Mark Payne Nov. 21, 2014, 11:43am

AT&T will pay a $23.8 million settlement to the state of California that will resolve allegations that it illegally disposed of  hazardous waste in the state over a nine-year period, Attorney General Kamala D. Harris  announced on Thursday.

The giant communications company will also pay approximately $28 million over five years to implement new environmental compliance tools.

“This settlement holds AT&T accountable for unlawfully dumping electronic waste,” Harris said. “The illegal disposal of hazardous waste can lead to serious environmental and health risks for California communities. AT&T will be required to implement strict compliance measures at its facilities that set an example for other companies to safeguard our communities against hazardous waste.”

This is the first such case in California against a communications company for the illegal disposal of electronic waste. The suit claims that more than 235 AT&T warehouses improperly disposed of hazardous electronic waste.

“Today’s settlement marks a great victory for California’s ongoing efforts to ensure that hazardous waste is disposed of in a safe, legal and environmentally sustainable manner,” Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O’Malley, whose office worked with the state on the case, said. “Whether a small local business or a huge international company, my office will pursue all necessary legal action against entities that pollute our environment.  This legal action should put others on notice that local and state agencies will continue to work together to investigate and prosecute violations against our environment.”

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