Walmart Pleads Guilty To Illegal Waste Dumping
May 29, 2013 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
SAN FRANCISCO (UPI) — U.S. retailer Walmart agreed to pay more than $81 million in penalties for violating laws regarding the disposal of hazardous materials, the EPA said.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Walmart pleaded guilty to multiple counts of violating the Clean Water Act. The suits state the company didn’t have programs to train employees on how to handle hazardous materials and pesticides. As a result, employees either disposed of hazardous waste in municipal trash bins or poured them into the local sewer system.
Walmart Senior Vice President Phyllis Harris said the retail giant has policies in place to address the issue.
“The program was built around training, policies and procedures on how to safely handle consumer products that become hazardous waste, and we continue to run the same program in every store and club that was deployed years ago,” she said in a statement.
The guilty plea was entered in a federal court in San Francisco. The penalties settle allegations filed by the EPA.
Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division Ignacia Moreno said the public was at risk because of Walmart’s violations.
“By improperly handling hazardous waste, pesticides and other materials in violation of federal laws, Walmart put the public and the environment at risk and gained an unfair economic advantage over other companies,” she said in a statement.