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UPDATE: Lilly settles pollution suit for $337,500

February 24, 2011

Eli Lilly and Co. has settled a lawsuit with the federal government alleging the pharmaceutical manufacturer had emitted a high level of hazardous pollutants from its manufacturing plant on South Harding Street in Indianapolis.

The settlement, made available by the U.S. District Court in Indianapolis Friday afternoon, requires Eli Lilly to pay a $337,500 penalty within 30 days of the agreement.

IBJ reported on the government's lawsuit earlier Friday, before the settlement was made public. The original lawsuit said Lilly faced millions of dollars in fines for numerous violations.

“We are currently not exceeding any emission limits from that site and we have resolved those issues,” Eli Lilly spokeswoman Beth Hunter said. “We have addressed all the concerns that they had.”

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday, stemmed from an on-site inspection of the plant in June 2006 by the Environmental Protection Agency that allegedly found high levels of acetonitrile and methanol, which are considered hazardous air pollutants.

Acetonitrile is used in the pharmaceutical industry as a solvent in the drug-purification process. Methanol is used in a wide variety of ways to produce various pharmaceutical products.

One of the drugs made at the plant is Forteo, an osteoporosis drug, according to the suit.

For all but one day, between March 6, 2004, and Jan. 11, 2007, hazardous air pollutant emissions were greater than 900 kilograms—an amount that cannot be exceeded—on a rolling 365-day period, the suit said.

The complaint alleged that Lilly also exceeded 1,800 kilograms of emissions on another manufacturing process every day between Oct. 29, 2004, and April 15, 2006.

Eli Lilly does not admit the facts or legal conclusions alleged in the original complaint, the settlement said.

 

 

 

 



 

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