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Lilly Agrees to $337K in Federal Fines for Hazardous Air Pollution

From Indianapolis Star (IN) (February 26, 2011)

Feb. 26--Eli Lilly and Co. has agreed to pay a $337,500 fine to settle a federal complaint that its manufacturing plant on South Harding Street released dangerous chemicals into the air in 2006.
 
The fine resolves an Environmental Protection Agency investigation of the plant. Government inspectors had found that the plant released hazardous air pollutants, including acetonitrile and methanol, into the air.
 
The Indianapolis-based drugmaker said it has since fixed the emissions problem. It said it discovered the problems itself, when it noticed a computer modeling error, and voluntarily reported it to the government.
 
"This is important to us. We want to have a safe workplace for our employees and protect the environment," said Lilly spokeswoman Carole Copland.
 
She said the chemicals are commonly used in drug processing.
 
The plant, known as the Lilly Technology Center, is at 1555 S. Harding St. At the time, Lilly made osteoporosis drug Forteo and other prescription drugs there, the complaint said. Lilly would not confirm what drugs are now made there.
 
The EPA inspected the plant for several days in the summer of 2006 and found that chemical emissions exceeded federal standards, subjecting the company to civil penalties worth tens of thousands of dollars a day.
 
The EPA complaint also said Lilly failed at the time to identify all equipment subject to federal standards on equipment leaks.
 
The settlement agreement was filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis. The court still must approve it, said a spokesman with the U.S. Department of Justice.
 
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Copyright (c) 2011, The Indianapolis Star
 
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Posted: February 2011


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