Wal-Mart’s staggering fine of $81 million for violations under the Clean Water Act and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act is sure to get the attention of other retailers. According to the news release by the Environmental Protection Agency, “Wal-Mart Stores Inc. pleaded guilty today in cases filed by federal prosecutors in Los Angeles and San Francisco to six counts of violating the Clean Water Act by illegally handling and disposing of hazardous materials at its retail stores across the United States. The Bentonville, Ark.-based company also pleaded guilty today in Kansas City, Mo., to violating the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) by failing to properly handle pesticides that had been returned by customers at its stores across the country.”
The release goes on to say, “As a result of the three criminal cases brought by the Justice Department, as well as a related civil case filed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Wal-Mart will pay approximately $81.6 million for its unlawful conduct. Coupled with previous actions brought by the states of California and Missouri for the same conduct, Wal-Mart will pay a combined total of more than $110 million to resolve cases alleging violations of federal and state environmental laws.”
It appears one of the biggest failings of Wal-Mart in these violation was lack of training, resulting in “hazardous wastes…either discarded improperly at the store level – including being put into municipal trash bins or, if a liquid, poured into the local sewer system.”
For more information about the Wal-Mart Case follow this link: http://www.epa.gov/enforcement/waste/cases/walmart.html
If you have questions about environmental compliance, (storm water, groundwater, wastewater, air, etc…) feel free to contact Matthew Schroeder, P.E. (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 248-932-0228.