San Luis Obispo County will receive a portion of nearly $10 million Safeway Inc. will pay as a result of violating hazardous waste and hazardous materials laws, according to a news release from the District Attorney’s Office.
According to the release, the settlement between Safeway, 42 district attorneys and two city attorneys was approved by Alameda County Superior Court. The case alleged that more than 500 Safeway stores and distribution centers violated various laws regarding the safe storage, handling and disposal of hazardous and pharmaceutical waste. The stores violating the laws included Vons, Pavilions and Pak ‘n Save stores operated by Safeway.
There are six Vons stores in San Luis Obispo County covered by the $9.87 million settlement, as well as a former Vons store that closed in Morro Bay in 2007. Under the final judgment, Safeway will pay the San Luis Obispo County Department of Environmental Health Services and the District Attorney’s Office $25,900. Safeway will also pay $200,000 to help fund state-wide trainings in San Luis Obispo County for environmental enforcement and hazardous materials case investigations.
The settlement, the release states, resulted from investigation into Safeway’s disposal of hazardous and pharmaceutical waste in local area landfills not equipped or authorizes to receive such waste.
To remedy the issue, Safeway has enhanced its environmental compliance program and trained employees to better handle such waste. Annual store audits and environmental compliance programs have also been added for each store.