FROM:
Amy Cornell, Public Information Officer   CONTACT PERSON:
John Fioretta, Deputy District Attorney
 (408) 792-2638   For Release on October 16, 2007   HOME DEPOT PAYS $9.9 MILLION JUDGMENT FOR VIOLATING HAZARDOUS MATERIALS AND FIRE SAFETY LAWS   Santa Clara County District Attorney Dolores Carr announced today that Home Depot will pay $9.9 million pursuant to a statewide civil enforcement. The judgment is based on Home Depot's violations of state laws regulating hazardous waste and hazardous materials, as well as violations of local fire codes.  This settlement is one of the largest of its type in California against a "big box" store retail chain.   In 2004, at a Home Depot store in Los Angeles, a Home Depot contractor responsible for transporting hazardous wastes illegally mixed such wastes, causing an explosion.  The California Highway Patrol discovered that the contractor was illegally transporting Home Depot's hazardous waste statewide.  The San Jose Fire Department also reported that local Home Depot stores were violating hazardous materials laws and the San Jose Fire Code.  A multi-agency investigation found that Home Depot committed statewide violations of laws regulating hazardous wastes, hazardous materials, and fire safety. Home Depot cooperated with the investigation, and did not admit or deny liability in the settlement agreement.   The $9.9 million statewide judgment includes $7.25 million in civil penalties, $1.3 million in investigative costs, and $1.35 million for Supplemental Environmental Projects, such as environmental enforcement training for environmental prosecutors and regulators.  Home Depot will also update its in-house programs for handling hazardous waste and materials, and create and implement a new program to comply with fire codes at its facilities.    The judgment directs nearly $1 million in civil penalties and costs to Santa Clara County agencies that participated in the investigation and prosecution.  Locally, the primary investigative agency was the San Jose Fire Department Hazardous Materials Division.  The District Attorney's Environmental Protection Unit was part of the statewide prosecution team.     ###

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