Wal-Mart Settles for SORE Violations for $106,337
During the spring of 2001, MSOD staff conducted a compliance survey for Small Off-Road Engines (SOREs) by visiting hardware stores and lawnmower shops throughout the state. They found non-California certified leaf blowers, line trimmers and chain saws offered for sale at Wal-Mart stores throughout the State.
In response to a cease and desist order issued by MSES, Wal-Mart reported that measures had been taken to avoid further sales of non-compliant portable power products. However, shortly thereafter, MSES documented the sale of walk-behind mowers clearly labeled in red letters: "NOT FOR SALE IN CALIFORNIA." Wal-Mart recalled the non-compliant mowers from the stores in California and strengthened their controls to include automatic blocking of non-compliant products at the cash register. Despite these strengthened controls, MSES was able to purchase a non-compliant line trimmer without the transaction being flagged or blocked. Wal-Mart re-evaluated their non-California blocking system and discovered that the same coding that prevented California stores from ordering non-compliant product also made it impossible to block their sale at the cash register. Wal-Mart corrected this error and reported that they recalled 74 units and sold 2,415 non-compliant units in California.
The ARB reached a settlement with Wal-Mart for the alleged violations in the amount of $106,337. The estimated emission impact of the 2,415 non-compliant units sold by Wal-Mart is 1.27 tons of ROG and NOx combined for the current year.