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EPA Fines Lakewood, N.J. Company for Illegal Export of Electronic Waste to Hong Kong

Release Date: 08/17/2009
Contact Information: John Senn (212) 637-3667, senn.john@epa.gov

(New York, N.Y.) As part of a national effort to crack down on the illegal export of electronic waste, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has fined a Lakewood, N.J. company that unlawfully shipped thousands of computer monitors to Hong Kong. EPA fined Supreme Asset Management and Recovery of Lakewood, N.J. $199,900 for illegally exporting non-working computer monitors to Hong Kong in 2007 and 2008, and for failing to promptly respond to EPA’s requests for information.

“This case demonstrates that the illegal export of electronic waste will be punished to the fullest extent of the law,” said EPA Acting Regional Administrator George Pavlou. “As our society becomes more dependent on electronics like computers and cell phones, we must become more vigilant in ensuring electronic waste is disposed of in a way that does not harm the environment.”

Computer monitors contain cathode ray tubes (CRTs), which are the video display components of televisions and computer monitors. The glass in CRTs typically contains enough toxic lead to require managing it as hazardous waste under certain circumstances. Color computer monitors contain an average of four pounds of lead. CRTs may also contain mercury, cadmium and arsenic, all of which can pose threats to human health.

EPA issued the fine under the federal Solid Waste Disposal Act, a part of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, which forbids the export of certain CRTs unless the exporters notify and receive consent from EPA. The fine, part of a compliance order, will automatically become final unless Supreme Asset Management and Recovery requests a hearing on the matter within 30 days.

For more information on cathode ray tubes and electronic waste, visit http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/hazard/recycling/electron/crt-fs06.htm.

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