Coke's Indian Unit Fights $47M Enviro Fine

By Erin Marie Daly (March 23, 2010, 2:07 PM EDT) -- The Indian unit of Coca-Cola Co. is challenging a government panel's recommendation that it pour out $47 million to compensate for alleged environmental damages at a bottling plant in the southern Indian state of Kerala, saying state officials hadn't adequately investigated the issue.

Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt. Ltd. said in a statement Tuesday that it was not responsible for the groundwater depletion and toxic waste dumping at its Palakkad facility between 1999 and 2004.

The plant was shuttered in 2005 amid protests over the pollution by local farmers, and the Kerala government later set up a committee to probe the claims....

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