The decade's most triggering comedy
Anheuser-Busch, the parent company of embattled beer brand Bud Light, agreed to pay over half a million dollars to the Environmental Protection Agency after being accused of violating the Clean Air Act.
The beer manufacturer will pay $537,000 in fines and implement a “comprehensive safety review” at 11 of the Anheuser-Busch plants that use anhydrous ammonia, according to the EPA. The settlement was in part spurred on by an accident at an Anheuser-Busch facility in 2018 in Fort Collins, Colorado, that left two workers injured after an ammonia leak.
“This settlement with Anheuser-Busch sends a clear message to companies that store hazardous materials like anhydrous ammonia that they have an obligation to follow regulations designed to protect our communities and environment from potentially catastrophic consequences of accidents,” EPA Regional Administrator K.C. Becker said. “Failure to comply with the law puts first responders and members of the surrounding community in harm’s way.”
Anheuser-Busch facilities in New Hampshire, California, Colorado, Texas, Ohio, Florida, New York, Virginia, Georgia, and Missouri will all undergo comprehensive reviews on their storage of anhydrous ammonia, which is used in the production of beer.
Facilities in New Hampshire, Colorado, and California were all the subject of an EPA investigation from 2016 to 2019.
The agency claimed that Anheuser-Busch failed “to comply with recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices.”
The settlement comes as Anheuser-Busch has seen several months of financial tumult after partnering with transgender-identifying activist Dylan Mulvaney. According to some reports, Anheuser-Busch has lost as much as $27 billion in market value since the debut of the Mulvaney partnership.
The company had a $134.55 billion value as of March 31 before it plunged to $107.44 billion by the end of May, according to Dow Jones Market Data Group. The company’s stock plummeted 19.98% from its high in March. That 20% drop enters the zone of a bear market.
In large part, the backlash has been driven by conservative activists, who have encouraged Americans to boycott the popular beverage.
“We believe there is a subset of American consumers who will not drink a Bud Light for the foreseeable future,” Jared Dinges, beverage analyst at JPMorgan Chase, said last month. “We believe a 12% to 13% volume decline on an annualized basis would be a reasonable assumption.”