O’Reilly Auto Parts will pay almost $10 million to settle a civil enforcement lawsuit alleging its stores improperly disposed of used oil and other hazardous waste, the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office announced Thursday.
“Protecting our environment and safely handling dangerous waste is paramount for all businesses in California,” District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said. “Our environmental protection team did an outstanding job prosecuting this case and collaborating with other agencies to arrive at today’s multi- million dollar judgment.”
The judgment — announced by Dumanis and 50 other California district attorneys offices, resolves allegations that more than 525 O’Reilly stores in the state unlawfully handled and disposed of used oil, used oil filters and various hazardous wastes and materials over a five-year period.
Those hazardous wastes included automotive fluids, alkaline batteries, electronic waste, aerosol cans and other toxic wastes.
There are 41 O’Reilly stores in San Diego County.
Environmental inspectors and regulators conducted a series of undercover inspections in 2013 and 2014 of waste bins originating at O’Reilly stores, finding they had been routinely sending used oil and other hazardous wastes to landfills throughout California, which were not permitted to receive the waste in question.
The investigation also revealed that O’Reilly was routinely and unlawfully transporting hazardous waste from its stores to its California distribution center without required licenses.
O’Reilly was cooperative during the investigation and quickly enhanced its policies and procedures to eliminate improper disposal of hazardous materials.
–City News Service
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