Bacardi Corporation has settled a violation of the Clean Water Act after having paid a US$550,000 fine.

The Puerto Rico-based arm of Bacardi Limited said yesterday (4 November) that it has agreed to pay $550,000 and will donate and preserve land valued at $1m, after the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had claimed that Bacardi had failed to comply with certain pollutant limits in its permit and, in some instances, failed to report monitoring results for discharges into the Atlantic Ocean.

The alleged violations occurred at Bacardi Corporation's rum production facility in Cataño, Puerto Rico.

"The violations in this case were serious, and EPA is pleased to see Bacardi's willingness to address them and to take steps to prevent future violations," said EPA's regional administrator, Alan Steinberg.

When contacted by just-drinks, a spokesperson for Bacardi Corporation said that the company did not agree with the allegations in the complaint. "There has been no allegation or charge of any environmental harm by the EPA," the spokesperson said. "This is a technical or administrative issue, not an environmental threat."

Prior to the allegations, the spokesperson noted, Bacardi Corporation had voiced concerns to the EPA regarding measurement methods. "Bacardi Corporation has not changed its production process," the spokesperson continued. "However, the EPA, in issuing Bacardi Corporation's new permit, modified its measurement methods.

"We are pleased to resolve this matter and continue to have a strong relationship with the EPA," the spokesperson concluded.