Albertsons settled on Wednesday for $3.3 million after a lawsuit accused the company of illegal handling, storage and disposal of hazardous waste in its California locations.
An investigation spearheaded by a number of California legal agencies revealed the company had violated the California Hazardous Waste Law, which requires regulated handling of the material from the point where it becomes hazardous.
The suit alleged that Albertsons disposed of hazardous waste in dumpsters or sent it to a third-party organizations unauthorized to handle the unsafe material.
"Businesses have an obligation to be good neighbors, including protecting the health of the public," City Attorney Mike Feuer said in a news release. "This settlement underscores our continuing commitment to clean up our environment."
Examples of the hazardous waste allegedly mishandled by Albertsons include pharmaceuticals, batteries, pool chemicals and aerosol sprays.
Albertsons has admitted no fault or liability in the matter.
Of the total amount paid out by the supermarket chain, $2.7 million will go civil penalties, $300,000 for the cost of the investigation, and $350,000 for supplemental environmental projects to support for the future enforcement of California environmental law.
In addition to the settlement costs, the injunction requires Albertsons to take additional action, including employee training, permanent computerized classification systems for waste, dumpster audits and annual progress reports.
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The company released a statement on their website outlining some of the efforts in improving their waste disposal process by instituting training sessions for their employees and audits by environmental organizations.
"Improving our policies, practices and procedures for handling hazardous waste is a matter of corporate responsibility and pride," the statement read. "We believe in leaving this planet better than we found it, and we know that how we handle the waste that our locations can produce can contribute positively toward that goal."
The terms of the settlement apply to all 188 retail stores in California.