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U.S. EPA seeks $32,500 for electronic waste export violation

Release Date: 07/31/2008
Contact Information: Francisco Arcaute, arcaute.francisco@epa.gov

Chino company illegally exported electronic waste to Hong Kong

LOS ANGELES – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has filed a $32, 500 complaint against Jet Ocean Technologies of Chino, Calif. for failing to notify the EPA of a cathode ray tube export shipment, in violation of federal hazardous waste laws.

In March, the EPA was alerted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection to the presence of a shipping container of “scrap metal” that contained 441 computer monitors with cathode ray tubes, commonly known as CRTs. The container was owned by Jet Ocean Technologies, and had been shipped to Hong Kong, where it was rejected by customs authorities.

New regulations took effect in January 2007 requiring exporters shipping broken or unbroken CRTs to another country for recycling to notify the EPA and receive written consent from the receiving country before shipments can be made.

“Exporters of computer monitors must submit formal notification to the EPA prior to shipping overseas,” said Jeff Scott of the Waste Division for the EPA’s Pacific Southwest region. “The required notice and consent of the receiving country helps ensure that CRTs are recycled in an environmentally sound manner."

Cathode ray tubes are the video display components of televisions and computer monitors. The glass in these units typically contains enough lead to require managing it as hazardous waste under certain circumstances. About 57 million computers and televisions are sold in the United States annually, although many new models may not contain cathode ray tubes.

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