As reported by Law360, Troutman Sanders LLP and members of its Environmental and Natural Resources Practice Group assisted Safeway Inc. regarding its recent settlement of retail and pharmaceutical waste issues in California.  The Alameda County District Attorney’s office, along with 43 other California jurisdictions, filed a Complaint and Stipulation of Final Judgment resolving the case for payments of penalties, investigative costs and Supplemental Environmental Projects valued at $9.87 M. Prosecutors alleged that Safeway and its approximately 500 grocery stores and pharmacies, as well as two distribution centers, had improperly disposed of hazardous and medical wastes under state laws regulating the disposal of these materials.

California disposal requirements are substantially more stringent than federal requirements for certain retail and consumer products.  The Final Judgment includes a provision that Safeway work with stakeholders and applicable federal agencies to address potential regulatory reform and better consistency for pharmaceutical waste management requirements.  U.S. EPA is due to propose new rules addressing pharmaceutical waste under RCRA in 2015.

We have assisted other national retailers regarding these issues and requirements in California and throughout the U.S.  We are also working with stakeholders to amend state and federal RCRA requirements for better consistency among the states and better sector specific requirements tied to the risks associated household consumer products and pharmaceuticals in the environment.