Raley’s Supermarket Settles Retail Hazardous Waste Disposal Case

Press Release

(Woodland, CA) – August 25, 2014- Yolo County District Attorney Jeff W. Reisig, together with 25 other California District Attorneys, announced today that a judge in Northern California has ordered the West Sacramento-based Raley’s supermarket to pay $1,599,000 in civil penalties, costs and for supplemental environmental projects, as part of the settlement of a civil enforcement prosecution, which includes a final judgment and permanent injunction.

The judgment is the result of a civil enforcement lawsuit filed in San Joaquin County to stop the supermarket chain from unlawfully transporting and disposing of retail hazardous waste.  The lawsuit alleged that more than 130 Raley’s supermarket stores improperly stored, handled, and disposed of hazardous waste and pharmaceutical waste products into company trash bins.  Instead of being sent to proper disposal sites, hazardous wastes were being unlawfully transported to area landfills.  Additionally, the lawsuit alleged that Raley’s failed to take sufficient steps to preserve the confidentiality of their pharmacy customers’ information.

As a result of the prosecution, Raley’s business locations modified existing policies and have adopted new policies designed to eliminate the unlawful disposal of retail hazardous waste products and pharmaceutical waste into store trash compactors.  These enhanced controls on the hazardous waste produced by California Raley’s supermarkets through damage, spills, and occasionally customer returns has helped ensure current compliance throughout their market area.

District Attorney Reisig stated that prosecutors and Raley’s worked together to come to a fair outcome.  “Raley’s has been a valued merchant in Yolo County for many years,” said Reisig.  “Raley’s cooperated with the prosecution team throughout the investigation into their unlawful practices.”

In addition to devoting resources to California environmental compliance with regard to hazardous waste identification, classification, storage, transportation, and disposal, as part of this settlement, Raley’s has agreed to purchase five mobile freshwater purification systems to provide safe drinking water to local communities in the State of California in times of emergency or other pressing need.  The mobile freshwater purification systems will be located in Placer, El Dorado, Sonoma, Sacramento and Contra Costa counties, but will be available for use by other counties within the State.