Wal-Mart settles pollution suit with Mo. AG

Bryan Cohen Mar. 19, 2012, 1:16pm


EFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Legal Newsline) - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster announced a $1.25 million settlement on Friday with Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

Wal-Mart allegedly violated the Missouri Hazardous Waste Management Law when a Wal-Mart contractor disposed of materials illegally. Koster says Wal-Mart sent common household products, including pesticides, herbicides, potting soil, charcoal and other chemicals that were returned or could not be sold at company stores, to two sites in Neosho for disposal by contractor Greenleaf LLC.

Greenleaf allegedly did not have the compulsory permit for the storage, treatment or disposal of hazardous waste and did not properly manage the waste materials.

Under the terms of the settlement, Wal-Mart will pay the state $214,378 in civil penalties and will spend $1,050,000 to sponsor events for pesticide collection in rural state communities. In addition, Wal-Mart will reimburse the Department of Natural Resources $4,082 for the department's expenses, interest, taxes and unpaid fees.

Wal-Mart spent more than $3 million voluntarily to clean up the two Neosho sites by removing and then properly disposing of the materials. Wal-Mart also worked with Koster's office to design hazardous waste transportation policies, procedures and programs.

"This settlement demonstrates our commitment to enforcing Missouri's environmental laws and regulations," Koster said. "Missouri's Hazardous Waste Management Law was enacted to protect both citizens' health and our environment, and I want to thank Wal-Mart for its commitment to helping clean up pesticides throughout the Missouri country side."

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