Copart to pay $800,000 in hazardous waste lawsuit: Contra Costa DA
MARTINEZ, CA – Copart, an online auto auction with a facility in Martinez, has agreed to pay $800,000 in penalties and enforcement fees in a settlement with Contra Costa and several other California counties and cities , according to an announcement Monday from Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton.
The settlement is the result of a civil complaint filed by Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton and 16 other California district attorneys and city attorneys after an investigation into the waste management practices of Copart, Becton said.
The lawsuit accused Copart of dumping hazardous waste in the trash which was then taken to local landfills instead of licensed waste disposal facilities.
In California, Copart has automotive yards in Martinez, Adelanto, Antelope, Bakersfield, Fresno, Hayward, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Rancho Cucamonga, Redding, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Jose, South Sacramento, Sun Valley, Vallejo and Van Nuys. The company has facilities internationally and in several other US states.
Hazardous waste that Copart is accused of illegally disposing of in California jurisdictions included used office supplies and items removed from cars being prepared for sale, such as personal items, small electronics, personal care , automobiles and other consumer products, the attorneys said in their lawsuit. .
Copart agreed to pay $650,000 in civil penalties and $150,000 in enforcement costs. Copart also agreed to a permanent injunction that prohibits the company from violating hazardous waste laws and requires it to implement compliance assurance measures.
According to Becton, Copart cooperated with the investigation and improved its existing training programs so employees know how to properly handle and dispose of hazardous waste.
“Companies must be held accountable for behavior that harms the environment,” Becton said.