Judge orders The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company to pay $535,000 in penalties and costs for environmental violations
August 9, 2022
RIVERSIDE – DA Mike Hestrin joined with the District Attorneys from six counties and one City Attorney to announce today, Aug. 10, 2022, that The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company has been ordered to pay $535,000 in civil penalties, costs, and supplemental environmental projects due to environmental violations.
The judgment in this civil lawsuit was filed in Riverside County Superior Court and is the result of an investigation into the unlawful disposal of hazardous waste by the Delaware-based LLC over the last several years at its eight California hotels. There is one Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riverside County, that being in Rancho Mirage.
As part of this judgment, Riverside County will receive $91,000 in civil penalties and $14,513 in cost reimbursement. The Riverside County Department of Environmental Health will also receive $6,000 in civil penalties and $2,000 in cost reimbursement.
The lawsuit alleges that instead of storing, transporting, and disposing of hazardous waste at authorized hazardous waste facilities, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company illegally disposed of hazardous waste in the trash and illegally transported it to local landfills not permitted to receive such waste product. The hazardous waste included, but was not limited to, batteries, electronic devices, ignitable liquids, aerosol products, cleaning agents, and other flammable, reactive, toxic, and corrosive materials.
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company has implemented improved policies and procedures as well as improved training programs to properly manage and dispose of hazardous waste. The company’s hazardous waste is now collected by state-registered haulers to properly transport it to authorized disposal facilities and is being properly documented.
Under the settlement, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company must pay a total of $400,000 in civil penalties and $35,000 in cost reimbursement. An additional $100,000 will go to fund environmental projects furthering environmental enforcement in California.
The other DA’s Offices involved in the case were Orange, Los Angeles, Placer, Santa Barbara, San Francisco, and San Mateo counties, as well as the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office.
The final judgment in this case was signed on Aug. 8, 2022, by Riverside County Superior Court Judge Kira L. Klatcho.
The case, CVPS2201770, was handled in Riverside County by Deputy District Attorney Lauren R. Martineau of the DA’s Environmental Protection Team.
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