Walmart Stores Inc, on Tuesday pleaded guilty to environmental crimes in three separate cities that had been committed at its stores.
In San Francisco and Los Angeles federal courts, the huge retailer admitted to violations of the country’s Clean Water Act through illegally disposing of and handling hazardous materials in its stores in the U.S.
The company, based in Arkansas, admitted in a Kansas City federal court to violations of the Fungicide, Insecticide and Rodenticide Act by not properly handling returned pesticides by customers in its store locations.
A combined amount of over $110 million will be paid by Walmart, including assessments, fines, civil penalties and payments for community service funding projects to help increase the enforcement of regulations regarding the environment. This will resolve the three cases that had been criminal, a federal civil suit that was related and other civil actions that were brought on by Missouri and California.
According to court documents that had been filed in federal court in San Francisco, the company prior to 2006 had no company guidelines and no training for employees on the managing and disposing of hazardous waste.
Materials that were toxic were often times just discarded into trash bins that were cared for by the municipality or if they were liquid in nature, poured into the sewer system said the documents.
The papers also said that in certain cases, the materials had been transported without the proper safety documentation to product return centers that are located in six places across the U.S.