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Environment

Pfizer Pays Fine For Air Pollution

June 30, 2008 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 86, ISSUE 26

Pfizer has agreed to pay a $975,000 civil penalty to resolve allegations that it violated the Clean Air Act at its former manufacturing facility in Groton, Conn. In a consent decree filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, the Department of Justice says the alleged violations, which occurred between October 2002 and December 2005, resulted from a failure of Pfizer's leak detection and repair program. DOJ charged that Pfizer failed to properly conduct pressure tests to identify leaks, repair leaks before start-up, equip open-ended lines with a cap or other seal, and document leak tests to establish full compliance with the regulatory requirements. Pfizer, the world's largest drugmaker, certifies in the agreement that the violations have been corrected. Pfizer says it believes the penalty is excessive, but it agreed to pay the fine to resolve the matter. "The alleged violations involved record keeping, administrative, and work practice deviations, many of which were self-reported to the agency by Pfizer," the company says.

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