Bed Bath & Beyond has been charged $ 1.49 million in damages after being accused of illegally dumping hazardous waste in California.
Bed Bath & Beyond recently agreed to pay $ 1.49 million to settle a lawsuit alleging the popular retailer "illegally disposed of hazardous waste in local landfills". In particular, the company was accused of "dumping batteries, electronic devices, flammable liquids and other combustible, toxic and corrosive materials in local landfills in violation of environmental laws". The settlement was announced by Nancy E. O’Malley, District Attorney for Alameda, and 30 other District Attorneys across California.
Piles of garbage; Image courtesy of Pexels via Pixabay, www.pixabay.com
The investigation into the matter began back in December 2015 in Ventura County after a fire broke out at a garbage and recycling facility in Oxnard. After an investigation into the fire, it was found that it was triggered by a "load of trash from the trash compactor of the Oxnard Bed Bath & Beyond store". It was found that the garbage contained "electronic items and hazardous waste, including lithium batteries and a can of lighter fluid." Then, in April 2016, another fire broke out in the trash compactor in the same store. After further investigation, it was found again that the store had disposed of "regulated waste such as batteries, broken fluorescent lights and electronic items".
The two fires opened a more thorough investigation, including undercover inspections of Bed Bath & Beyond stores across the state. These inspections revealed that the retailer had "sent illegally regulated hazardous waste from stores to local landfills across California including three stores in Alameda County." Commenting on the matter, O’Malley said:
“The Alameda District Attorney's Office remains committed to protecting the district and state's natural resources. When companies, large or small, dump hazardous waste illegally, they are not only breaking the law, but also endangering the environment. We will not stand idly by while companies disregard the safety and wellbeing of the environment. "
The lawsuit, filed in early fall, alleged that more than "200 Bed Bath & Beyond stores across the state – including Cost Plus World Market, Buybuy BABY, Harmon and Harmon Face Values - were illegally transported in local landfills and disposed of, this waste must not be preserved. "When notified of the investigation and undercover inspections, the retailer" worked with investigators and agreed to allocate additional resources to environmental compliance, including through regular self-inspections of their compressors and waste containers, "said O'Malley .
The settlement requires the retailer to pay more than $ 1,327,500 in civil penalties and an additional $ 171,250 to "fund environmental enforcement projects in California."
Bed Bath & Beyond pays $ 1.49 million to settle the illegal dumping of hazardous waste lawsuit
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