Walmart will pay $5.9 million to settle a lawsuit by its former oil spill clean-up contractor for a $13 million fine, the company announced Friday.
Walmart and the state of California will pay the fine to resolve the complaint filed by the California Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, the agency said.
The agency also ordered Walmart to reduce its environmental impact statements, including those regarding the spill, by more than 50 percent, it said.
Wal-Mart’s statement to the media said the settlement resolves the “significant issues” raised by the lawsuit.
The company also agreed to “ensure that the commission will be able to use its oversight powers to pursue enforcement actions,” the statement said.
The California Commission for Environmental Quality said in a statement that the company’s settlement “does not resolve the state’s allegations against Walmart, and will not impact the company or its operations.”
Walmart’s statement said the company has worked with the commission to resolve these issues and will continue to work with the agency to ensure that it has the authority to investigate and take appropriate enforcement action.
WalMart said the lawsuit was brought on behalf of the environmental agency by the environmental rights group Sierra Club, which is represented by the National Environmental Law Center.
Wal Mart said it was cooperating with the California EPA to resolve this matter.
The lawsuit was filed in December 2015 by the Sierra Club and the Sierra-Marino Conservation Alliance.
The Sierra Club said in its complaint that Walmart’s “deeply disturbing actions and actions by Walmart and other oil companies demonstrate their disregard for the health and safety of our communities, our environment and our families.”
Wal-mart’s response was in part the result of the company agreeing to an investigation into its own environmental impact statement for the spill that resulted in the spill.
Walman’s statement did not say whether the settlement includes any admission of wrongdoing by the company, but it said the “company’s commitment to addressing these issues will continue.”