Acuity Brands, Inc. announced that its Acuity Specialty Products Group, Inc. (ASP) subsidiary finalized the resolution of a federal environmental investigation.
ASP entered into a plea agreement with the United States Department of Justice involving a Clean Water Act violation related to ASP’s pretreatment of wastewater discharged to the City of Atlanta for treatment. The plea agreement, which was accepted by United States District Judge Shoob, brings to an end a federal investigation into past practices at ASP’s facility on Seaboard Industrial Boulevard in Atlanta. The details of the investigation have been previously disclosed in Acuity Brands’ filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Under the plea agreement, ASP admitted to one felony count for failure to meet the requirements of its wastewater pretreatment permit. Consistent with the terms of the plea agreement, the Court imposed a $3.8 million fine on ASP and also placed ASP on unsupervised probation for a term of three years. In addition, ASP has entered into a three-year EPA-administered compliance agreement that is incorporated into the probation requirements.
The conduct that was the subject of the plea agreement took place during or prior to 2002 and did not result in any adverse environmental impact or any regulatory noncompliance by the City of Atlanta. While ASP has already resolved with the City the violation underlying the plea agreement, ASP continues to discuss with the City whether another matter raised in the investigation, involving past pumping of groundwater through ASP’s pretreatment system, warrants a penalty.
“We are pleased that this wastewater matter has been resolved with the Department of Justice in a manner that will allow ASP to pursue its many opportunities going forward, including government business,” said Vernon J. Nagel, chairman, president, and CEO of Acuity Brands.