Toxic fertilizer dumped behind the Foothill Ranch Wal-Mart store was cited in today's announcement that Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. agreed to a $20 million-plus settlement with 20 prosecutorial agencies, including the Orange County District
Attorney's Office, over the illegal
transportation and disposal of hazardous, toxic waste and materials.
“This settlement is one of the
largest environmental protection cases in California's history,” according to an OCDA statement.
But Wal-Mart did not admit to fault or liability when it came to the improper handling and dumping of hazardous waste–including pesticides, chemicals, paints, aerosols, acid, fertilizer, and
motor oil–from its 236 California-based Wal-Mart and
Sam's Club locations.
According to the OCDA statement:
Specific to Orange County, Walmart was found to have dumped expired
toxic fertilizer in a large planter behind a Walmart location in
Foothill Ranch. This planter measured 10 feet by 200 feet and backed up
to the 241 Toll Road. This fertilizer was determined to be hazardous and
had entered a storm drain due to rain and the illegal disposal. The
fertilizer was tested and deemed to be toxic hazardous waste, making it
potentially dangerous to people, animals, and the environment.
Under the terms of the settlement signed today in San Diego Superior Court, Wal-Mart agreed not to do that in Foothill Ranch or anywhere else in California again. Employees are also to be trained to recognize and properly identify and handle
hazardous materials under the pact.
agreed to pay $20 million in penalties, which
distributed between the 20 prosecuting agencies and 32 environmental
health agencies involved in the investigation. The superstore
chain also agreed to part with $1.6 million to cover the cost of the
investigation, $3 million for
Supplemental Environmental Projects for future prosecution,
investigation, and regulation of cases, and at least $3 million in
compliance-keeping measures for its California-based stores.