Alameda County judge bars Target stores from illegal dumping of hazardous wastes

District Attorney O'Malley among officials claiming company uses unregistered haulers to transport wastes

An Oakland judge has issued a preliminary injunction barring Target Corp. and employees at its 244 stores in California from illegally dumping hazardous waste into the environment.

The ruling by Alameda County Superior Court Judge Steven Brick on Friday prohibits Target and its employees from using unregistered haulers to transport hazardous waste and from transporting hazardous waste without the required manifests.

It also bars the company from illegally managing and disposing of universal waste such as batteries, telephones, and computer and electronic equipment.

In his ruling on a lawsuit filed last year by California Attorney General Jerry Brown, 20 district attorneys in the state, and the city attorneys of Los Angeles and San Diego, Brick said the plaintiffs "have shown a high likelihood of prevailing on their clam that hazardous waste was disposed of."

The issuance of the preliminary injunction allows prosecutors to seek sanctions against Target for any violation of the court order.

The lawsuit also asks that Target forfeit profits generated by cutting corners and pay penalties for its violations.

Bay Area district attorneys who are participating in the suit are Nancy O'Malley of Alameda County, Robert Kochly of Contra Costa County, James Fox of San Mateo County, Dolores Carr of Santa Clara County, Dean Flippo of Monterey County and David Paulson of Solano County.

In a prepared statement, Target, which is based in Minneapolis, said it has "a comprehensive program to ensure our handling, storage, disposal and documentation of hazardous materials complies with California law, and we train our store teams regularly as part of this program."

The company added, "We take any legal challenge to our program seriously and will continue to devote substantial resources in order to remain a responsible corporate steward of the environment."

Alameda County Deputy District Attorney Ken Mifsud, who is one of the prosecutors working on the case, said Target hasn't indicated any interest in settling the suit, and that it's expected that the case will go to trial early next year.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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Like this comment
Posted by Marcos
a resident of another community
on Sep 28, 2010 at 8:07 am

So Target can no longer do things that are illegal?
Wait, how did they get permision to do illegal things in the first place?
Is the whole world retarede?

Like this comment
Posted by amlesf
a resident of another community
on Sep 28, 2010 at 9:21 am

This sort of thing (improper disposal of hazardous waste in order to save a small amount of money) is one of the many reasons that "extended producer responsibility" is so important. More here: Web Link

Like this comment
Posted by frequent Targeter
a resident of San Ramon
on Sep 28, 2010 at 12:34 pm

The local assistant DA working the case is Ken Mifsud, not Misfud. It's a Maltese name from Malta. Anyway, I LOVE to shop at Target, but I am even MORE concerned that Target is now selling produce at many stores and will continue to dump even MORE dangerous waste in the environment. These things are serious, and rule breakers should be suffer consequences like the rest of us.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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