Global retail giant Walmart pleaded guilty yesterday to violating US clean water laws for failing to properly dispose of hazardous materials at its stores, and will pay tens of millions of dollars in fines, the Justice Department said.

Walmart faces $ 81.6 million in fines in criminal and civil cases brought by the Justice Department and US Environomental Protection Agency, the Department said. Along with previous fines under state law in California and Missouri, it will pay a total of $ 110 million.

Walmart improperly disposed of pesticides and other hazardous waste returned to stores by its customer, dumping the materials into the trash, pouring them down the drain, or improperly transporting the waste to disposal centres, justice officials said.

The retail chain did not have a programme in place to train its employees on how to dispose of the materials until 2006, the Justice Department said.

(This article was published on May 29, 2013)
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