Inadequate employee training has led Dollar General parent company to pay $1.125 million as a settlement in a lawsuit filed by Kern County, CA; the lawsuit alleged that Dollar General retail stores throughout the state illegally disposed of hazardous waste over a five-year period. Undercover inspections of waste bins at retail and distribution locations found that hazardous materials including automotive fluids, alkaline batteries, electronic waste, aerosol cans, expired medications, and other toxic and corrosive items were routinely being sent to landfills that were not permitted to receive that type of waste.
Parent company Dolgen California did not adequately train employees in the monitoring and management of hazardous waste and, under the terms of the settlement, is required to improve staff training as well as the monitoring and management of the company’s hazardous waste.
The settlement holds Dolgen California and its subsidiary corporations responsible for the unlawful management of its hazardous waste, according to the Yolo County District Attorney.
Under the settlement, Dolgen California must pay $500,000 in civil penalties and $375,000 to reimburse the costs of the investigation. An additional $112,000 will fund supplemental environmental projects furthering consumer protection and environmental enforcement in California. Also, Dolgen will fund hazardous waste minimization and enhanced compliance projects valued at $138,000. The retailer will be bound under the terms of a permanent injunction prohibiting similar future violations of law.