DEEP fines CVS $800,000 for environmental issues

The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection today announced a settlement with CVS in Connecticut under which the pharmacy chain is paying penalties of $800,000 for violations of the state’s hazardous waste management regulations and recycling laws found at seven stores in Connecticut.

The retailer has also agreed to make important improvements in its environmental practices, DEEP said in a news release.

Inspections of CVS stores in Connecticut found mismanagement of hazardous materials used in photographic processing solutions, non-dispensable pharmaceuticals, non-saleable consumer goods, and state-mandated recyclables, DEEP said. This included improper identification, management and disposal of hazardous waste. The violations occurred at CVS stores in Clinton, Coventry, Guilford, Madison, Mansfield, Southbury and Vernon.

 “This case sends a clear message to anyone doing business in Connecticut – you must know and follow our environmental regulations,” DEEP Commissioner Daniel Esty said. “CVS failed to ensure the proper handling and disposal of waste products at their stores throughout Connecticut. The mismanagement of these hazardous materials indicated a systemic statewide compliance problem for CVS and presented an unacceptable threat to human health and the environment. The company has now committed to modernize its business practices – bringing them into compliance with the law and establishing a variety of ‘best’ environmental management practices that will be used at their stores nationwide.”

The settlement includes eight consent orders – one tied to CVS’s corporate headquarters and seven dealing with the individual stores that were inspected. The consent orders for the individual stores will require CVS to demonstrate correction of all of the outstanding violations cited in each consent order.

Under the terms of the corporate consent order, CVS has agreed to:

Pay a civil penalty of $300,000.

Pay an additional penalty of $500,000 as a supplemental environmental project with the money to be used on projects and activities that improve materials management practices in Connecticut.

Retain qualified environmental management professionals to prepare the documents and oversee the actions required under the consent order.

Complete closure of eleven identified former hazardous waste (spent photographic processing solutions) container storage areas.  These areas are located at current or former CVS stores in Middletown, Norwich, Milford, Guilford, Seymour, Mansfield, Coventry, Prospect, Brookfield and Burlington.

Implement best management practices for non-dispensable pharmaceuticals and non-saleable consumer products.   

Develop and implement a state-wide waste management and recycling program, within a corporate environmental management system designed to ensure that CVS stores in Connecticut maintain compliance with state hazardous waste management regulations and recycling laws.

Have a consultant perform unannounced compliance audits at 20 CVS stores in Connecticut.

CVS Pharmacy Inc., based in Rhode Island, operates approximately 140 stores in Connecticut.



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