Flying J truck stop faces EPA fine for chronic violations | Gretna

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The operator of the Flying J truck stop in Gretna has been fined for repeated breaches of water pollution limits.

Pilot Travel Centers LLC, which describes itself as the largest truck stop operator in North America, has agreed to a civil penalty of $121,469 to resolve alleged violations of federal water quality law at its location in Gretna as well as 16 other locations in Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri, according to a July 27 press release.

The Environmental Protection Agency alleges that between June 2020 and September 2021, sewage from the Gretna truck stop exceeded E. coli four times in total, total ammonia limits six times in total and hydrocarbon limits once.

Sewage from the facility at 15010 S. Highway 31 feeds Buffalo Creek through an unnamed tributary, according to the proposed settlement agreement. A 2020 assessment by state officials found the Buffalo Creek watershed to be in good condition.

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The EPA designated Pilot’s facilities in Gretna and Warrenton, Missouri, as having “the most severe pattern of violations,” the EPA said in a statement. The federal agency said Pilot has since taken steps to bring all 17 facilities back into compliance and will audit 20 other facilities in the region for possible violations.

“Protecting our nation’s waters from harmful pollutants preserves them for use today and for future generations,” said EPA Region 7 Administrator Meg McCollister. “Companies must be held accountable for serious and widespread violations that endanger watersheds and human health.”

The public can comment on the proposed settlement agreement until August 18 before it becomes final. Information about this, as well as a copy of the proposed settlement, is available at epa.gov/mo/pilot-travel-centers-llc-clean-water-act-public-notice.

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