Wal-Mart agrees to $27M settlement in hazardous waste case
Wal-Mart has agreed to pay $27.6 million to settle allegations that employees at hundreds of the mega-retailer’s facilities in San Diego and across the state violated environmental laws and regulations by improperly storing and disposing of hazardous waste, law enforcement authorities announced Monday.
According to prosecutors, Wal-Mart employees and managers were improperly storing, handling, transporting and dumping wastes including pesticides, chemicals, paint, aerosols, acid, fertilizer and motor oil.
A civil complaint filed last month by the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office and state Attorney General’s Office alleged that violations were found at 236 Wal-Mart stores, Sam’s Club store, distribution centers and storage facilities throughout the state.
The settlement was signed by San Diego Superior Court Judge Linda B. Quinn, with Wal-Mart agreeing to pay $20 million in penalties to the various prosecuting and investigating agencies, more than $1.6 million in investigative costs and $3 million for environmental projects.
The company also agreed to spend at least $3 million to keep its stores in compliance with environmental laws and regulations, according to prosecutors.
“This should serve as a warning to all companies doing business in the state and in San Diego County that they will not be allowed to flaunt environmental laws in place to keep our communities clean and safe — no matter how large or small the corporation,” said San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis.