Wal-Mart pleads guilty in U.S. hazardous waste cases, to pay $82M

Wal-Mart pleads guilty in U.S. hazardous waste cases, to pay $82M

Source: Business Insurance, May 29, 2013

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. on Tuesday said it would pay nearly $81.63 million to the federal government as it pleaded guilty to charges that it improperly discarded hazardous waste such as bleach and fertilizer years ago.

The U.S. Department of Justice said that in cases filed by federal prosecutors in California, Wal-Mart pleaded guilty to six counts of violating the Clean Water Act by illegally handling and disposing of hazardous materials at U.S. stores.

The world’s largest retailer also pleaded guilty in Kansas City, Mo., to violating the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act by failing to properly handle pesticides that had been returned by customers, the Justice Department said in a statement.

Wal-Mart said its plea agreements with the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices in the Northern and Central Districts of California, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Missouri and an administrative resolution signed with the Environmental Protection Agency bring an end to compliance issues that took place years ago.

Wal-Mart previously agreed in 2010 to pay $27.6 million to the state of California to settle a related lawsuit and agreed in 2012 to pay more than $1.25 million to the state of Missouri.

The issues involve prior practices such as throwing out lawn products such as fertilizer and pesticides in the trash rather than through a certified hauler.

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