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News Releases from Region 10

National wholesale grocery distributor, Supervalu Holdings, Inc., agrees to settle EPA violations and protect local waters from stormwater pollution

Contact Information: 
Contact: Mark MacIntyre/EPA Seattle (macintyre.mark@epa.gov)

(Seattle, WA - February 09, 2015) As part of federal efforts to protect and restore Puget Sound, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has settled with Supervalu Holdings, Inc., a Minneapolis, MN, based national wholesale grocery distributor, for federal stormwater pollution violations. The violations stem from EPA inspections at three Supervalu facilities (two in Tacoma, one in Auburn) in 2013, which documented several Clean Water Act violations at each facility. Supervalu has also agreed to pay a $120,000 penalty.

According to Ed Kowalski, director of EPA's Office of Compliance and Enforcement in Seattle, today's action is part of a broader campaign to protect and restore the health of Puget Sound.

"Stormwater runoff remains one of Puget Sound's most persistent and serious threats," said Kowalski. "Every storm sends chemicals, heavy metals, contaminated sediment and nutrients streaming directly into our waterways and Puget Sound. For the sake of the Sound, we will continue to ensure that facilities comply with the fundamental environmental responsibilities outlined in their permits."

Among the violations documented during the inspections (at all three facilities):

Failure to implement adequate storm water control measures.
Failure to conduct visual or benchmark monitoring of storm water discharges.
Failure to conduct or document required storm water inspections.
Inadequate Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP)

EPA's stormwater enforcement program helps ensure compliance at permitted and unpermitted industrial stormwater sources across western Washington, reducing Puget Sound pollutants. In this case, the facilities discharged stormwater to tributaries to either the Green River (Auburn) or the Thea Foss Waterway (Tacoma) which are directly connected to Puget Sound. Pollutants carried by storm water may be harmful to aquatic life and public health.

For more about EPA's Stormwater enforcement program and how it protects Puget Sound water quality: http://www2.epa.gov/enforcement/national-enforcement-initiative-keeping-raw-sewage-and-contaminated-stormwater-out-our