WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency has reached an agreement with United Parcel Service to resolve hazardous waste regulatory violations at more than 1,100 facilities in 45 states and Puerto Rico, it said Wednesday. the agency.
The consent agreement with Atlanta-based UPS resolves a series of alleged violations, including failure to make land disposal decisions and conduct proper onsite hazardous waste management. The company has three years to bring itself into compliance at 1,160 sites and will pay a civil penalty of $5.3 million.
UPS, whose familiar brown trucks are known around the world, generates hazardous waste regulated by the Federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act when a package containing certain hazardous materials is damaged, as well as during daily operations such as maintenance, the EPA said.
“This rulebook is another example of EPA’s commitment to protecting communities from the dangers of hazardous waste,” said Larry Starfield, EPA Acting Assistant Administrator for Environmental Compliance and Assurance. compliance. The settlement requires UPS to combat illegal actions at all of its facilities and to “implement policies that prevent future noncompliance,” Starfield said.
UPS spokeswoman Lauren Spangler said the package delivery service had longstanding procedures in place to handle hazardous waste and was taking additional steps to improve its practices.
“The safety of our employees and our communities, and the protection of our environment are UPS’s top priorities,” she said in an email. “We will continue to work with agencies and authorities around the world to ensure the safety of our network and the well-being of our employees, customers and the communities we serve.”
Texas-based Region 6 EPA officials last year reached a settlement agreement with UPS for facilities in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas. Following this settlement, the EPA expanded its investigation to other UPS facilities across the country and identified similar claims nationwide. UPS facilities have generated, accumulated, and offered for transportation, processing, and/or disposal of certain hazardous waste streams, including flammable, corrosive, and acute hazardous wastes, the EPA said.
UPS has developed compliance strategies at its Region 6 facilities and has begun similar steps nationwide, the EPA said.
As part of the settlement, UPS agreed to comply with federal and state RCRA laws and regulations, including more accurate hazardous waste determinations, proper employee training and proper onsite hazardous waste management, said the EPA.
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