Dolgen California, the Goodlettsville, Tennessee-based company that owns general store chain Dollar General, is set to pay a $1.125 million as part of a civil settlement involving hazardous waste disposal, a report by Visalia Times-Delta says.
The civil lawsuit was filed on April 11 in Kern County, California, by the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office and 31 other California prosecutors. It alleged that Dollar General stores throughout the U.S. improperly disposed of hazardous wastes over a period of five years.
According to the report, the chain of stores is accused of routinely sending hazardous wastes, including automotive fluids, alkaline batteries, electronic waste, aerosol cans and expired over-the-counter medicines, to local landfills that were not permitted to receive them. Employee training for hazardous waste disposal was also found to be incorrect.
The allegations came through after environmental regulators and prosecutors conducted a series of undercover searches in Dollar General trash bins.
Dolgen California is required to pay $500,000 in civil penalties and $375,000 to reimburse the costs of investigation, the report says. Sixty thousand dollars of those fines will be awarded to the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office, and $8,817.50 will be awarded to Tulare County Environmental Health.
The company will also pay $112,000 to fund supplemental environmental projects that further consumer protection and environmental enforcement, and $138,000 on hazardous waste compliance projects.
Dollar General is also required to label, package and properly store all hazardous waste, the report says.