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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said Thursday that it had reached a settlement with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. over alleged violations of the Clean Air Act, which prohibits the sale or distribution of nonessential products containing ozone-depleting substances. Wal-Mart will pay $199,000 in penalties under the settlement.
According to the agency, EPA investigators bought cans of a party string product called "Glow-in-the-Dark Looney String" from Walmart stores between Nov. 2005 and Jan. 2006. Results of an analysis showed the products contained a banned ozone-depleting substance.
The EPA said Wal-Mart violated the Clean Air Act by distributing and selling the product. The giant retailer has taken action to investigate the cause of the violation, meet compliance, and ensure that violations do not happen again, according to the EPA.
After notification by the EPA, Wal-Mart inspected its inventory and conducted a full review of other party string products to ensure no similar items were being sold that contained the banned substance, according to Greg Rossiter, a Wal-Mart representative. "Product safety for Wal-Mart customers is our top priority," he said, noting that Wal-Mart is no longer conducting business with the unnamed supplier.