West Sac Lowe’s cited in settlement after wide investigation on hazardous waste
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.
“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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