Pfizer commits to $194m clean-up at Wyeth EPA 'superfund' site

By Dan Stanton

- Last updated on GMT

Pfizer commits to $194m clean-up at Wyeth EPA 'superfund' site

Related tags Hazardous waste United states environmental protection agency

Pfizer has agreed to perform $194m (€174m) worth of clean-up work at a former-Wyeth site in New Jersey.

When Pfizer merged with Wyeth in 2009, the pharma giant acquired a 575-acre site in Bridgewater Township, New Jersey, along with its “history of industrial pollution dating back to 1915,”​ according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Previous owners had disposed of chemical sludge and other waste materials across six disposal areas at the site, and in a court agreement this week, Pfizer has agreed to pay close to $194m in an effort to clean up the site

“This agreement marks an important milestone in EPA’s work to clean up pollution throughout this complex site,”​ said EPA spokesperson Judith Enck. “This will allow critical work to reduce problems posed by soil and groundwater contamination on parts of the site.”

The site originally was part of industrial conglomerate American Cyanamid’s manufacturing network, and began making pharmaceutical ingredients through its spin-off company Wyeth.

Pfizer shuttered the site following the $68bn takeover of Wyeth​ in six years ago.

The site falls under the EPA’s ‘superfund’ programme, which identifies abandoned hazardous waste sites and looks at the best practises to clean them up. Under the programme, the owner of a polluting facility is expected to pay for the clean-ups.

“Just as we must act to meet the environmental challenges of the present and the future, we cannot leave unaddressed the toxic legacies of the past like American Cyanamid’s site in Bridgewater Township,”​ Assistant Attorney General John Cruden added.

In-Pharmatechnologist.com contacted Pfizer and a spokesperson told us the firm "has a long-standing commitment to protecting the environment, the health and safety of the general public and our employees, and the communities in which we operate.

"The company continues its dedication to remediating the site, which has been impacted by historical operations at the American Cyanamid Superfund Site and will do so responsibly, effectively and in full cooperation with the USEPA, NJDEP and communities involved. The estimated costs for this site remediation are covered by financial accruals previously taken by the Company."

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