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Rite Aid to pay $12M in illegal dumping lawsuit

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Drug store chain Rite Aid Corp. has been ordered to pay more than $12 million to settle a civil lawsuit filed in California claiming about 600 of its stores illegally dumped pesticides, bleach and other toxics.

The environmental protection lawsuit was filed last month by the district attorneys of Los Angeles, San Joaquin and Riverside counties. In all, 52 California district attorneys joined the civil action.

A judgment was filed in San Joaquin Superior Court two weeks ago ordering Rite Aid to pay the penalty.

Authorities say inspectors found Rite Aid illegally trucked and dumped pesticides, bleach, paint, solvents and other toxics in landfills.

A permanent injunction prohibits the company from engaging in similar action again. Stores will be required to retain their hazardous waste in segregated, labeled containers.