UPS reached a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to resolve alleged hazardous waste violations at 1,160 facilities nationwide, according to a news release Wednesday.
The alleged regulatory violations included a failure to make land disposal determinations and conduct proper on-site hazardous waste management, per the release. It will also pay a civil penalty of $5.3 million.
The parcel delivery giant has three years to come into regulatory compliance at the facilities, located across 45 states and Puerto Rico. Compliance focus areas include accurate hazardous waste determinations, proper employee training, timely hazardous waste reporting and proper on-site management.
“This settlement is another example of EPA’s commitment to protecting communities from the dangers of hazardous waste," said Larry Starfield, the EPA’s acting assistant administrator for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, in a statement.
UPS generates hazardous waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act when packages with certain hazardous materials are damaged, as well as in day-to-day operations, according to the EPA.
"The safety of our employees and communities, and care for our environment are the highest priorities at UPS," a UPS spokesperson said in an emailed statement. "We have long-standing procedures in place for handling hazardous waste and are taking additional steps to further enhance our practices."
The alleged hazardous waste violations at UPS facilities followed a previous settlement EPA Region 6 made with the company and TForce Freight in 2021. That agreement covered 183 facilities in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas. The EPA required the companies to come into compliance with regulations and pay a civil penalty of $3.8 million.
The agency said Wednesday it expanded its investigation to other UPS locations across the country after that settlement was reached. Per the release, it "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."
UPS has started implementing programs to address non-compliance at facilities nationwide, similar to what it is implementing at locations covered in the previous settlement, the release said.
"As an industry leader in environmental sustainability, UPS takes its commitment and obligations in this area very seriously," the UPS spokesperson said. "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 and the customers and communities we serve."