Fresno County Reaps $975K in AT&T Lawsuit Settlement - GV Wire - Explore. Explain. Expose
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Fresno County Reaps $975K in AT&T Lawsuit Settlement

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A coalition of local governments secured $5.9 million from AT&T for its alleged failure to comply with environmental protection laws. (GV Wire Composite/Paul Marshall)
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Fresno County is receiving nearly $975,000 from AT&T after settling an environmental protection lawsuit.

The Fresno County District Attorney’s Office announced the settlement in a news release on Wednesday.

The county joined with the city of Los Angeles and Santa Cruz, Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Bernardino counties to allege that the telecommunications giant failed to provide hazardous materials business plans, as required by the state.

Altogether, the coalition secured $5.9 million from AT&T — one of the largest ever awarded statewide for this type of violation.

Important to Hold Big Companies ‘Accountable,’ Says Smittcamp

“Ensuring the safety of the public as well as the environment they live in by holding large companies accountable for their conduct is an important goal of this office,” said District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp.

According to the coalition’s complaint, AT&T utilizes backup power batteries at its facilities. Even though the batteries contain hazardous materials, AT&T allegedly failed to submit hazardous materials plans for more than 3,200 of its facilities.

The DA’s Office will get $613,479.16 from the settlement, and the county’s Community Health Department will receive $110,625.00.

In addition, the county will forward $250,000 from its settlement share to a statewide environmental protection trust.

 

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