-half weeks since Lionel “Jam” Ferguson ... (click for more)

L2 Outside To Host 3rd Annual Post-Riverbend River Clean Up

L2 Outside will host the third annual Post-Riverbend River Clean Up on Saturday, from 7-9 a.m.   Volunteers will launch in groups from the public launch site underneath Market Street  Bridge in Coolidge Park. L2 Outside is dedicated to helping to provide clean waterways, and will be donating 25 stand up paddle boards and 10 kayaks to assist volunteers in the ... (click for more)

Former City Education Commissioner John P. Franklin Dies

John Porter Franklin, long a leading figure in Chattanooga city government, has died.  He was the city's first, elected black official, post Jim Crow laws, in 1971. Mr. Franklin's father, G.W. Franklin, was a pioneer funeral home director and John Franklin continued in that line. He was first an official in Franklin-Strickland Funeral Home, then he started John P. Franklin ... (click for more)

All School Board Members But Rhonda Thurman Approve Going Ahead With Equity Study

All County School Board members except Rhonda Thurman said Thursday afternoon they are in favor of pushing ahead with an equity study sought by new Supt. Bryan Johnson. Ms. Thurman said she was "tired of bullying tactics by outside groups" such as UnifiEd and Chattanooga 2.0. She said the 132 people who signed a letter in support of the study include people "with deep pockets" ... (click for more)

The Boss, Claude Ramsey

I try not to overuse the word great, but we lost a great man today, Claude Ramsey. I had the pleasure of serving under him as director of Commercial and Industrial Properties for 14 years while he was the Hamilton County Assessor of Property. He was probably the smartest person I have ever known. He was tough but patient, kind, caring and compassionate. He knew how to get ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: So, You’re Invisible?

Several weeks ago I was in the middle of My Morning Readings when, somehow, I came across a wonderful story written by Nichole Johnson. Her website says she is a speaker, a motivator, and an author whose gift is to “capture the inner-most feelings of women facing life's daily struggles, and it has enabled her to create a unique sense of community for people of all ages.” That’s ... (click for more)