Lawrence, Kan., Distribution Center Among Those Costing Kmart $102,400 in Environmental Penalties, But Self Reporting Reduces Fine


WEBWIRE – Friday, May 11, 2007

Kmart will pay a $102,422 fine to settle self-disclosed violations of federal environmental regulations discovered at 17 distribution centers in 13 states, including one in Lawrence, Kan. The company reported violations of clean water, hazardous waste, and emergency planning and preparedness regulations to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

EPA Region 7 Administrator John B. Askew, in Kansas City, Kan., said, “The company would have faced a fine of more than $1.6 million if EPA had discovered Kmart’s violations through an inspection. Our top priority is to protect the environment and public health. We have a variety of tools and options to do that. In this case, Kmart discovered its own violations and came forward with a plan to fix the problems"

Kmart has corrected the violations found during a 2004 audit conducted by outside consultants. The company prepared and implemented spill prevention control and countermeasure plans, applied for appropriate storm water permits, complied with hazardous waste generator requirements, and submitted reports to state and local emergency planning and response organizations informing them of the presence of hazardous substances.

Violations at the Lawrence distribution center at 2400 Kresge Road included:

-Failure to prepare and implement a spill prevention, containment, and countermeasure plan.
-Failure to obtain a national pollutant discharge elimination system permit.
-Failure to properly label hazardous waste containers and have accumulation start dates on the labels.
-Failure to conduct weekly inspections of hazardous waste storage areas and containers.
-Failure to designate an emergency coordinator.
-Failure to post information relating to the emergency coordinator next to telephones.
-Failure to notify the local emergency planning committee and/or state emergency planning commission and failure to file a material safety data sheet.

Kmart audited its programs under an EPA policy that provides incentives to companies that discover, disclose to EPA, and correct environmental violations. Companies must also take steps under the audit policy to prevent future violations. EPA will reduce or waive penalties for certain violations if a company or regulated entity meets the conditions of the policy. EPA will not waive or reduce penalties for repeat violations or violations that result in serious harm or that present imminent or substantial endangerment to human health or the environment.

Kmart is required to pay the penalty by June 1, 2007. The company, owned by Sears Holdings Corp. in Hoffman Estates, Ill., discovered violations at other distribution centers in Billerica, Mass.; Canton, Mich.; Chambersburg, Pa.; Denver/Brighton, Colo.; Forest Park, Ga.; Greensboro, N.C.; Groveport, Calif.; Manteno, Ill.; Mira Loma, Calif.; Morrisville/Fairless Hills, Pa.; Newnan, Ga.; Ocala, Fla.; Ontario, Calif.; Shakopee, Minn.; Sparks, Nev.; and Warren, Ohio.



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