- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 2, 2014

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Lowe’s Home Centers will pay $18.1 million to settle California claims that it illegally disposed of hazardous wastes at its stores throughout the state.

Prosecutors say Alameda County Superior Court Judge George C. Hernandez approved the settlement on Tuesday.

The North Carolina-based home improvement chain came under investigation in 2011 after inspections by state and local investigators found that Lowe’s unlawfully handled and disposed of various hazardous wastes at more than 100 stores throughout California over a six-year period.

Inspections also revealed improper dumping of batteries and fluorescent light bulbs at some stores.

Alameda County Senior Deputy District Attorney Ken Mifsud says the $18.1 settlement will be shared by 32 prosecutors from across the state. Settlement money will also be used to fund consumer protection, environmental enforcement and cleanup projects.

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