BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Kern County District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer announced she and 16 other DA's offices throughout the state have reached a $1,600,000 settlement in an environmental protection action case against CarMax Auto Superstores California, LLC.
The action filed in the Orange County Superior Court accused the auto company of unlawful handling and disposal of various hazardous materials and hazardous wastes.
According to the DA's office, numerous inspections by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control along with local environmental regulators found that CarMax facilities were out of compliance with the hazardous materials and hazardous waste laws. Undercover inspections of CarMax’s trash containers also revealed the illegal disposal of hazardous auto body sanding dust, sanding pads, automotive paints, clear coats, solvents, non-empty aerosols, other hazardous substances used during the auto body repair process, and confidential customer information.
In response to the recent settlement, Carmax released the following statement:
CarMax is committed to environmental stewardship and has fully cooperated with the State of California and the District Attorneys’ Offices. Once notified of the program issues, CarMax immediately began to enhance its waste management policies and procedures. CarMax thanks its store teams for their hard work and commitment to implement and sustain these enhancements.
“Laws concerning the proper disposal of hazardous wastes are designed to protect us all," District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer said. "Our Environmental Enforcement Unit will continue to work with other prosecutors and agencies to enforce those laws.”
The settlement requires CarMax to pay $1,000,000 in civil penalties and $300,000 for investigative costs. CarMax will also make an additional payment of $300,000 to fund supplemental environmental projects furthering consumer protection and environmental enforcement in California. It also requires training, reporting, and compliance with the laws concerning hazardous materials and hazardous waste.