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Environment

Walmart Guilty of Crimes Against Environment, Must Pay $110 Mil

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Tue, May 28, 2013 at 2:58 PM
click to enlarge THIS PHOTO BY PEOPLE OF WAL-MART VIA FACEBOOK HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH IT. WE JUST LIKE IT.
  • This photo by People of Wal-Mart via Facebook has nothing to do with it. We just like it.

Walmart has fewer friends in Los Angeles than the Tea Party. While local lefties usually decry the retail Godzilla for its non-union, low-paying ways, they have new reason to hate:

An investigation that started here in Southern California has led to a $81.6 million settlement (and more, below) between Walmart and the federal government for the stores' illegal dumping. Ed Begley, Jr. is jumping for joy:

The deal announced today has Walmart actually pleading guilty to violating the Clean Water Act and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act , the U.S. Attorney's Office in L.A. says.

Among other things, Walmart is accused of dumping pesticides that had been returned by customers, failing to train employees on proper hazardous waste management, and mishandling chemical-laden trash.

The U.S. Attorney's Office:

click to enlarge KATHERINE JOHNSON / FLICKR
  • Katherine Johnson / Flickr

... Hazardous wastes were either discarded improperly at the store level - including being put into municipal trash bins or, if a liquid, poured into the local sewer system - or they were improperly transported without proper safety documentation to one of six product return centers located throughout the United States.

The entirely of the environmental cases against the giant will have Walmart pay up more than $110 million to resolve the cases filed in L.A., San Francisco and Kansas City, feds said.

U.S. Attorney in L.A. André Birotte Jr:

Retailers like Wal-Mart that generate hazardous waste have a duty to legally and safely dispose of that hazardous waste, and dumping it down the sink was neither legal nor safe. The case against Wal-Mart is designed to ensure compliance with our nation's environmental laws now and in the future.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.

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