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UPS to pay $5.3 million to settle hazardous waste claims

Company given 3 years to comply with EPA regulations at 1,160 facilities nationwide

UPS to increase SurePost rates 6.9% (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

UPS Inc. will pay more than $5.3 million to resolve violations of U.S. hazardous waste regulations at 1,160 facilities in 45 states and Puerto Rico, the Environmental Protection Agency said this week.

EPA alleged that UPS (NYSE: UPS) had failed to conduct proper on-site management of hazardous waste at its facilities and also failed to make land disposal determinations, the agency said in a statement Wednesday.

Under a consent agreement with EPA, UPS has three years to comply with the agency’s regulations at the 1,160 locations.

UPS generates hazardous waste that’s 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, EPA said. According to the agency, many UPS facilities were generating and managing hazardous waste without fully complying with all the RCRA requirements.

Under the settlement, UPS’ compliance will focus on making accurate hazardous waste determinations, timely annual and biennial hazardous waste reporting, proper on-site management of hazardous waste and employee training, among other requirements.

In 2021, UPS settled claims of violations with a regional EPA office covering the company’s facilities in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas. EPA subsequently expanded its investigation to other UPS facilities across the country and identified similar issues on a broader geographic scale.

UPS is implementing changes on the regional level and has begun similar efforts nationwide, according to EPA.

Mark Solomon

Formerly the Executive Editor at DC Velocity, Mark Solomon joined FreightWaves as Managing Editor of Freight Markets. Solomon began his journalistic career in 1982 at Traffic World magazine, ran his own public relations firm (Media Based Solutions) from 1994 to 2008, and has been at DC Velocity since then. Over the course of his career, Solomon has covered nearly the whole gamut of the transportation and logistics industry, including trucking, railroads, maritime, 3PLs, and regulatory issues. Solomon witnessed and narrated the rise of Amazon and XPO Logistics and the shift of the U.S. Postal Service from a mail-focused service to parcel, as well as the exponential, e-commerce-driven growth of warehouse square footage and omnichannel fulfillment.