A US subsidiary of The Coca-Cola Co has agreed to pay almost US$8m for violating its waste water treatment permit.

Amcan Beverages, which bottles soft drinks for The Coca-Cola Co in California, will pay The City of American Canyon $7.59m to settle "a number of alleged offences", the city said yesterday (9 February).

The company's permit required its production plant in the city, located in southern Napa county, to initially treat waste water on-site through its own treatment system, before discharging it into the city's treatment works.

From May 2007 until September 2007, the city discovered high concentrations of contaminants that interfered with the city's waste water treatment process and posed an environmental hazard, the city said. These levels were different and much higher than in sample results submitted by Amcan during the same time period.

On discovery of a problem with its waste water operations, Amcan's management disclosed its findings to the city in September 2007.

The city later alleged, based on its own investigation and disclosures by Amcan, that violations took place as early as January 2005, with additional violations for the period of November 2007 until May last year.

"Amcan acted proactively to report and correct conditions that led to the alleged permit violations, and has responsibly reimbursed the city for its costs," said attorney William Ross, who represented the city.

American Canyon City manager Richard Ramirez added: "When Amcan discovered the problems involving some former employees at their American Canyon Plant, the company held itself accountable, cooperated with our investigation, took action to address our concerns, and agreed to a fair settlement that will benefit the city and its residents."