ABF Freight hit with $535K penalty for clean water violations

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 1,781 views 

ABF Freight, the less-than-truckload (LTL) subsidiary of Fort Smith-based ArcBest, has agreed to pay a $535,000 penalty to resolve allegations that the company violated requirements of the Clean Water Act (CWA).

The settlement was detailed in a press release Monday (March 20) from the U.S. Department of Justice.

According to the release, in April 2015, ABF voluntarily disclosed to the US Environmental Protection Agency that it failed to obtain industrial stormwater permit coverage at multiple facilities. The company discovered additional areas of noncompliance with the CWA through internal compliance audits, which were conducted at nearly all its facilities during 2013 and 2014.

Between October 2016 and April 2019, the EPA, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, the state of Maryland and the state of Nevada conducted 15 inspections of ABF’s facilities and observed noncompliance with applicable stormwater laws at both CWA-permitted facilities and No Exposure Certification (NEC) facilities.

“Water quality affects every citizen equally. Its importance simply cannot be overstated,” said U.S. Attorney Clay Fowlkes said in the release. “This agreement ensures that ABF will take significant steps towards ensuring that water quality is not negatively affected by its operations. This settlement would not have been possible without the commitment and cooperation of all the federal, state, and local agencies involved along with ABF.”

As part of the proposed settlement, ABF will implement an enhanced, comprehensive stormwater management program at transportation facilities they operate across the country. The freight carrier operates more than 200 transportation facilities in 47 states and Puerto Rico.

ABF is also required to conduct tier-based management oversight inspections at its facilities during the three-year implementation period.