Penicillin plant garners $250k fine for chemical leaks

Consolidated Pharmaceutical Group is trying to one-up UCB Manufacturing in the facility-irresponsibility category. CPG has agreed to a $250,000 fine and the owner has agreed to "never again own a business in Maryland," according to the Baltimore Sun.

Among the charges brought against CPG and owner Mehmet Tunc Turgut: abandoning the hazardous-chemical-containing plant.

Although CPG's fine is significantly lower than the potential $350,000 being assessed by OSHA against UCB for willful lack of employee protections from hazardous chemicals, CPG and Turgut prevail for also being barred from doing business in a state and for a potential additional fine of $250,000.

The CPG fine and agreement are part of a plea deal in which owner Mehmet Tunc Turgut escapes criminal charges for the 50 counts levied against him. The company also must try to sell the facility during its three years of probation. The additional $250,000 fee will be charged in the event of probation violations.

The Sun reports that CPG operations ceased in 1999. Some of the 50,000 gallons of acids and hazardous chemicals on site eventually began to leak. State and federal environmental agencies ordered a cleanup in 2007. A company attorney says the cleanup has been completed.

The plant's troubles precede its CPG ownership, which began in 1994. State records show the previous owner, Kanasco Ltd., charged with unauthorized dumping and a hazardous spill. 

- see the article

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