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News Releases from Region 07

EPA Investigation Finds Union Pacific Railroad Facility Violated Permit Discharge Limits to Joachim Creek

Contact Information: 
Angela Brees (brees.angela@epa.gov)

Environmental News


(Lenexa, Kan., June 16, 2015) - EPA Region 7 has reached a proposed administrative settlement with Union Pacific Railroad Company to resolve industrial stormwater violations under the Clean Water Act (CWA) at their railcar maintenance and refurbishing facility in DeSoto, Mo. Under the settlement, Union Pacific will implement a plan to ensure compliance with its industrial stormwater permit, and pay a civil penalty of $58,800.

An EPA inspection in 2014 revealed that from September 2009 to October 2014, the facility exceeded its industrial stormwater permit limits for petroleum, lead, zinc, and other solids in their stormwater runoff into Joachim Creek. Union Pacific also failed to properly monitor the pH levels of its discharges.

To resolve the violations, the company entered into two administrative orders with EPA. Under a compliance order, Union Pacific will fully implement its Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP), conduct required onsite inspections, properly conduct all sampling, install and maintain best management practices to prevent the discharge of pollutants, and conduct proper operation and maintenance at the facility as required by their permit and the SWPPP. The SWPPP is designed to ensure appropriate measures are taken to reduce pollutants discharged to Joachim Creek.

In the second administrative order, a proposed consent agreement and final order, Union Pacific also agreed to pay a civil penalty of $58,800. By agreeing to the settlement with EPA, the company has certified that it is now in compliance with all requirements of the Clean Water Act, the applicable permit, and its implementing regulations.

Pollutants in stormwater can violate water quality standards, pose risks to human health, threaten aquatic life and its habitat, and impair the use and enjoyment of waterways.

The Clean Water Act seeks to protect streams and wetlands that form the foundation of the nation's water resources. Protecting streams and wetlands is also part of adapting to climate change impacts like drought, sea level rise, stronger storms, and warmer temperatures.

The consent agreement for penalties is subject to a 40-day public comment period before it becomes final. Information on how to submit comments is available online.

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