Comcast reaches $26M settlement with California over electronic waste

Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) has agreed to pay the state of California $25.95 million to settle a dispute in which the MSO is accused of unlawfully disposing of remote controls, modems, routers, power adapters, splitters and other electronic waste. 

The settlement was announced by California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris and Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O'Malley.

"This agreement holds Comcast accountable for breaking the law and puts strict measures in place to prevent them from putting Californians and our environment at risk in the future," Harris said in a statement. 

According to the state's complaint, Comcast has been dumping electronic waste in disposal sites not equipped to handle such electronic waste. 

"We're pleased to bring this matter from 2012 to a close and remain committed to the highest standards of environmental compliance," Comcast said in a statement provided to FierceCable. "We have devoted considerable time and resources toward our environmental compliance and have taken a number of steps to improve our practices. We will continue to invest in the education and training of our employees."

Comcast is also accused of improperly storing and labeling the waste, which includes such elements as mercury and lead acid from batteries. 

Comcast agreed to penalties worth $25.95 million. Of that, $1.6 million will go to provide lab equipment for the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, and $2.25 million will be paid over the course of four years in public service announcements about proper handling of hazardous waste. Comcast must also spend a minimum of $700,000 to enhance its environmental compliance policies.

"Comcast's careless and unlawful hazardous waste disposal practices jeopardized the health and environmental well-being of California communities and exposed their customers to the threat of identity theft," Harris added.

In November 2014, AT&T (NYSE: T) agreed to pay $52 million in civil penalties and environmental compliance to settle its own electronic waste dumping case with California that also claimed the service provider illegally dumped hazardous electronic waste. 

For more:
- read this Los Angeles Times story
- read this Consumerist story

Related articles:
AT&T coughs up $52M to settle hazardous electronic waste case in California
Managing electronic waste

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