UPS to Pay for Hazwaste Violations in Kansas

United Parcel Service has agreed to pay a $53,931 civil penalty to EPA Region 7 to settle a series of alleged violations of federal laws regarding the management of hazardous wastes at its freight facility in Lenexa, Kan.

According to a consent agreement and final order filed Tuesday in Kansas City, Kan., several violations of the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) were noted during a February 2007 inspection of UPS's Lenexa location, which generates hazardous and non-hazardous solid waste as a result of ordinary breakage, leakage, and spillage from the approximate 400,000 packages workers handle at the facility each day.

EPA noted that RCRA seeks to prevent possible danger to human health or the environment that may result from the improper handling of hazardous waste. Under the act, UPS is required to identify and handle its waste in a legally acceptable manner, the agency added.

At the time of the inspection, the UPS facility was registered with the State of Kansas as a "small quantity" generator of hazardous waste, under which it could have accumulated up to 2,200 pounds of non-acute hazardous waste during a month. However, the inspection showed that the facility actually accumulated amounts of hazardous waste in excess of 2,200 pounds per month during at least 11 months between June 2005 and January 2007.

UPS was cited for violating several sections of the federal RCRA regulations, including failures to comply with generator requirements, update hazardous waste notification, document weekly inspections, submit a biennial report to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, familiarize local emergency responders with its facility, familiarize local hospitals with waste at the facility, provide annual waste management training to employees, and have a contingency plan for emergencies.

Through the consent agreement, UPS has promised EPA that it is now in compliance with the federal RCRA regulations and all related state hazardous waste regulations.

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