Inc. will pay $13.75 million to settle allegations that it violated state laws for the safe storage, handling and disposal of pharmaceutical waste, photo waste containing silver and hazardous waste generated from spills and customer product returns, it was announced today.
The violations occurred over a seven-year period at numerous CVS stores, pharmacies and distribution stores statewide, including Longs Drug Stores that CVS acquired and converted to its brand. Included in the settlement are payments to the state, San Diego County and local municipalities, but it is not clear at which specific stores the alleged violations occurred.
"Per the agreement, there is no admission of any wrongdoing in relation to these issues," said a CVS representative.
CVS -- based in Rhode Island -- currently operates 69 stores in San Diego County.
"Safe handling of dangerous waste protects our environment in San Diego and is vital to the health of all Californians," said San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis.
District attorney's offices throughout California were involved in a joint investigation and prosecution to address statewide violations after Ventura County inspectors found evidence of improper storage, handling and disposal of hazardous waste and pharmaceutical waste products at local CVS stores.
As a result of the settlement, regulated waste produced by CVS stores in California must now be properly stored, handled, transported and disposed of at proper facilities with appropriate records kept documenting compliance with lawful procedures.
Under the final judgment signed by a Ventura County Superior Court judge, CVS must pay civil penalties, costs and fund supplemental environmental projects furthering consumer protection and environmental enforcement in California. The retailer will be bound under the terms of a permanent injunction prohibiting similar future violations.
-City News Service