The nation’s oldest brewery, D. G. Yuengling and Son Inc., has agreed to pay $9.8 million in penalties and wastewater treatment upgrades to settle alleged Clean Water Act violations at two breweries in the company’s hometown of Pottsville, PA. According to the EPA, in a consent decree filed last week in federal court in Harrisburg, PA, the company has agreed to spend approximately $7 million to improve environmental measures at its brewery operations after it allegedly discharged pollutants into the Greater Pottsville Area Sewer Authority municipal wastewater treatment plant. Yuengling will also pay a $2.8 million penalty. In addition, the settlement requires Yuengling to implement an environmental management system (EMS) focused on achieving Clean Water Act compliance at two facilities.
In a complaint filed concurrently with the settlement, the US alleged Yuengling violated pretreatment permit requirements at least 141 times from 2008 to 2015.
In accordance with the settlement, Yuengling says it installed a state-of-the-art wastewater pretreatment system at its brewery in March. The pretreatment system is one of several environmental programs it has agreed to implement under terms of the agreement to reduce and manage the amount of organic materials (mainly sugar and yeast) in the wastewater its two Pottsville area breweries send to the Greater Pottsville Area Sewer Authority for treatment.
“Yuengling takes its environmental responsibilities seriously, and we are pleased to have reached an agreement with the EPA that strengthens our environmental protocols,” says Wendy Yuengling, chief administrative officer for Yuengling. “As a sixth-generation family business, we’re making these improvements as part of our commitment to the continued operation of America’s oldest brewery so future generations can enjoy our quality lagers, porters and ales.”
As part of its agreement with the EPA, Yuengling will also develop an environmental management system manual for its two Pottsville area breweries; provide annual environmental compliance training to facility employees; create a communications and notification protocol for its interactions with the sewer authority; and retain third-party consultants to provide Yuengling and EPA with reports on the company’s regulatory compliance.