SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Dollar General Stores will have to pay over $1 million as part of a civil settlement related to violations of various environmental regulations.
Santa Barbara District Attorney Joyce Dudley announced on Monday that the Kern County Superior Court Judge has ordered the Tennessee based company Dolgen California, and its subsidiary corporations that own and operate Dollar General Stores and a Distribution Center in California to pay $1.125 Million as part of the civil settlement.
The judgment is the result of an investigation into Dollar General retail stores and distribution centers throughout the state and their unlawful handling and storage of hazardous waste products including automotive fluids, alkaline batteries and electronic waste.
Inspectors and environmental regulators conducted a series of undercover inspections of waste bins originating at Dollar General retail stores and facilities and inspections revealed that distribution center had been routinely sending hazardous wastes to local landfills throughout California that were not permitted to receive those wastes.
Regulators also found the documentation of employee hazardous waste training to be inaccurate or incomplete.
The Judgment requires hazardous waste be labeled, packaged and stored to minimize the risk of exposure to employees and customers.
Under the settlement, Dolgen California must pay $500,000 in civil penalties and $375,000 to reimburse the costs of the investigation. An additional $112,000 will fund supplemental environmental projects furthering consumer protection and environmental enforcement in California. Dolgen will also fund hazardous waste minimization and enhanced compliance projects valued at $138,000. The retailer will be bound under the terms of a permanent injunction prohibiting similar future violations of law.
There is one Dollar General Store in Santa Barbara County located in Lompoc.