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Albertsons Settles For $3 Million In Suit Claiming They Illegally Mishandled Hazardous Waste

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Alberstsons (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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Yesterday, Whole Foods was fined nearly $800,000 for pricing inaccuracies, but they weren’t the only chain grocer to be in trouble. Albertsons is forking over $3 million to settle a suit accusing the store of illegal handling of hazardous waste. The complaint said that Albertsons violated California Hazardous Waste Law by illegally transporting and disposing hazardous waste, as well as improperly managing the waste at its facilities, a release from the Orange County District Attorney said. The hazardous materials included pharmaceuticals, pool chemicals, electronics and batteries, among other items.

According to the Hazardous Waste Control Law, Albertsons would have been required to handle and dispose of the waste in the same location where it was made. Instead, the complaint states that Albertsons threw the waste into dumpsters or took the waste to other facilities that were not certified to properly handle it.

While Alberstons has not accepted the blame for the complaint, they have agreed to settle by paying $3.3 million in civil penalties, investigation costs and “supplemental environmental projects.” Albertsons will also pay for dumpster audits, employee training, and a computerized system to classify hazardous waste, and must submit progress reports for the next five years. This applies to all 188 of their California stores.

This mirrors Whole Foods' five-year injunction to hire two statewide employees as well as one in each of its 84 stores to ensure pricing accuracy.