Ford Agrees to Resolve Hazardous Waste Violations at 14 Assembly Plants

An administrative complaint filed by the EPA against Ford Motor Co. for alleged hazardous waste violations at 14 U.S. auto assembly plants has been resolved, with Ford agreed to pay a $244,000 penalty and bring all of its plants into compliance with EPA requirements.

It is part of an industry-wide effort, said a spokesperson for EPA, and a similar agreement was reached with DaimlerChrysler AG last year.

EPA cited the automaker for not monitoring for leaks from the equipment used to paint vehicles and for not keeping records of monitoring practices. Ford was also cited for not assessing and inspecting the integrity of equipment and secondary containment systems.

Although it agreed to the settlement with EPA, Ford does not admit its actions impacted the environment. "We believe there was no environmental impact at all," said Ford spokeswoman Carolyn Brown

The complaint was initially issued by EPA Region 5 under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) to the Ford facility in Avon, Ohio. Region 5 also added Ford painting and waste storage systems in Chicago; St. Paul, Minn.; Dearborn, Wixom and Wayne (two facilities), Mich., to the complaint. EPA Regions 2, 3, 4 and 7 joined in the agreement that involves Ford plants in Hapeville, Ga.; Edison, N.J.; Claycomo and Hazelwood, Mo.; Louisville, Ky. (two facilities); and Norfolk, Va.

EPA regulates the safe handling, transportation, treatment and disposal of hazardous waste, from its origin to its final disposal.

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