Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) has announced a comprehensive settlement with CVS in Connecticut under which this major national pharmacy chain is paying penalties of $800,000 for violations of the state’s hazardous waste management regulations in handling solutions used to processing photographs, non-dispensable pharmaceuticals, non-saleable consumer goods, and state-mandated recyclables. 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,” said DEEP Commissioner Daniel C. Esty. “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 headquartersin Rhode island 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, as well as an additional $500,000 to fund a supplemental environmental project with the money to be used on projects and activities that improve materials management practices in Connecticut. The Company is also required to retain qualified environmental management professionals to prepare the documents and oversee the actions required under the consent order; complete closure of ten 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.
In addition, CVS must “implement best management practices for non-dispensable pharmaceuticals and non-saleable consumer products,” as well as 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. Last, but not least, the corporation as agree to have a consultant perform unannounced compliance audits at twenty CVS stores in Connecticut.