Raley’s supermarkets settles for $1.6M in San Joaquin County lawsuit
Placer County District Attorney R. Scott Owens and 25 other California District Attorneys announced Monday that a judge in Northern California has ordered the West Sacramento-based Raley’s supermarkets to pay $1,599,000 in civil penalties, costs, and supplemental environmental projects, as part of the settlement of a civil enforcement prosecution, which includes a final judgment and permanent injunction.
Raley’s cooperated with the prosecution team throughout the investigation into their unlawful practices, according to a press release. The judgment is the culmination of a civil enforcement lawsuit filed in San Joaquin County to stop the supermarket chain from unlawfully transporting and disposing of retail hazardous waste.
The lawsuit claimed that more than 130 Raley’s supermarket stores improperly stored, handled, and disposed of hazardous waste and pharmaceutical wastes, and contaminated materials were being unlawfully transported to area landfills. The lawsuit also alleges that Raley’s failed to take sufficient steps to preserve the confidentiality of their pharmacy customers’ information.
As a result of the prosecution, California Raley’s supermarkets modified existing policies and have adopted new policies and procedures designed to eliminate the disposal of retail hazardous waste products and pharmaceutical waste into store trash compactors to be disposed into local landfills not equipped to handle such wastes.
Hazardous waste produced by California Raley’s supermarkets through damage, spills, and returns is now being collected by state-registered haulers, taken to proper disposal facilities, and properly documented and accounted for.
As part of this settlement, Raley’s has agreed to purchase five mobile freshwater purification systems to provide safe drinking water to local communities in California in times of emergency or other pressing need.
The mobile freshwater purification systems will be located in Placer, El Dorado, Sonoma, Sacramento, and Contra Costa counties, but will be available for use by other counties within the state, including Nevada County.
“Placer County is pleased to be one of the beneficiaries of the Raley’s judgment,” Placer County Assistant Director of Emergency Services Rui Cunha said. “As we continue to work to mitigate impacts from a multi-year drought, and in consideration of other types of emergencies that can affect water availability, this judgment adds a water purification trailer capability to the tools that could make a difference for areas hardest hit by temporary water shortages.”
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