Auto Service World
News   June 24, 2005   by Auto Service World

California Officials Sue AutoZone in $12 Million Hazardous Waste Suit


California’s attorney general and three county prosecutors have filed a suit against AutoZone, accusing the auto parts chain of illegally dumping hazardous waste at many of the company’s California stores.
Hazardous materials were illegally dumped in storm drains and used oil and filters were improperly stored or removed, according to the $12-million U.S. lawsuit filed by the attorney general’s office and prosecutors in Monterey, San Bernardino and San Joaquin counties.
The suit does not specify the number of alleged violations, but Atty. Gen. Bill Lockyer said in a statement that prosecutors believe almost all of the chain’s 410 California outlets were involved.
“We are bringing this enforcement action to show California’s hazardous waste laws aren’t just words in a code book,” he said.
AutoZone has denied the allegations, calling them "a gross misrepresentation of the facts."
The charges stem from an incident where the San Bernardino County Fire Department found hazardous waste violations at an AutoZone facility in San Bernardino. Additional violations were then found at all of about 50 stores investigated in San Bernardino, Monterey and San Joaquin counties, according to Lockyer’s office.
Those findings led prosecutors to believe that most of the company’s 410 California stores have violated waste laws, according to Lockyer’s office.
The company has not corrected any of the violations, the suit said.


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