March 14, 2013
Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster announced today the joint lodging of a consent decree with EPA in federal court to resolve environmental violations at Teva Pharmaceuticals USA. Teva manufactures antibiotics at its plant outside of Mexico, Missouri, in Audrain County.
In December 2008, a fluorescent green-colored discharge from Mexico's wastewater treatment plant was observed in the Salt River. The discharge discolored the Salt River for more than 22 miles, to Mark Twain Reservoir. The discharge was traced by state and federal environmental officials to Teva. Inspections of Teva's waste management practices and operations revealed violations of state and federal environmental laws designed to protect the air and water, as well as hazardous waste management violations.
Under the terms of the settlement, Teva will visually observe its water discharge at least once a day, assess past violations and recommend actions to prevent a reoccurrence, make sure all hazardous-waste containers are properly labeled and stored, and implement an enhanced leak detection program. Teva will undertake mitigation projects to reduce hazardous emissions and pay a $2.25M civil penalty. One-half of that penalty will be paid by Teva to the Audrain County School Fund. Teva further agreed to pay the state of Missouri $26,000 for damages to natural resources, $65,684 in hazardous-waste fees and taxes, $1,752 in air-emission fees, and $59,357 for the state's investigative costs.
"Missourians have a right to expect local businesses to comply with environmental laws designed to protect the state's valuable water resources," Koster said. "Thanks to a joint effort by the Department of Natural Resources and the Environmental Protection Agency, these violations were promptly discovered and addressed by Teva. My office will continue to protect Missouri residents from those who try to shortcut laws designed to keep the public safe."