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CVS Reaching DEEP into its Pockets After Settlement, State Agency Says

The Vernon store on Talcottville Road was among those cited.

The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection on Monday announced what it termed "a comprehensive settlement" with CVS in Connecticut for "violations of the state’s hazardous waste management regulations and recycling laws."

The Vernon store at 142 Talcottville Rd. is among the violators, the DEEP said.

The national pharmacy chain is paying penalties of $800,000, according to a news release.

The news releases stated that 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. 

The violations included improper identification, management and disposal of hazardous waste, according to a news release. In addition to Vernon, the violations took place at CVS stores in:

• Mansfield.
• Clinton.
• Coventry.
• Guilford.
• Madison.
• Southbury.

“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.”

According to a news release, 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, the DEEP said.

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 11 identified former hazardous waste (spent photographic processing solutions) container storage areas. The 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 statewide 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.

Johnny Habanero January 29, 2013 at 03:44 PM
It is about time that the state caught up with CVS. I had worked for CVS for years and all the spent photo processing chemicals were simply poured down the drains at every store. That was the normal course of business and how these employees were trained in what to do with these chemicals. CVS cares more about their stock price then what is going on at their stores. Profit is the only thing they are concerned about at the store level and they will do anything in their power to promote profit over loss. It is truly sad, however this company has deep pockets to pay their way out of things like this. The company knew that the cost to properly address these issues at every store years ago far outweighs the menial fines they will get once caught. It is truly a sad thing, especially since I know so much more about how that company works. I would encourage anyone to call 1-800 SHOPCVS to complain.

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