Environmental Non-Compliance Can Be Costly

Major retailer Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has been hit with more than $81 million in civil and criminal penalties for violations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).  Wal-Mart pleaded guilty in three criminal federal cases and entered a consent agreement with the EPA to resolve the civil violations.

The violations arose from mismanagement of hazardous wastes and damaged pesticide containers.  Wal-Mart was accused of not having a program in place to train employees on proper hazardous waste management and disposal practices at its stores, which resulted in improper transportation of hazardous wastes as well as the disposal of hazardous wastes into municipal trash bins and local sewer systems.  Wal-Mart was also accused of failing to provide adequate oversight of pesticides it sent to a reuse and recycling facility.  In addition to the penalties Wal-Mart has agreed to pay, the company will take certain actions to prevent future violations, including continued implementation of a corporate-wide hazardous waste management program.

For more information, the EPA press release is available here.

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Rita Bolt Barker

Rita Bolt Barker is an experienced litigator and counselor, focusing primarily on environmental, commercial litigation, and insurance coverage matters.

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