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CA Cities, Counties Join Walgreens Lawsuit

California prosecutors from at least 36 counties and two cities have asked a judge to force Walgreen Co. to comply with state environmental laws against dumping hazardous waste, according to news reports.

The Aug. 6 motion follows a lawsuit filed in June in Alameda County Superior Court that says Walgreens allowed employees at more than 600 stores across the state to “routinely and systematically” dump hazardous waste, including pharmaceuticals, pesticide products, automotive products and solvents, in local landfills, reports the Oakland Tribune.

The suit also alleges Walgreens improperly disposed of customers’ confidential medical records, reports the Monterey County Herald.

In the company’s SEC filing a month later, Walgreens said it would work with state and local officials to resolve the allegations.

SEC regulations require disclosure of environmental matters when a governmental authority is a party to the proceedings and monetary sanctions could exceed $100,000.

In other Walgreens news, the company has installed energy-efficient GE lighting systems in 80 percent of its nationwide locations, the company says.

New linear fluorescent fixtures will increase energy efficiency by 9 percent and extend re-lamp cycles by 10 percent.

Walgreens says it also achieved greater energy efficiency by switching from 28-watt to 25-watt GE F25 T8 linear fluorescent tubes. Though the difference in wattage is only three watts per light, the change saves the drug store chain thousands of dollars because it affects more than 4.3 million lights at nearly 7,000 stores, according to Walgreens.

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