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Wal-Mart pleads guilty in hazardous waste case

By: 28 May 2013 One Comment

Toxic WasteWal-Mart Stores, on Tuesday, issued a news release stating the Bentonville-based retailer had entered into agreements related to investigations into hazardous waste dumping. The release, however, is rather vague on why an agreement was necessary or what wrongdoing the retailer engaged in that led to a series of federal investigations.

“Walmart has entered into plea agreements with the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices in the Northern and Central Districts of California, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Missouri regarding misdemeanor violations of certain environmental laws, and has signed an administrative resolution with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to resolve compliance issues that took place years ago,” the news release states.

Fortunately, The City Wire in Fort Smith has clarified the issues involved with this story. From that story, we’ve learned that the plea agreement covers misdemeanor charges related to dumping hazardous waste from 2003-2005 across California and that Wal-Mart will pay $81 million to clean up sites in California and Missouri. The case involved investigative work by 20 attorneys general.

Wal-Mart, in the release, said it has greatly improved its environmental compliance regulations starting in 2006. Those improvements, the news release states, include:

* Creating nearly 50 dedicated environment compliance staff, with elevated management authority;

* Developing and implementing more than 100 environmental compliance standard operating procedures for our stores and clubs;

* Clearly identifying consumer products sold in stores and clubs that constitute hazardous waste if discarded, and providing this information to store and club associates through handheld terminals and shelf labels;

* Implementing a hazardous waste management system so that store and club associates properly dispose of regulated items that become waste at the stores and clubs;

* Providing enhanced environmental compliance training to associates in stores and clubs across the country.

About: Ethan C. Nobles:
Benton resident. Rogue journalist. Recovering attorney. Email =

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