Apr 022014
 

NEWS-LEDGER ONLINE — APRIL 2, 2014 –

The office of Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig today announced that the State of California — along with 32 counties and two cities — has obtained an $18.1 million settlement with Lowe’s Home Centers after investigators found the stores had been illegally disposing of hazardous materials.

The chain’s West Sacramento store, on Lake Washington Boulevard, was among those that sent materials such as paints, solvents, batteries, adhesives, mercury-containing fluorescent bulbs and e-waste directly into the trash, heading for the landfill.

Batteries and materials meant for recycling, but disposed of in the trash. This photo was taken by investigators at the Lowe's store on Lake Washington Blvd. (courtesy of Yolo County District Attorney's Office)

Batteries meant for recycling, but disposed of in the trash. They were taken from a trash compactor at the Lowe’s in Southport on Lake Washington Blvd. (courtesy of Yolo County District Attorney’s Office)

“The inspections also revealed that some Lowe’s stores were discarding directly into the trash such items as batteries and compact fluorescent light bulbs instead of recycling them,” said the Yolo D.A.’s office. “These were items that had been gathered from customers at store recycling kiosks.”

The chain was “cooperative” with investigators, the D.A.’s office added.

One Yolo County store — the West Sacramento location — was included in the civil environmental prosecution. Because of that and the local D.A.’s “significant role in the investigations,” said Reisig’s office, the Yolo County District Attorney’s office will receive $807,000 in penalties and $25,000 in costs from the settlement. The Yolo County Environmental Health Department will receive $100,000 in penalties and $4,250 in costs.

Yolo’s participation was led by Enforcement Officer Heidi D’Agostino.

The judgment was approved by Alameda County Superior Court Judge George C. Hernandez, Jr. against the North Carolina-based company.

The settlement included a permanent injunction against future violations.

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Copyright News-Ledger 2014

Steve Marschke

Steve Marschke