UPS Settles with EPA to Correct Alleged Hazardous Waste Violations Nationwide
Company to implement environmental policies to prevent future noncompliance
WASHINGTON (October 19, 2022) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a settlement with United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS) to resolve violations of hazardous waste regulations at 1,160 facilities across forty-five (45) states and the territory of Puerto Rico.
EPA’s consent agreement and final order with UPS resolves violations of hazardous waste regulations, including failure to make land disposal determinations, and conduct proper on-site management of hazardous waste, among other requirements. The company has 36 months to come into compliance across 1,160 locations and will pay a civil penalty of $5,323,008. UPS generates hazardous waste regulated under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) when a package containing certain hazardous materials is damaged, as well as during day-to-day operations such as maintenance.
“This settlement is another example of EPA’s commitment to protecting communities from the dangers of hazardous waste,” said Larry Starfield, EPA’s Acting Assistant Administrator for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “Today’s action requires UPS to address RCRA violations at all of its facilities, as well as implement policies that prevent future noncompliance.”
In 2021, EPA Region 6 entered into a settlement agreement with UPS for its facilities in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas. Following this settlement, EPA expanded its investigation into other UPS facilities across the country and identified similar claims as was alleged in the Region 6 case. Many UPS facilities were generating and managing hazardous waste in all three generator categories without complying with all the RCRA requirements for each of the three generation categories. Using the e-Manifest system, EPA’s national system for electronically tracking hazardous waste shipments and other reporting databases, EPA was able to determine that these additional facilities also generated, accumulated, and offered for transport, treatment, and/or disposal certain hazardous waste streams, including ignitable, corrosive, and reactive substances, including acute hazardous wastes.
As a result of UPS’s cooperation and their willingness to apply the enhanced programs, which it has developed and is currently implementing at its facilities in Region 6 to address non-compliance, UPS has started similar implementations at its facilities nationwide.
Under the settlement, UPS has agreed to comply with all relevant state and federal RCRA laws and regulations with a focus on: (1) accurate hazardous waste determinations; (2) complete RCRA Notification; (3) proper employee training; (4) timely annual and biennial hazardous waste reporting; (5) Land Disposal Restrictions determination; (6) proper onsite management of hazardous waste; and (7) all applicable manifest requirements.
The signed Consent Agreement and Final Order can be found on the Environmental Appeals Board website.