Thursday, May 20, 2004

Cintas pollution suit settled

The Cincinnati Enquirer

A water pollution lawsuit brought by the Sierra Club against Cintas Corp. in Milwaukee has been settled.

The Mason uniform supplier and the environmental group said Cintas agreed to install equipment at its 4-year-old Milwaukee laundry to remove polluting oil and grease from waste water before discharging it into the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewer District. The district discharges into Lake Michigan.

The Sierra Club sued Cintas, claiming it was the only one of five industrial laundries in the sewer district not to install the pre-treatment equipment.

As result, the suit said, Cintas violated oil and grease discharge limits at least 33 times since February 2001.

A Cintas spokesman said the Milwaukee plant has tripled in size since opening and it took time to get the pre-treatment equipment on line. He said the equipment is now operating.

As part of the settlement, Cintas agreed to pay about $40,000 to support local environmental programs.

"We're proud of our environmental record, we think it's one of the best in the industry,'' the Cintas spokesman said.

Cintas shares closed at $43.68, up 21 cents.

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