Wal-Mart pleads guilty in Calif. hazardous waste

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SAN FRANCISCO — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. pleaded guilty on Tuesday to charges the company dumped hazardous waste in California.

Wal-Mart entered the plea in federal court in San Francisco to misdemeanor counts of negligently dumping pollutants from Wal-mart stores into sanitation drains across California, a company spokeswoman said.

As part of the plea, the company will pay $81 million, which will also cover charges in Missouri.

In 2010, the company agreed to pay $27.6 million to settle similar allegations made by California authorities that led to changes in the retailer’s practices nationwide. Wal-Mart was accused of improperly disposing pesticide, fertilizer and paint.

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