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EPA Regional Administrator Visits Pfizer Barceloneta to Support Company's Environmental Efforts

Release Date: 12/03/2003
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(#03140) San Juan, Puerto Rico -- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regional Administrator Jane M. Kenny today addressed employees of the Pfizer Pharmaceutical facility in Barceloneta, Puerto Rico, praising the company for being accepted into the Agency's National Environmental Performance Track program. The program is a public/private partnership that encourages top environmental performers to voluntarily commit to specific improvements for more than three years. After addressing employees, company officials and local leaders, Ms. Kenny planted a tree as part of an ongoing reforestation project spearheaded by the company. Joining Ms. Kenny were Barceloneta Mayor Sol Luis Fontanez and Environmental Quality Board President Esteban Mujica.

"You can feel proud that you work for a company that cares about the state of our environment," Kenny told Pfizer Barceloneta employees. "By doing what is necessary to be accepted into this program, Pfizer has gone beyond the regulations to make Puerto Rico a better place for future generations."

Earlier this year, Pfizer applied to have its Barceloneta plant, which manufactures drug products, included in the EPA Performance Track program. Through the program, Pfizer is reducing its use of materials in one product formulation by 2,800 tons, cutting the emissions of volatile organic compounds, reducing hazardous waste and improving the quality of its wastewater. The company is also reducing its total water use by almost three million gallons. Pfizer Barceloneta's overall hazardous waste generation is being cut by about 400 tons. Finally, the facility has committed to reduce its non-hazardous refuse by 35 tons.

Facilities accepted into Performance Track must have a history of sustained compliance with federal and state environmental requirements; have adopted and implemented an Environmental Management System (EMS) an organization's systematic effort to meet its environmental requirements and improve its overall performance; demonstrated at least two past environmental achievements and committed to four future improvements; and must have a public outreach program with a commitment to public performance reporting. EPA accepts applications twice per year -- from August to October and February to April.

Members in the Performance Track program receive a range of incentives such as public recognition and low priority for routine EPA inspections. Facilities are also eligible for several kinds of administrative flexibility and streamlined administrative requirements that reduce costs and enable members to achieve better environmental results. In addition, members benefit from special services, including a learning network composed of top environmental performers that has a mentoring program, tele-seminars, EPA roundtable discussions and newsletters.

Performance Track now includes more than 300 private and public facilities, all of which achieved environmental results, exceeding their respective legal and regulatory standards. In Puerto Rico, there are 14 facilities that have been accepted into EPA's Performance Track program: eight Johnson & Johnson companies, along with five Baxter Healthcare facilities and Pfizer.

For program information, summary of member benefits application guidelines, and a complete listing of facilities in Performance Track members visit: