Supervalu Holdings Inc., which operates two industrial facilities in Tacoma and one in Auburn, has agreed to pay a $120,000 federal penalty for violating some terms of its stormwater permit.
Supervalu, based in Minnesota, had about $17 billion in revenue last year. The federal Environmental Protection Agency announced the penalty in a news release.
During inspections in 2013, the company was found to have violated some record-keeping and house-keeping provisions of its state that governs stormwater discharges related to industrial activity.
The EPA found these specific violations in Tacoma, at its main distribution center and warehouse on East D Street, between January 2010 and May 2013:
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• Did not identify areas that could be sources of pollutants, nor identify people who should be on a pollution prevention team;
• Did not keep trash bins properly covered, nor provide spill kits, nor train people about pollution prevention;
• Did not take water samples, nor submit complete and accurate reports in 2011 and 2012;
• Did not conduct and document monthly inspections.
The Tacoma facilities’ stormwater flows into the Thea Foss Waterway then Commencement Bay, which still is polluted enough to remain on the state’s list of “impaired water bodies”.
The EPA found these specific violations in Auburn, at its frozen foods facility at 701 15th St. SW, between July 2011 and June 2013:
• Did not identify drainage areas, assign an ID number to each discharge point, nor identify areas that could contribute to pollution;
• Did not keep trash bins properly covered, vacuum paved surfaces or keep chemicals stored on an impervious surface;
• Did not take a sample of stormwater discharges each quarter, nor conduct and document monthly inspections.
The frozen food facility’s stormwater goes into Mill Creek, which makes its way to Puget Sound via the Green River and then the Duwamish River.