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DHL to Pay $80,000 Stormwater Fine

DHL Express has agreed to pay an $80,000 penalty over charges of contaminated stormwater discharge at its former hub in Wilmington, Ohio.

The courier company will pay the fine (pdf) to resolve violations associated with its Wilmington airport, which served as a hub for its cargo handling, air transportation services and day-to-day operations.

The hub was jointly owned and operated between DHL Express, ABX Air and Wilmington Air Park LLC, an affiliate of DHL Express. ABX Air provided the storm water management.

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) said that when DHL increased the number of aircraft at the hub in 2004, the airport’s wastewater treatment system couldn’t handle the increased concentration of de-icing chemicals.

The stormwater system violated its discharge permit in 2007 and 2008, the Ohio EPA said.

State officials, investigating in May 2008, found water quality violations in Cowan Creek. They concluded that inadequately treated stormwater had caused the violations, and had killed fish and other wildlife.

That month, DHL Express announced corporate restructuring, which resulted in the company relocating operations to the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport in 2009.

Of the $80,000 penalty, $32,000 will be used to administer surface water programs, $32,000 will go to the Ohio EPA’s Environmental Education Fund and $16,000 will go to the agency’s Clean Diesel School Bus Fund.

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