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Wal-Mart to Pay $27.6 Million for Environmental Violations in California

Wal-Mart has agreed to pay $27.6 million to settle charges that it violated California environmental laws by improperly handling, storing and disposing of hazardous materials, reports the Los Angeles Times. Materials included pesticides, chemicals, paint, acid, aerosols, fertilizer and motor oil.

The settlement includes $21 million for civil penalties and investigative costs and $6 million to fund supplemental environmental projects.

The settlement ends a five-year probe, alleging that 236 Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club stores, distribution centers and storage facilities were in violation of environmental laws, reports Reuters.

Bonnie Dumanis, the San Diego County district attorney, told Reuters the settlement is one of the largest of its kind in the United States.

In a statement at the company’s Website, Phyllis Harris, vice president, Environmental Compliance, for Walmart U.S. said: “Environmental sustainability is a priority at Wal-Mart, and we take our compliance responsibilities very seriously. It’s important to note that these incidents happened at least four years ago.”

Harris also noted that the company has worked with the state on a comprehensive hazardous waste plan that includes improved training programs, policies and procedures.

Spokesman David Tovar said in the Reuters article that Wal-Mart is working to resolve a separate federal probe looking into similar allegations.

Wal-Mart said the settlement will not impact its fiscal first-quarter operating results.

Some of Wal-Mart’s recent sustainability goals include eliminating greenhouse gases and carbon emissions from its supply chain by 2015, and cutting all waste by reducing, recycling or reusing everything that comes into its 4,100 American stores by 2025 and its British operations by 2010.

The retailer also rolled out its Packaging Scorecard in 2008 and introduced its sustainability index in 2009 to grade suppliers and products on a range of environmental and sustainable factors.

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7 thoughts on “Wal-Mart to Pay $27.6 Million for Environmental Violations in California

  1. Environmental compliance cannot be ignored or separated from sustainability – the only difference is one is a law and one is not. It all aims for the same ends.

  2. Reducing waste, energy, green house gases, saves Wal Mart money. Disposing of waste properly costs money. Has anyone considered that WalMart talks the talk but… And I highly doubt China will be able to meet the 2015 goal that WalMart is stating. How will this be rationalized in 4 years?

  3. Wal-Mart a very big retail chain company has agreed to pay $27.6 million to settle charges that it violated California environmental laws by improperly handling, storing and disposing of hazardous materials.The post is good gives us inspiration to save over environment & stop all such material which make environment unhealthy.

  4. Iain: Always a cynic in the crowd. They are damned if they do and damned if they don’t in your eyes. If they ever fail to meet all of their goals, your type will criticize them. Many of their initiatives are not required, and they are driving changes throughout the global supply chain. Can’t you at least give them credit for what they are doing?

  5. Another fleecing by the EPA . . . scam to hit the big bad “boogie” man Walmart . . . really . . . they want a plan . . . when has the EPA ever put together a plan . . . always the first to critizie with no substances. . . . this Govt organization (chaos) needs to be taken down.

  6. Tony G: Your post is irrelevant (and wrong). The story has nothing to do with the EPA. The very first sentence identifies that Walmart ran afoul of California environmental laws – it did not get into any trouble with the EPA. And quoting from the link the article provided, “The case began when an investigator from the San Diego County Department of Environmental Health spotted a Wal-Mart employee dumping bleach down a drain”.
    By the way, the EPA has put together many, many successful plans over the years. And they are not in the business of inventing scams or of “fleecing” anyone.

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