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Wal-Mart Inc. In Trouble For Violating America's Clean Water Act

     Before the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, there were very few regulations to keep businesses from negatively impacting people and the environment around their operations. During the time of little to no regulation many people died as a result of irresponsible business practices that contaminated the air, drinking water and other resources. To avoid widespread contamination the Government stepped in to help protect people from businesses. While many of the deaths or illnesses caused by corporate pollution are the result of manufacturing accidents or equipment malfunction, occasionally corporate neglect or intentional disregard for regulations is the cause of peoples suffering. Whatever the cause, corporations are more and more frequently being held accountable for their actions when it comes to polluting the environment.

The first case the federal government brought against a national American corporation was an action against Wal-Mart Stores, Inc and ten of their contractors. The government succeeded in proving the accusations were true and Wal-Mart agreed to a settlement. The store admitted to being in violation of America's Clean Water Act. More specifically the company was not following the guidelines set forth in the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System. Violations were reported at seventeen stores across the country in New Mexico, Texas, Massachusetts, and Oklahoma. The wide spread problems that stretched across several regions made is easier to hold the corporation accountable and not just a single location.

The details of the settlement not only require the Wal-Mart corporations to pay and one million dollar fine, it also required them to submit a plan for managing the company's environmental impact. The plan includes detailed actions that will require additional training, inspections and better record keeping at all Wal-Mart building sites in the future. It has been estimated that implementing the plan will initially cost the company around four and a half million dollars.

In addition to the federal regulation violations filed against the Wal-Mart company they have also been involved in several civil actions across the country. On multiple occasions the company has been accused by local environmentalist of not obtaining the proper storm water pollution permits prior to demolition of structures located on future Wal-Mart building sites.

Since both the civil action and federal settlement Wal-Mart has been improving their stores policies and they are taking steps to have less of a negative impact on the environment. Since being confronted with these law suits and the negative press and image the brand got after they were made public, Wal-Mart's CEO announced many new goals that would help make the company more energy efficient. Through improvements the their supply chain, the company has announced that it will take the necessary steps to eliminate at least 20 million metric tons of harmful gases from our environment no later then the end of 2015. Some of the plans to help reduce admissions include applying pressure to their suppliers to create more environmentally friendly packaging that will be lighter to ship.

While many people still believe Wal-Mart has a long way to go to make up for the negative impact they have had on the environment already, it is clear the pressure from governmental regulation and public opinion can go a long way toward helping to create cleaner business.

Find out more about Contractor Pollution Liability here and how Beacon Hill Associates can help you.

Find out more about Contractor Pollution Liability here and how Beacon Hill Associates can help you

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Find out more about Contractor Pollution Liability here and how Beacon Hill Associates can help you.

Posted on 2012-09-09, By: *

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Note: The content of this article solely conveys the opinion of its author,

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