National Freight Carrier to Pay Civil Fines and Take Storm Water Compliance Action for Non-Compliance with Clean Water Act

WASHINGTON – ABF Freight System Inc. (ABF), a freight carrier that operates more than 200 vehicles in 47 states and Puerto Rico, has settled allegations of violating Clean Water Act (CWA) requirements relating to industrial storm water in locations around the world. a country. Under the proposed settlement agreement, ABF will expand and implement its comprehensive, company-wide storm water compliance program at all of its transportation facilities except those located in Washington State and pay a $535,000 civil penalty, part of which will be directed to The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, Maryland, and Nevada, are parties to this settlement.

The case complaint, filed concurrently with the proposed consent ruling, alleges that ABF failed to comply with certain conditions of its CWA permits (e.g., spills that were not cleaned up; failure to comply with necessary spill prevention measures; failure to comply with measures). minimizing storm water pollution; failure to carry out the necessary monitoring of stormwater runoff; and failure to provide necessary training to ABF employees) at nine transportation sites.

“Through this settlement, ABF is implementing an expanded comprehensive stormwater management program at the transportation facilities they operate across the country.” said Acting Assistant Administrator Larry Starfield of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance.. “This settlement is an example of EPA’s commitment to working with companies like ABF who notify EPA of non-compliance and then work to improve compliance with the Clean Water Act to help protect local water resources.”

“Companies must comply with the provisions of the Clean Water Act to prevent industrial pollutants from polluting waterways.” said Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Department of Justice’s Division of Environment and Natural Resources.. “This consent decree ensures that action is taken on hundreds of vehicles across the country to protect nearby waterways and the communities that live along them.”

“Water quality affects every citizen equally, its importance cannot be overestimated,” said U.S. Attorney Clay Fowlkes of the Western District of Arkansas.. “This agreement ensures that ABF will take significant steps to ensure that its activities do not negatively impact water quality. This settlement would not have been possible without the commitment and cooperation of all federal, state and local agencies involved with ABF.”

In April 2015, ABF voluntarily disclosed to the Environmental Protection Agency that it was unable to obtain permits for industrial storm water at several sites, and additional areas of CWA non-compliance were found as a result of the company’s own compliance audits, which were conducted at almost all of its sites in during 2013 and 2014 Between October 2016 and April 2019, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, the State of Maryland, and the State of Nevada conducted 15 inspections of ABF facilities and found non-compliance with applicable storm water laws at both CWA-approved facilities and facilities certified under the No Impact Certificate (NEC). ) convenience.

To address the extent of ABF’s non-compliance, the proposed consent decree requires ABF to continue to implement and improve its comprehensive, company-wide stormwater compliance program. This includes remembering stormwater roles and responsibilities, comprehensively training employees with contractor awareness, implementing standard operating procedures, managing a stormwater pollution prevention plan, and tracking site-specific corrective actions. The settlement also requires ABF to conduct multi-level supervisory reviews at its authorized and NEC facilities during the three-year implementation period of this consent ruling.

Stormwater runoff from industrial sites can contain contaminants such as debris, chemicals, oils, and sediment that can harm waterways across the country. Stormwater pollutants can cause changes in hydrology and water quality, resulting in habitat alteration and loss, increased flooding, decreased aquatic biodiversity, and increased sedimentation and erosion. It is imperative that all properties requiring a permit properly apply for a permit and comply with applicable stormwater regulations to ensure that their environmental impact is effectively minimized.

The prohibition measures set out in the proposed consent ordinance are intended to ensure effective stormwater management at ABF facilities, including those facilities that perform vehicle maintenance and equipment cleaning.

A consent order filed in the US District Court for the Western District of Arkansas is subject to a 30-day public comment period and federal court approval. The consent decree can be viewed on the Department of Justice website.

For more information about this settlement, please visit ABF Freight Inc. Fact Sheet on Settlement Under the Clean Water Act | United States Environmental Protection Agency

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