La Jolla Crime and Public-Safety News: Whole Foods to pay $1.6M for hazardous waste breach; UTC location implicated


Whole Foods to pay $1.6M for hazardous waste breach: UTC location implicated

San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott announced Sept. 21 that, as the result of a lawsuit filed by San Diego and 21 other prosecuting agencies, Whole Foods and two affiliates were found to have disposed of hazardous materials at their stores, including the UTC location, and must pay more than $1.6 million and change its labeling and storage practices to protect employees and customers from exposure, to properly track and document hazardous waste, and to dispose of it only at authorized facilities.

Over a five-year period, Whole Foods disposed of hazardous materials, such as ignitable liquids, aerosol products, cleaning agents, and other flammable, reactive, toxic, and corrosive materials, at each of its facilities. Failure to properly handle and dispose of these items violated the California Health and Safety Code. This code, which includes the Hazardous Waste Control Law, provides a comprehensive framework regulating the generation, handling, treatment, storage, transportation, and disposal of hazardous waste. Whole Foods stores in Hillcrest and UTC were implicated in the complaint.

“California has some of the most stringent environmental protection laws in the nation, and for good reason,” said Elliott. “Companies that handle hazardous waste owe it to their customers, employees, and communities to dispose of this material safely and lawfully. My office works to ensure that all corporations, regardless of size or status, are accountable for their conduct.”

Additionally, the companies will pay more than $1.4 million in civil penalties and legal costs, as well as more than $200,000 toward supplemental environmental projects and the prosecution of similar crimes. San Diego will receive approximately $113,000 in civil penalties, including more than $16,000 to support the work of the San Diego County Department of Environmental Health.

— City Attorney reports

Homeless man arrested for battery near drugstore

A local homeless man was arrested for battery Sept. 19, after spitting on someone during an argument. Police report the verbal exchange between the suspect and the victim took place around 10 a.m. Sept. 19 in the CVS parking lot at 7525 Eads Ave.

The suspect, identified as Steven Baumeister, spit on the victim, and was placed under citizen’s arrest (a citizen may retain another without a warrant, for a crime occurring in their presence) and booked into San Diego Central Jail for battery.

California Penal Code Section 242, defines battery as “any willful and unlawful use of force or violence upon another person,” and can include throwing objects or projecting bodily fluids, such as spit.

Police Blotter

Sept. 9

Minor in possession of alcohol, 200 block Playa del Norte, 4 p.m.

Sept. 11

Fraud, 8200 block Camino del Oro, 10:30 a.m.

Vehicle theft, 5000 block La Jolla Blvd., 4 p.m.

Petty theft, 800 block Loring St., 6:45 p.m.

Sept. 13

Vehicle break-in/theft, 8800 block Villa La Jolla Drive, 2:30 p.m.

Sept. 14

Vehicle break-in/theft, 8800 block Villa La Jolla Drive, 11:45 a.m.

Vandalism, 8300 block Cliffridge Ave., 8 p.m.

Shoplifting, 8800 block Villa La Jolla Drive, 9:30 p.m.

Sept. 15

Petty theft, 8300 block Via Sonoma, 6:15 p.m.

Sept. 16

Petty theft, 800 block Turquoise St., 2 p.m.

Vehicle break-in/theft, 400 block Bird Rock Ave., 10:15 a.m.

Sept. 17

Battery on person, 7500 block Girard Ave., 9:10 a.m.

Vehicle break-in/theft, 1200 block Prospect St., 9:57 a.m.

Petty theft, 7800 block Girard Ave., 2 p.m.

Vehicle break-in/theft, 8500 block El Paseo Grande, 4 p.m.

Vehicle break-in/theft, 5100 block Los Altos Court, 9 p.m.

Sept. 18

Battery with bodily injury, 700 block Silver St., 6:40 a.m.

Theft, 800 block Nautilus St., 4:30 p.m.

Sept. 19

Residential burglary, 2400 block Sagebrush Court, 11:30 a.m.

Vehicle break-in/theft, 6100 block Camino de la Costa, 7 p.m.

Sept. 20

Fraud, 2400 block Hidden Valley Road, 3 p.m.

Petty theft, 5400 block La Jolla Blvd., 2 p.m.

Sept. 21

Petty theft, 5500 block Thunderbird Lane, midnight

Vehicle break-in/theft, 2000 block Via Ladeta, 2:05 a.m.

Petty theft, 2100 block Avenida de la Playa, 1:20 p.m.

Sept. 22

Grand theft over $950, 600 block Tourmaline St., 8 p.m.

Sept. 23

Petty theft, 7800 block Girard Ave., 10:35 a.m.

Petty theft, 8800 block Villa La Jolla Drive, 10:41 a.m.

Compiled by Ashley Mackin-Solomon