The accompany settled the lawsuit for its improper disposing of hazardous waste
SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY — San Luis Obispo County DA and numerous other California DAs jointly settled a civil lawsuit against TJX Companies, Inc. for their improper disposing of hazardous waste into its regular trash bins destined for municipal landfills.
District Attorney Dan Dow announced that on December 9, 2022, a $2.05 million stipulated judgment against The TJX Companies, Inc. (“TJX”) was entered by the Monterey County Superior Court in case no. 22CV003142. This resolves allegations that TJX, which owns approximately 340 T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, and HomeGoods stores in California, unlawfully disposed of hazardous waste. TJX has four facilities in San Luis Obispo County.
The multi-county lawsuit alleges that TJX improperly disposed of hazardous waste into its regular trash bins destined for municipal landfills, which are not authorized to accept hazardous waste. The hazardous waste included items such as aerosol cans, batteries, electronic devices, and cleaning agents, as well as other hazardous waste items generated through the company’s regular business activities.
This is the second settlement resolving allegations that TJX mismanaged hazardous waste at its California retail stores. In September of 2014, California prosecutors resolved similar violations by entering into a stipulated judgment for which TJX paid $2,777,500 in civil penalties, costs, and funding for supplemental environmental projects.
The current stipulated judgment requires TJX to pay an additional $2,050,000, which consists of $1,800,000 in civil penalties, $300,000 in supplemental environmental projects, and $250,000 in reimbursement of investigative and enforcement costs. In addition, the settlement includes provisions requiring TJX to continue to employ at least one California compliance employee to oversee its hazardous waste compliance program and to undergo waste audits in a portion of its California facilities to ensure hazardous wastes are properly disposed of at all stores. The company must also comply with injunctive requirements regarding hazardous waste management.
TJX worked cooperatively with prosecutors during the investigation. TJX, like all retail stores, is required to properly dispose of hazardous waste that is generated in the normal course of its retail business and to segregate it into separate containers to ensure that incompatible wastes do not mix and cause dangerous chemical reactions.
The San Luis Obispo County Environmental Enforcement unit is assigned to the District Attorney’s Special Prosecutions Division. This unit is committed to protecting public health and safety, including oversight to ensure the safe and lawful transportation and disposal of regulated waste. Environmental enforcement cases can be pursued in either criminal or civil court. Examples of such cases include illegal transportation or disposal of hazardous waste, illegal streambed dumping or alteration, and cases involving worker death or serious injury. The unit also aims to increase public awareness of environmental issues through presentations to local groups when called upon.
To report suspected violations of our environmental laws, call your local police department or, if within the unincorporated areas of the county, the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office at (805) 781-4550. You may also find assistance at San Luis Obispo County Environmental Health Services.