Walmart, the largest retailer in the United States, recently entered a guilty plea to violating the Clean Water Act. Walmart was found guilty on six counts and issued fines in excess of one hundred and ten million dollars. The charges stem from illegal dumping of pesticides, fertilizers, and bleach into public water and sewer systems in addition to other environmental violations. The retailer was also found guilty of violating the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act for illegally mixing and reselling pesticides at their recycling facility.
The legal action was originally started by the state of California after an inspector of the San Diego Department of Health witnessed an employee of Walmart illegally dispose of bleach by dumping it into an open sewer drain. This instance, along with several others, were enough to determine that the retail giant was not complying with regulations designed to ensure the public’s safety in terms of handling, disposing, and storing hazardous and toxic materials and waste.
While the financial penalties barely dent the company’s finances, the outcome of the legal case ensures that new employee training programs for managing toxic materials are established and followed. In addition, the company has created a new division to ensure compliance on environmental regulations and safeguarding the safety of their employees and the communities their stores serve.
WasteCare Wants You to Remember: Whether you’re a corporate giant like Walmart, or a small-town, Mom and Pop style business, compliance with federal and state regulations when hazardous waste in concerned is a necessity! Do your employees know the proper ways to manage and dispose of cleaning solutions, fertilizers, pesticides, motor oil, antifreeze, or any of the other substances classified as toxic? If you’re not sure, it’s time to get the facts and schedule some training. Not only will you be doing the best for the environment of your community, but you’ll also avoid financial penalties and damaging your company’s reputation.