Target pays $22.5 million for dumping hazardous waste

February 4, 2011

As the new Target department store continues to spring up on Los Osos Valley Road, comes word that the parent company has agreed to pay $22.5 million to settle various claims throughout California alleging the retail giant dumped hazardous waste. [LA Times]

Under the tentative agreement, still subject to final approval by a judge, Target admits no wrongdoing but will pay about $3.4 million to the California attorney general’s office. Smaller sums will go to city attorneys in Los Angeles and San Diego as well as district attorney’s offices in 20 California counties, including Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Orange.

Target has also agreed to implement a statewide program to enforce compliance with waste disposal laws, train employees in legal ways to handle hazardous sludge and pay an independent auditor to check compliance for three years.

The statewide investigation began in 2005 after Target, which operates more than 60 stores in Los Angeles County and 236 locations in the state, was hit with repeated violations of California’s hazardous waste disposal laws.

Violations included improper storage, transportation and disposal of bleach, paint, pesticides, batteries, lightbulbs and other hazardous materials. Prosecutors accused the retail giant of cutting corners for the bottom line. Chemicals returned by customers or found to be defective were poured down the drain, tossed into dumpsters and trucked to landfills not equipped for hazardous waste.

Stores also kept incompatible and combustible liquids like ammonia and bleach side-by-side on shelves and poured them into dumpsters mixed together, creating fire and other safety hazards, prosecutors said.

The case against Target was originally filed by then-attorney general Jerry Brown.


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9 Comments

  1. ApathyWillKillYou says:

    WTF ??!!

    “Target admits no wrongdoing but will pay about $3.4 million to the California attorney general’s office. Smaller sums will go to city attorneys in Los Angeles and San Diego as well as district attorney’s offices in 20 California counties, including Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Orange.”

    Since when do fines (or whatever this settlement is) go DIRECTLY to city attorneys!

    No need for judges or courts anymore!

    It looks like CA budget problems are solved. Just turn loose the full wrath of the hundreds of DA offices on business and the coffers will over flow! No need for ANY legislation or due process.

    (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
    • OnTheOtherHand says:

      This is JUST a guess, but I would bet that these distributions were based on the costs of the various counties to pursue Target’s violations –“damages” in other words.

      (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  2. zaphod says:

    “combustible liquids like ammonia and bleach ”

    (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
  3. ajdury says:

    Really, people?

    You think WalMart is above the fray when it comes to atrocious behavior/actions?

    http://blogs.findlaw.com/decided/2010/05/wal-mart-lawsuit-settlement-27m-for-hazardous-waste-dumping.html

    If this article had been about WalMart’s $27M lawsuit instead, how many of you uninformed people would have praised Target instead?

    Come on, y’all – WalMart is not the answer either. And this is just about their actions in California! They have a history of this throughout our country. Maybe Cal Coast News can report about that.

    http://tennesseegate.com/cf05.html
    http://www.catawbariverkeeper.org/our-work/wal-mart

    (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
    • zaphod says:

      Maybe Cal Coast News can report about that
      only if you write the article.

      (1) 3 Total Votes - 2 up - 1 down
  4. bulwark says:

    In the overall scheme of things, much ado about nothing.

    Slow news days must be a struggle.

    (-3) 5 Total Votes - 1 up - 4 down
  5. kellygirl says:

    Personally I’ve found Target to be way overrated. There would be a public uproar if this was Wal Mart.

    I wonder how one-term mayor Jan Marx will react to this.

    (-3) 5 Total Votes - 1 up - 4 down
    • danika says:

      If I shop at Target once a year, that’s alot for me. I shop Kmart because I am too lazy to drive more than a couple blocks on my day off. Walmart in Atown will be a blessing!

      (-5) 9 Total Votes - 2 up - 7 down
  6. bobfromsanluis says:

    Gee, I wonder how anyone could find the company in order to give them the fine; was the large red “target” logo? Dumb humor attempt aside, pretty stupid of Target to think they wouldn’t get caught. Dumb.

    (2) 6 Total Votes - 4 up - 2 down

Comments are closed.