Whole Foods Market California, Inc. and several state and city agencies, reached a $1.6 million settlement, the city attorney's office announced Friday.
San Diego will receive $113,000 of the payout, according to City Attorney Mara Elliott.
The settlement was reached in coordination with statewide regulatory agencies and 21 other California district and city attorneys.
Over a five-year period, it was alleged that Whole Foods Market, Mrs. Gooch's Natural Food Market Inc., and WFM-WO Inc., mishandled hazardous waste and materials including batteries, electronic devices, ignitable liquids, aerosol products, cleaning agents and other flammable reactive toxic and corrosive materials.
Under the settlement, the Whole Foods entities must pay $1,202,800 in civil penalties, $202,800 to reimburse the costs of the investigation, and $237,900 to fund supplemental environmental projects furthering consumer protection and environmental enforcement in California.
The Whole Foods entities must also hire an employee to strengthen the companies' hazardous waste programs. The three entities must also properly label, package, and store hazardous waste, and ensure that incompatible wastes do not combine to cause dangerous chemical reactions.
The judgment requires the companies to properly document their hazardous waste and dispose of it at authorized facilities.