Wal-Mart settles with Connecticut over environmental misdeeds

Wal-Mart has agreed to pay Connecticut a $1.15 million fine for a host of environmental violations. State regulators first filed suit against the retail giant in 2001, after discovering that the company had improperly stored pesticides, fertilizers, and other hazardous materials outside, where they washed down storm drains to pollute rivers and streams after heavy rains. Then they amended the suit in 2003, when even more eco-misdeeds were discovered. Violations were ultimately documented at 22 out of 33 company operations in the state. “There is a pattern of national disregard by Wal-Mart in this area,” said Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal. The company last year shelled out $3.1 million to settle a federal suit over storm-drain pollution in Tennessee, Utah, and several other states. Wal-Mart says it’s already corrected most of the problems and intends to fully comply with state regulations, but Blumenthal is skeptical. “Wal-Mart’s environmental record here seems as low as its prices,” he said.

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