America’s Biggest Craft Brewery Popped with Multi-million Dollar Penalty for Violating Clean Water Act
Pennsylvania-based Yuengling Brewery bills itself as America’s oldest brewery, originally founded back in 1829. Last year, thanks to a change in the Craft Brewers Association's definition, it also became the biggest craft brewery in America. But though the brand’s heritage maybe be one of its biggest selling points, the company’s breweries themselves are about to get some serious updating. As part of a recent settlement with the Department of Justice and the EPA, Yuengling has agreed to spend $7 million to improve two of its breweries, as well as paying out $2.8 million in penalties, for violating the Clean Water Act.
According to a news release from the EPA, Yuengling “allegedly violated Clean Water Act requirements for companies that discharge industrial waste to municipal publically-owned wastewater treatment facilities numerous times between 2008 and 2015.” I can immediately imagine the voice of some gruff Philadelphian quipping, “What… Did they dump a bunch of their leftover beer in the sewers?”
As part of the settlement, the brewery will now be required to implement a number of changes to prevent future violations. “This settlement requires Yuengling to put into place an environmental management system designed to manage compliance with the Clean Water Act in a systemic, planned, and documented manner to establish a top-down, prevention-focused approach,” Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden for the Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division was quoted as saying.
Overall, it’s good to see the EPA is looking out for our water. Without clean water, how are you going to avoid your beer hangovers?