Wednesday, July 18 , 2018, 5:54 pm | Mostly Cloudy 71º

 
 
 
 

Safeway Inc. to Pay $9.87 Million Settlement for Environmental Violations

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley, together with 41 other California district attorneys and two city attorneys, announced Monday that Alameda County Superior Court Judge Wynne Carvill has approved a Stipulated Final Judgment and Permanent Injunction against Pleasanton-based Safeway Inc.

The settlement resolves allegations that more than 500 Safeway stores and distribution centers, including its other brands, Vons, Pavilions and Pak ‘n Save, violated California laws for the safe storage, handling and disposal of hazardous and pharmaceutical waste generated from spills and customer returns of hazardous products.

The investigation into Safeway’s practices began after discovery of improper shipments of hazardous and pharmaceutical waste to Safeway’s distribution centers through its reverse logistics program. The investigation revealed that Safeway was also routinely and systematically sending hazardous and pharmaceutical wastes to local area landfills not equipped to receive such waste.

Upon being notified by prosecutors of the widespread issues, Safeway worked cooperatively to remedy the issue, enhance its environmental compliance program and train its employees to properly handle such waste.

Pursuant to the terms of the Final Judgment and Permanent Injunction, California Safeway stores have adopted new policies and procedures designed to eliminate the improper disposal of retail hazardous waste products and pharmaceutical waste into store trash bins for eventual disposal into local landfills. In addition, the corporation must pay $9.87 million in civil penalties, costs and supplemental environmental projects.

Under the terms of the settlement, Safeway must also continue its First Assistant Store Manager Program designed to address environmental compliance at the store level and conduct annual store audits.

“Thanks to the collaborative efforts of the district and city attorneys throughout the state, businesses operating in California are well aware of their environmental responsibilities and our environment is better protected as a result,” Dudley said.

There are seven Safeway stores in Santa Barbara County. Under the final judgment, Safeway Inc. will pay $8,750 in civil costs, penalties and cost recovery to the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office and $17,500 in civil costs, penalties and cost recovery to Santa Barbara County Environmental Health Services.

 

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through Stripe below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level
×

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >