Raley’s Supermarket to Settle Retail Hazardous Waste Disposal Violations in the State of California
August 25, 2014
R. Scott Owens
PLACER COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY
10810 Justice Center Drive, Suite 240
Roseville, California 95678
For Immediate Release
Date: July 11, 2014
Assistant District Attorney
Roseville, California – Placer County District Attorney, R. Scott Owens, together with 25 other California District Attorneys, announced today that a judge in Northern California has ordered the West Sacramento-based Raley’s supermarket 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.
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. Additionally, the lawsuit 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 for eventual disposal 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.
In addition to devoting resources to California environmental compliance with regard to hazardous waste identification, classification, storage, transportation, and disposal, as part of this settlement; Raley’s has agreed to purchase five (5) mobile freshwater purification systems to provide safe drinking water to local communities in the State of 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. According to Rui Cunha, Placer County Assistant Director of Emergency Services, “Placer County is pleased to be one of the beneficiaries of the Raley’s judgment. 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.”
Contact: Jane Crue, Deputy District Attorney (916) 543-8000