ATLANTA -- UPS and its former freight unit face a $3.8 million penalty in a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over hazardous-waste violations.
UPS and TForce Freight also must correct violations at facilities in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas. UPS earlier this year sold its low-margin freight unit to Canadian trucking company TFI International Inc., which renamed it TForce Freight. The EPA investigation started well before the sale.
The EPA said that it discovered that many UPS facilities were generating and managing hazardous waste without reporting all the required information, including a description of hazardous-waste activity.
The agency also learned of potential violations from the Arkansas Department of Energy and Environment, which in 2019 inspected a UPS facility in Fort Smith.
"Among the millions of packages that circulate in our economy every day are some that contain hazardous materials," said the EPA acting assistant administrator of the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, Larry Starfield, in a statement. "If these packages are damaged, their contents may be released and pose a hazard to people and the environment. That is why it is critical that freight companies follow requirements for the safe handling and disposal of hazardous wastes."
The EPA said the companies cooperated and agreed to comply with regulations and improve hazardous-waste tracking and compliance programs. That will reduce the potential for releases of hazardous waste, such as ignitable, corrosive and reactive substances and substances like arsenic, mercury and lead, according to the agency.