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EPA Cites Yuengling for Clean Water Act Violations

Release Date: 1/3/2003
Contact Information: Roy Seneca 215-814-5567

Contact: Roy Seneca 215-814-5567
PHILADELPHIA – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has cited D.G. Yuengling & Son Inc. for Clean Water Act violations at its Pottsville, Pa. brewery. EPA seeks a $137,500 penalty against Yuengling for exceeding limits on pH and metal discharge to the local wastewater treatment facility.

As a significant industrial user of the City of Pottsville’s municipal wastewater treatment plant, the Yuengling brewery discharges more than 290,000 gallons of industrial processed water each day to the plant, which in turn discharges to the West Branch of the Schuylkill River. Under the Clean Water Act, significant industrial users of publicly owned treatment facilities must obtain pretreatment permits limiting pollution discharges to the plants. These permit limits are designed to protect the plants’ wastewater treatment capacity.

Yuengling’s pretreatment permit limits discharges of copper, lead, nickel and zinc. The permit also limits the pH level of the discharge. In April 2000, Pottsville cited Yuengling for 20 violations of its pretreatment permit, and ordered the company to install pollution control equipment. Yuengling failed to install this equipment, and continued to violate its pretreatment permit. EPA’s complaint alleges that Yuengling violated its permit limits and/or pretreatment regulations 62 times between May 1998 and August 2002.

According to EPA, discharges from the Yuengling plant in April 2002 also caused the Pottsville treatment plant to violate its own Clean Water Act permit limits on biochemical oxygen demand (BOD).

EPA has ordered Yuengling to submit a plan within 30 days for complying with the limits in its pretreatment permit. The company has the right to a hearing to contest the alleged violations and proposed penalty in the complaint.