AutoZone reached a settlement agreement with the State of California in connection with its alleged illegal environmental violation.
California accused AutoZone of illegal disposal of more than five million hazardous wastes statewide. The state also alleged that the company violated laws protection confidential consumer information by illegally disposing of customer records without ensuring that their personal information is unreadable.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced AutoZone’s settlement with the state on Thursday. According to him, the company agreed to pay a total of $11 million to resolve the state’s complaint.
In a statement, Attorney General Becerra said, “AutoZone violated California law by improperly disposing of millions of toxic and hazardous waste items. It endangered our environment and public health.”
He added, “AutoZone must now pay the price for breaking the law. The California Department of Justice is committed to investigating and holding accountable violators of our laws meant to protect California’s environment and communities.”
Details of the settlement between AutoZone and California
The monetary payment included $8.9 million in civil penalties, $1.35 million for supplemental environmental projects, and $750,000 for reimbursement of investigative and enforcement costs.
If AutoZone carryout at $2 million in environmental enhancement projects not required by law, it will get a credit of $1 million against the penalties.
Additionally, the settlement requires the company to submit itself into general compliance audit and a trash receptacle audit to ensure that all of its facilities practice proper disposal of hazardous waste and confidential consumer information. The company is required to share the results of the audit to the public.
Furthermore, the settlement requires AutoZone to comply with 23 injunctive requirements related to environmental protection and confidential consumer information protection laws.
AutoZone is a retailer and distributor of automotive replacement parts, accessories, and engine additives in North America. The company owns and operates around 600 retail stores and a distribution center.