EPA Orders Bacardi to Comply With Clean Water Act

Sept. 16, 2005

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.

Source: EPA