Pacific Swell | Southern California environment news and trends

CVS to pay $13.75 million for California waste violations

Bay Ismoyo/AFP/Getty Images

It was announced this week that CVS Pharmacy Inc. will have to pay almost $14 million to settle a lawsuit claiming the chain improperly handled hazardous materials including hypodermic needles across 44 California counties. The cities of Los Angeles and San Diego were also represented in the suit.

"Safe handling of dangerous waste protects our environment in San Diego and is vital to the health of all Californians," explained San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis to the Santee Patch.

With the alleged incidents occurring over the span of the seven years and across hundreds of stores, the California investigations began after CVS was found in violation of similar charges by environmental enforcement agencies in Connecticut. Long’s Drug Stores recently acquired by CVS were also cited for the errant practices.

"Per the agreement, there is no admission of any wrongdoing in relation to these issues," said an unnamed CVS representative in a statement to Santee Patch.

As part of the judgment, CVS will also have to fund supplemental environmental projects in California.