D.G. Yuengling & Son Inc. will pay $2.8 million to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as part of a consent-degree agreement approved by U.S. District Court on Thursday.
The payment is in response for exceeding the permitted levels of organic materials and pH concentrations in the wastewater from its Pottsville and Mill Creek brewing facilities.
The company also noted that as part of the agreement it has already installed an $8 million wastewater pretreatment system at its Pottsville brewery.
The system, which started operations in March, was the key component of the agreement with the EPA and the U.S. Department of Justice.
The measure is aimed at reducing and managing the amount of organic materials, such as sugar and yeast, in the wastewater that Yuengling’s two regional breweries send directly into the Greater Pottsville Area Sewer Authority system.
In a statement, the company said that while the organic material in the wastewater is not toxic, in high concentrations the sugar and yeast can disrupt the authority’s treatment process.
It said that by removing those materials from the wastewater before it is sent to the sewer authority it will be better able to comply with its permit requirements.
As part of the agreement, Yuengling will also develop an environmental management system manual for its Pottsville-area breweries; provide annual environmental compliance training to employees; create a communications and notifications protocol for interactions with the sewer authority; and retain third-party consultants to provide Yuengling and the EPA with reports on the company’s regulatory compliance.