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Wal-Mart will pay $82 million for hazardous waste dumping

Retailer pleaded guilty to criminal charges in California and Missouri

Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s trash is now the federal government’s treasure.

Yesterday, the world’s largest retailer agreed to pay $81.63 million to the government after it pleaded guilty to criminal charges related to the illegal dumping of hazardous materials. Prosecutors say the retailer improperly disposed of pollutants such as bleach, fertilizer and pesticides at its stores from at least 2002 to 2006.

According to the Justice Department, Wal-Mart has pleaded guilty to Clean Water Act violations in California and Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act violations in Kansas City, Mo.

The guilty pleas and penalties come on the heels of the retailer’s 2010 agreement to pay $27.6 million to California to settle a related lawsuit and a separate agreement last year to pay more than $1.25 million to Missouri. In total, Wal-Mart is paying more than $110 million to end cases alleging it violated federal and state environmental laws.

Since 2006, Wal-Mart has had an environmental compliance program in place that has helped curb hazardous waste issues.

Read Reuters for more information.

For more InsideCounsel stories about Wal-Mart, read:

Wal-Mart and J.C. Penney join garment factory safety talks

Wal-Mart and Sears won’t compensate factory fire victims

Wal-Mart sues unions for trespassing

Wisconsin women file regional gender discrimination case against Wal-Mart in wake of Dukes




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