Target hit with dumping fines

Hazardous waste wrongdoings

A judge in Oakland recently ordered Target Corp. to pay $22.5 million in environmental fines after an investigation confirmed the retail giant improperly disposed of hazardous materials to reduce costs, according to a press release from the Butte County District Attorney’s Office.

Last October, an Alameda County judge issued a preliminary injunction that prohibited the Minnesota-based corporation’s employees from illegally dumping hazardous waste, after an investigation that started in 2005 revealed employees routinely dumped pesticides and other hazardous waste into dumpsters, creating fire and safety hazards. They were also accused of improperly storing dangerous chemicals and dumping chemical products returned by customers into dumpsters.

Since then, Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey has reported that the Target store in Chico on East 20th Street was in fact one of the stores that committed the violations. The Butte County Public Health Department participated in the local investigation.

The retailer also will be required to fund several supplemental environmental projects.