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Oregon Company Fined $17K For Exporting Hazardous Waste

Oregon Company Fined $17K For Exporting Hazardous Waste

 

A company agreed to pay a $17,000 fine for trying to sneak hazardous waste past the authorities in Oregon. The company, Jones International Groups, Inc. was caught shipping spent lead-acid batteries to Hong Kong without identifying the materials as either a hazardous waste or a “universal waste.”

Lead-acid batteries are secondary, wet cell batteries, meaning they can be recharged for many uses and they contain liquid. They are the most widely used rechargeable battery in the world. At high levels, lead poisoning can cause permanent brain damage and even death.

The container carrying 129 used batteries was incorrectly identified in shipping paperwork as “mixed metal scrap,” and was returned to the United States upon discovery of the true contents by Hong Kong officials.

Whether an oversight or deliberate manipulation of shipping documents, this error violated several federal hazardous waste management requirements designed to ensure the proper management and transport of universal wastes. Most importantly, the company failed to provide EPA with prior notice of its intent to export the waste to Hong Kong and in doing so, bypassed the process required for Hong Kong to consent to receive universal waste from the U.S. before it can leave the country.

“Companies that collect discarded universal waste must be held accountable to manage these wastes in compliance with our laws which ensure that they will be properly handled, and not sent abroad to countries that have not agreed to receive waste from the U.S.” said Edward Kowalski, EPA’s Director of the Office of Compliance and Enforcement in Seattle.

Related Reading:

Lead Contamination Prompts Recall of “Toxic Waste” Candy

Toxic Flood In Hungary Threatens European Water Supply

Scrap Tires Dumped Illegally At Atlanta-Area Arts Center

 

Image Credit: Flickr – ScubaBear68

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19 comments

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12:15PM PDT on Oct 2, 2011

What a joke. Here in Michigan, Canada was shipping all its hazardous waste, then when MI found Michiganders were angy, Canada sent it to another state (perhaps N.J.) which then shipped it here. Of course, Michigan obviously has no ground waters with which to spread this crap.

11:48AM PDT on Sep 29, 2011

What a joke, thats small change to them. Give them a fine where it hurts. 17 million might make them think again on their dirty waste. The Repubtea party wants less regulation, if they get in they will give no fines at all.

6:58AM PDT on Sep 29, 2011

a beginning...

5:49PM PDT on Sep 28, 2011

They should have been fined 100 times that amount! What a joke.....$17,000!

3:25PM PDT on Sep 28, 2011

Not enough to stop any company from sending waste to other countries.

1:49PM PDT on Sep 28, 2011

Huzzah!

12:00PM PDT on Sep 28, 2011

$17,000? Gee, that must really have scared them.

10:23AM PDT on Sep 28, 2011

It must be really bad if hong kong wont take it.

8:42AM PDT on Sep 28, 2011

While this was a good thing but 17K, that's it.

7:41AM PDT on Sep 28, 2011

Now that's a change......Americans sending crap to China! I'm glad this company was fined, but does anyone see the irony? We are overrun with toxic products from China everyday. The FDA warns about them, but yet welcomes them with open arms. If you do a search for "Chinese Toxic Products" you'll get many results, too many. What about the lead in children's toys, toxins in supplements and cosmetics, etc.?? Are the Chinese getting fined as well....I doubt it. When things are cheap, dangers are overlooked. Another reason to buy MADE IN USA.

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Beth Buczynski Beth is a freelance writer and editor living in the Rocky Mountain West. So far, Beth has lived in... more
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