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Home Depot has agreed to pay $10 million for improperly storing hazardous materials, according to an article in the Los Angeles Times.
The improper storage of “hazardous sludge” led to the explosion of a 55-gallon drum at the company’s Marina del Rey store in 2004. The explosion, in a back room of the facility, led to a fire and the evacuation of customers and employees from the store. Following that incident, a waste hauler contracted by the retailer was stopped by the California Highway Patrol, and a subsequent inspection revealed safety violations.
Jerry Brown, California State Attorney General, said his office is looking into other companies for similar violations. He blamed cost-cutting measures, which he said led to more lax safety procedures.
Astatement from Home Depot on the matter said, "We have been working with the state officials to address their concerns and have developed and implemented a best-in-class program for labeling and disposing of the waste generated in our stores.”