Lowe’s Home Centers, the home improvement retailer, has been ordered to pay 18.1 million USD in a settlement to claims that over 100 Lowe’s stores illegally dumped hazardous waste into California landfills.
The civil environmental prosecution settlement with Lowe’s, approved in Alameda Superior Court, followed a joint investigation by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control’s Office of Criminal Investigation, more than 30 district attorneys and city attorneys from Los Angeles and San Diego. The civil environmental enforcement action was led by district attorneys of Alameda, San Joaquin and Solano counties, according to DTSC (California Department of Toxic Substances Control’s Office of Criminal Investigation).
The DTSC claimed the dumping occurred over a period of seven years, and included pesticides, aerosols, paint and colorants, solvents, adhesives, batteries, mercury-containing fluorescent bulbs, electronic waste and other toxic, ignitable and corrosive materials. 118 stores participated in the illegal dumping.
These fines, although large, never seem to us to completely fit the crimes, and we wonder if a stronger message could be delivered. How about a punishment that more clearly states that trashing the planet is not only illegal, it is unacceptable: irresponsible, greedy, and morally wrong.
Read more: Environmental Leader.