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National Retailer Voluntarily Discloses Environmental Violations, Pays Lesser Penalty

Release Date: 05/09/2007
Contact Information: Roxanne Smith, (202) 564-4355 / smith.roxanne@epa.gov

(Washington, D.C. - May 9, 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. The company reported violations of clean water, hazardous waste, and emergency planning and preparedness regulations to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. If EPA had discovered Kmart's violations through an inspection, the company would have faced a fine of more than $1.6 million.

"Our top priority is to protect the environment and public health. We have a variety of tools and options to do that," said Granta Nakayama, assistant administrator of EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. "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 countermeasures 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.

The company discovered violations at distribution centers located in the following cities: Billerica, Mass.; Canton, Mich.; Chambersburg, Pa.; Denver/Brighton, Colo.; Forest Park, Ga.; Greensboro, N.C.; Groveport, Calif.; Lawrence, Kan.; Manteno, Ill.; Mira Loma, Calif.; Morrisville/Fairless Hills, Pa.; Newnan, Ga.; Ocala, Fla.; Ontario, Calif.; Shakopee, Minn.; Sparks, Nev.; and Warren, Ohio.

Kmart audited its programs under an EPA policy that provides incentives to companies that discover, disclose, and correct environmental violations. Under the audit policy, companies also must take steps to prevent future violations. EPA often reduces or waives penalties for certain violations if the facility meets the conditions of the policy. EPA will not waive or reduce penalties for repeat violations, or violations that resulted in serious harm, or presented an imminent or substantial endangerment to human health or the environment.

Kmart is owned by Sears Holdings Corp., which is located in Hoffman Estates, Ill.

Kmart is required to pay the penalty by June 1, 2007.

More information on the Kmart consent order: epa.gov/compliance/resources/cases/civil/mm/kmart.html

Information on EPA's audit policy: epa.gov/compliance/incentives/auditing/auditpolicy.html

Help EPA protect our nation's land, air and water by reporting violations: epa.gov/tips