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CarMax settles lawsuit charging improper disposal of auto body materials and waste

The settlement totals $1,600,000 for illegal disposal of hazardous substances used during auto body repair and confidential customer information

Oakland, Calif.—Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley announced that her office, along with 16 other district attorney’s offices in California, settled an environmental protection action against CarMax Auto Superstores California, LLC. The settlement was based on the unlawful handling and disposal of various hazardous materials and hazardous wastes. The action was filed in Orange County Superior Court earlier this month.

Undercover inspections of CarMax’s trash containers revealed 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.

“Today’s settlement is a win for the environment,” O’Malley said. “I want to make it very clear to any business operating in Alameda County and the state of California — there is no excuse for improper disposal of hazardous waste. You put us all at risk when you pollute our soil and our waterways. The state as well as local district attorneys will continue to work together to investigate and bring to justice businesses that ignore our important environmental protection laws.”

There are two CarMax facilities in Alameda County: one in Fremont and one in Pleasanton. The settlement, totaling $1,600,000, 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. CarMax was cooperative throughout the investigation and implemented training and compliance programs at each of its facilities.

The case was brought in conjunction with the district attorney’s offices of Orange, Riverside, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Fresno, Stanislaus, Kern, Ventura, Sacramento, Placer, San Diego, Solano, Sonoma, Santa Clara, San Mateo and Contra Costa counties, where CarMax facilities are located.

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