Macy’s ordered to pay $1.6M for environmental violations

By SDCN Editor

Riverside, CA–Riverside District Attorney Mike Hestrin joined with the District Attorneys from 25 counties and two city attorneys to announce that Ohio-based Macy’s Retail Holdings, LLC has been ordered to pay $1.6 million in civil penalties and costs due to environmental violations.

The judgment in this civil lawsuit was filed in Riverside County Superior Court and is the result of an investigation into the unlawful disposal of hazardous waste by Macy’s over the last several years at its 98 California retail locations, including the three retail stores in Riverside County.

The lawsuit alleges that instead of storing, transporting, and disposing of hazardous waste at authorized hazardous waste facilities, Macy’s illegally disposed of hazardous waste in regular trash bins and illegally transported it to local landfills, which are not permitted to receive such waste products. The hazardous waste included, but was not limited to batteries, electronic devices, ignitable liquids, aerosol products, cleaning agents, items listed as containing drug facts, and other flammable, reactive, toxic, and corrosive materials.

As part of the judgment, Riverside County will receive $157,500 in civil penalties and $36,800 in cost reimbursement. The Riverside County Department of Environmental Health will also receive $25,750 in civil penalties and $10,000 in cost reimbursement.

Macy’s worked cooperatively with prosecutors during the investigation and has implemented improved policies and procedures, as well as improved training programs to properly manage and dispose of hazardous waste. The company’s hazardous waste is now collected by state-registered haulers to properly transport it to authorized disposal facilities, which is being properly documented. Macy’s, like all retail stores, is required to properly dispose of hazardous waste that is generated in the normal course of its retail business and to manage such hazardous waste in labeled and segregated containers to ensure that incompatible wastes do not mix and cause dangerous chemical reactions. 

Under the settlement, Macy’s must pay a total of $1,175,000 in civil penalties and $425,000 in cost reimbursement. 

The DA’s Offices involved in the investigation include Alameda, Fresno, Monterey, Orange, San Diego, San Francisco, Shasta, and Yolo counties, as well as the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office. 

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