Wal-Mart pleads guilty in hazardous waste case

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has pleaded guilty to charges the company dumped hazardous waste in California.

A company spokeswoman says Wal-Mart entered the plea Tuesday in San Francisco federal court to misdemeanor counts of negligently dumping pollutants from Wal-Mart stores into sanitation drains across California.

As part of the plea, the company will pay $81 million, which will also cover charges in Missouri.

In 2010, the company agreed to pay $27.6 million to settle similar allegations made by California authorities that led to changes in the retailer's practices nationwide. Wal-Mart was accused of improperly disposing pesticide, fertilizer and paint.