California filed a lawsuit against Walmart Monday for allegedly disposing of hazardous waste at a rate of “more than one million items each year,” the state’s Department of Justice announced.
The lawsuit alleges Walmart has illegally dumped 159,600 pounds of hazardous waste a year in the state. Walmart did not immediately respond to CNN Business’ request for comment.
Walmart allegedly dumped hazardous waste in local landfills that aren’t equipped to handle the materials, including lithium batteries, pesticides and cleaning supplies, according to the complaint. It also dumped “confidential customer information,” California claims. The lawsuit alleges Walmart has been breaking California environmental law for the past six years.
When toxic waste is in landfills, it can make its way drinking water or into the air.
“Despite repeated enforcements against Walmart over the past two decades, it consistently — and knowingly — fails to comply with California’s environmental protection laws,” said Dr. Meredith Williams, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control director.
This is not Walmart’s first legal battle in California. In 2010, the California Attorney General’s Office reached a $25 million settlement against Walmart for illegally disposing of hazardous waste. However, in 2015, an inspection revealed Walmart continued to dump waste.
The 58 inspections from 2015 to now found that there were dozens of materials with hazardous waste “in each and every single case.”
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