Stockton - On September 20, 2023, the Honorable Judge Barbara Kronlund of the San Joaquin County Superior Court approved a settlement to resolve a civil law enforcement action against Dollar Tree. The settlement was entered in conjunction with forty-eight District Attorney and two City Attorney offices from around the state and requires, among other things, for Dollar Tree to conduct multiple annual waste audits at each of its Distribution Centers in California over the next five years.
Additionally, Dollar Tree is ordered to continue to implement a trash inspection program at every store - where employees are responsible for visually inspecting every bag, box, or loose item for disposal to ensure that no unauthorized hazardous waste or medical waste is improperly disposed into solid waste collection containers.
Dollar Tree's corporate office and environmental compliance group were extremely cooperative with the District Attorneys throughout the investigation and settlement process.
This Stipulated Final Judgment shall be in place for five years and terminates the prior 2015 injunction filed in Alameda County Superior Court, and the 2016 injunction filed in San Joaquin County Superior Court. As part of the new settlement, Dollar Tree is ordered to pay civil penalties for their hazardous waste/hazardous materials violations. The San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office will receive a total of $800,000 in cost recovery and civil penalties pursuant to the judgment; the San Joaquin County Environmental Health Department will receive a total of $220,000.
In 2019, three large bleach spills occurred at the Dollar Tree Distribution Centers in both San Joaquin and San Bernardino Counties within a short period of time. Inspections by the San Joaquin County Environmental Health Department at the San Joaquin distribution center, combined with continued investigations by the District Attorney’s office, revealed repeated statutory and regulatory hazardous waste violations, including a large number of hazardous waste items in the Dollar Tree trash compactor. Audits by San Bernardino County in both 2019 and 2021 showed similar violations.
“As we recently showed with the Kaiser Settlement, violation of hazardous waste regulations will simply not be tolerated in San Joaquin County”, said District Attorney Ron Freitas. “The environmental health and safety of our communities are of the utmost importance to this office. I’d like to thank our Environmental Protection Unit for their diligent work on this case, and Deputy District Attorney Celeste Kaisch for her time and effort to protect the health and safety of the citizens of San Joaquin County.”