California’s South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) has filed a lawsuit against The Home Depot Inc. alleging air quality violations for displaying and selling coatings and paints in stores in California that contain high levels of smog-forming ingredients.
LOS ANGELES - California’s South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) has filed a lawsuit against The Home Depot Inc. alleging air quality violations for displaying and selling coatings and paints in stores in California that contain high levels of smog-forming ingredients. AQMD is the air pollution control agency for all of Orange County and the urban portions of Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
The AQMD conducted the investigation that led to the lawsuit. District attorneys for Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties and the city attorney for the City of Los Angeles filed a related case on the same day alleging unfair business practices by Home Depot. The concurrently filed lawsuit alleges that Home Depot misled customers with false information about its products and in so doing sought an unfair business advantage over competitors.
The lawsuit alleges that Home Depot sold thousands of cans of sealers, clear wood coatings, lacquers and other paints and coatings in violation of air quality regulations. AQMD inspectors checked for violations at Home Depot stores by checking cans on the shelf to see if their labeled VOC content exceeded AQMD’s limits. Illegal products were found at more than two dozen stores.
AQMD’s Rule 1113 prohibits the manufacture, distribution, sale or use of non-compliant coatings in the South Coast Air Basin. Under the California Health & Safety Code, violations of the regulation could subject Home Depot to penalties of up to $10,000 for each violation. Further, under the Business and Professions Code, Home Depot is subject to additional penalties of up to $2,500 for each act of unfair competition and $2,500 for each act of false and misleading advertising.
Home Depot Sued Over Coatings VOC Violations
June 12, 2011