Industry News




 

06/03/2013

Wal-Mart Fined $81 Million for Environmental Violations

 
Wal-Mart has been fined over $81 million for multiple environmental violations.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. must pay approximately $81.6 million for illegally handling and disposing of hazardous materials at stores across the U.S. after pleading guilty to six counts of violating the Clean Water Act, as well as a separate case involving the improper handling of over 2 million pounds of pesticides and a related civil suit filed by the EPA.

Coupled with previous fines resulting from actions brought by California and Missouri for the same conduct, Wal-Mart owes more than $110 million for federal and state violations.

Documents filed in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco allege that from an unknown date until January 2006, Wal-Mart did not have a program for hazardous waste management and disposal in place and failed to train employees on proper hazardous waste practices at the store level. That meant that hazardous wastes were either discarded improperly at several stores – including being put into municipal trash bins or poured into the local sewer system – or they were improperly transported without proper safety documentation to one of six product return centers.  This case was later merged with a similar one in Los Angeles.

“By improperly handling hazardous waste, pesticides and other materials in violation of federal laws, Wal-Mart put the public and the environment at risk and gained an unfair economic advantage over other companies,” said Ignacia S. Moreno, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.  “Today, Wal-Mart acknowledged responsibility for violations of federal laws and will pay significant fines and penalties, which will, in part, fund important environmental projects in the communities impacted by the violations and help prevent future harm to the environment.”

The Clean Water Act violations in San Francisco and Los Angeles alone resulted in a $40 million criminal fine, plus an additional $20 million for community projects. This includes a $6 million Retail Compliance Assistance Center, which will assist retail stores nationwide with hazardous waste handling.

The pesticide case, which Wal-Mart pleaded guilty to in the Western District of Missouri, involved violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). According to the plea agreement filed in Kansas City, in 2006 Wal-Mart began to send damaged household products, including solid and liquid pesticides, from its six return centers to Greenleaf LLC, a recycling facility in Neosho, MO that processed them for reuse and resale. However, Wal-Mart employees did not provide adequate oversight of the pesticides, which resulted in pesticides being mixed together and put up for sale without the mandatory registration, ingredients, or use information. Wal-Mart trucked more than 2 million pounds of pesticides and other household products to Greenleaf between July 2006 and February 2008.

This case resulted in a criminal fine of $11 million, as well as $3 million to be paid to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ Hazardous Waste Program to fund further inspections and pesticide education. Wal-Mart has also spent over $3.4 million to remove hazardous material from Greenleaf’s facility and dispose of it properly.

The retailer must also pay a $7.628 million civil penalty to resolve its violations of FIFRA and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and is also required to implement a comprehensive environmental compliance agreement to manage hazardous waste generated at all of its U.S. stores.

 


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Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.

Bluebeam® Revu® simplifies digital facilities document management from design review to leveraging as-builts, maintenance manuals and O&Ms submittals.

 


 
09/19/2014

New regulations from the DOE would improve commercial air conditioner efficiency by as much as 30%. 

09/18/2014

A new study suggests that the installed cost of photovoltaic solar power continues to drop in the U.S.

09/17/2014

A new technology developed at Rice University effectively deices glass surfaces while remaining transparent for radio frequency transmission.

09/16/2014

The USGBC and American Chemistry Council have put aside their differences to work together on new improvements to the LEED certification system. 

09/15/2014

Researchers have developed a new process to help cloud computing systems use less energy while continuing to provide high levels of data services.

09/12/2014

Researchers have found the main factors that influence the amount and type of building damage caused by various types of salts. 

09/11/2014

A new study has demonstrated that proactive ergonomic training can decrease worker discomfort and increase productivity. 

09/10/2014

The University of Utah has upgraded its historic Dumke Health Professions Education building to save an impressive 40% on energy costs.

09/09/2014

Hoping to build on LEED's success, PEER evaulates the performance and modernization of electric grids. 

09/08/2014

The USGBC has developed a new tool to help streamline the LEED certification process. 

09/05/2014

Researchers have developed a fluorescent lamp that emits Wi-Fi signals to allow connectivity throughout buildings.

09/04/2014

Tests show effective measures for reducing earthquake damage to computer servers. 

09/03/2014

Health costs drop by half as a result of environmental regulations.

09/02/2014

A new study challenges the idea that sparse workplaces produce happier, more productive employees.

08/29/2014

New tool from FEMA helps facility managers prepare for and mitigate the effects of nonstructural earthquake damage. 

08/28/2014

Is your building's exterior prepared for consistent snowstorms?

08/27/2014

Researchers have developed wearable, customizable technology to handle access control at busy hotels. 

08/26/2014

A new study shows that hotels which are LEED certified bring in more revenue than their non-certified competitors. 

08/25/2014

Policies designed to reduce carbon emissions have the added benefit of increasing air quality, which could pay for the reduction policies themselves. 

08/22/2014

Researchers at Michigan State University have developed a luminescent solar concentrator that is as transparent as glass. 

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