Sprint Audits 1,000 Facilities, Finds Environmental Violations

Under a proposed civil settlement with the United States, Sprint United Management Co. will fix violations it found in a voluntary audit of 1,100 of its cellular and paging-related facilities.

Under a proposed civil settlement with the United States, Sprint United Management Co. will fix violations it found in a voluntary audit of 1,100 of its cellular and paging-related facilities in compliance with the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) and the Clean Water Act (CWA).

When it completed its audit, Sprint informed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) it had violated EPCRA Section 3ll and Section 312 by failing to notify the appropriate officials of the presence of sulfuric acid, lead and/or diesel fuel at 258 facilities located in 37 states.

Under EPCRA, facilities that produce, use, or store hazardous chemicals in threshold quantities are required to submit a Material Safety Data Sheet for each chemical and an annual emergency and hazardous chemical inventory form to the state emergency response commission, local emergency planning committee and local fire departments. These requirements allow emergency responders to prepare for accidents, including having the necessary protective equipment and training.

Sprint's audit also revealed noncompliance with the CWA's Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plan requirements at 203 of its facilities located in 23 states. SPCC plans are required to help present or contain spills and keep hazardous chemicals from polluting streams, rivers and other bodies of water.

Sprint will pay a civil penalty of $250,075, equal to the economic benefit it gained from delaying compliance. The consent decree was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri.

The proposed settlement was reached under EPA's Audit Policy, which allows the agency to reduce or eliminate penalties for companies that promptly disclose and correct violations.

Companies seeking information about the Audit Policy should visit www.epa.gov/oeca/ore/apolguid.html or contact Leslie Jones, Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, at 202-564-5123.

edited by Sandy Smith

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