Unlawful waste disposal lands Lowe’s $18.1 million in penalties

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Lowe's will pay $18.1 million to settle a civil
enforcement action, claiming 118 of its California stores unlawfully handled
and disposed of hazardous wastes over a six and a half year period,
authorities in San Diego announced Wednesday.

San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said her office's
Environmental Protection Unit worked with 31 other state district attorneys and
two city attorneys to resolve the environmental violations against North
Carolina-based Lowe's Home Centers LLC.

Between 2011 and 2013, investigators from the Alameda and San Diego
County District Attorney's offices and from the California Department of Toxic
Substances Control, along with regulators from San Diego's Department of
Environmental Health and others statewide, conducted a series of waste
inspections of Lowe's Dumpsters.

The inspections revealed that Lowe's was routinely and systematically
sending hazardous waste to local landfills in California that were not
permitted to receive it.

The inspections showed that at some Lowe's stores, instead of recycling
batteries and compact fluorescent light bulbs that the company had gathered
from customers at store recycling kiosks as part of a program to responsibly
reduce waste, employees were unlawfully discarding the items directly into the

Lowe's has eight stores in San Diego County, all of which were found to
be unlawfully disposing hazardous waste, including paint, batteries and aerosol

Under the final judgment, Lowe's must pay $12.85 million in civil
penalties and costs. An additional $2.1 million will fund supplemental
environmental projects furthering environmental protection and enforcement in
California, and Lowe's will fund hazardous waste minimization projects of $3.2

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