EPA: UPS to pay fine, correct hazardous waste violations
WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency has reached a settlement with United Parcel Service to resolve violations of hazardous waste regulations at more than 1,100 facilities across 45 states and Puerto Rico, the agency said Wednesday. The consent agreement with UPS, based in Atlanta, resolves a variety of alleged violations. The company will be penalized $5.3 million for failing to comply with 1 ,160 location within three years.
UPS is a well-known company with its brown trucks. It generates hazardous waste that is subject to federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act violations. This includes when a package containing hazardous materials is damaged or during day-today operations like maintenance.
“This settlement shows EPA’s commitment in protecting communities from hazardous waste,” stated Larry Starfield, EPA acting assistant administrator for enforcement. Starfield stated that the settlement requires UPS to address illegal acts at all its facilities and “implement policies which prevent future non-compliance.” Lauren Spangler, spokesperson for
UPS, stated that the parcel-delivery company has long-standing procedures in use to handle hazardous waste. She is also taking additional steps to improve these practices.
“The safety of our employees and communities, and care for our environment are the highest priorities at UPS,” she said in an email. “We will continue working with agencies and authorities around to ensure the safety and well-being of our network, as well as the well-being our employees and customers.
EPA officials in Texas-based Region 6 entered into a settlement agreement with UPS last year for facilities in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas. EPA began investigating other UPS facilities in the country after that settlement and found similar claims across the nation. EPA stated that UPS facilities produced, accumulated, and offered transport, treatment, and/or disposal of certain hazardous waste streams including ignitable and corrosive as well as acute hazardous wastes.
UPS developed compliance strategies at its Region 6 locations and has started similar steps nationwide, EPA stated. According to the settlement, UPS agreed that it would comply with federal and state RCRA laws and regulations. This includes more precise hazardous waste determinations and proper employee training.
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