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The government awards contracts to companies with histories of misconduct such as contract fraud and environmental, ethics, and labor violations. In the absence of a centralized federal database listing instances of misconduct, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is providing such data. We believe that it will lead to improved contracting decisions and public access to information about how the government spends hundreds of billions of taxpayer money each year on goods and services. Report an instance of misconduct »
Merck & Co., Inc.
Wissahickon Creek Fish Kills
Date: 12/13/2007 (Date of Settlement)
Misconduct Type: Environment
Enforcement Agency: Multiple Agencies
Contracting Party: None
Court Type: Civil
Synopsis: On June 13, 2006 Merck discharged potassium thiocyanate from its pharmaceutical plant in Montgomery County, Pa., causing extensive fish kills in nearby Wissahickon Creek and the temporary closing of the Philadelphia Water Department's Schuylkill River drinking water intake. In December 2007, Merck settled a federal-state lawsuit over the resulting violations of the federal Clean Water Act and state water pollution control regulations. Merck agreed to pay $10 million to put into place systems that will prevent future discharges, spend approximately $9 million for environmental projects, and pay $1,575,000 in penalties to the United States and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.