May 27, 2024

The US Division of Justice sued eBay on Wednesday for its function within the sale of merchandise that hurt the atmosphere. It accused the web retailer of promoting or distributing a whole lot of 1000’s of merchandise that violated the Clear Air Act (CAA), the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Poisonous Substances Management Act (TSCA). The criticism was filed in a federal court docket in Brooklyn, NY.

The DOJ’s criticism accuses eBay of promoting, providing on the market or inflicting the sale of over 343,000 aftermarket “defeat gadgets,” which bypass automobile emission controls. The gadgets, acquainted to many from Volkswagen’s “Dieselgate” scandal, enable automobiles to cheat emissions checks, making them seem as much as par on EPA requirements once they aren’t — all within the identify of somewhat efficiency increase.

“Aftermarket defeat gadgets considerably improve air pollution emissions – together with carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter and nonmethane hydrocarbons – that hurt public well being and impede efforts by the EPA, states, Tribes and native companies to plan for and attain air high quality requirements,” the DOJ wrote immediately.

The criticism says eBay additionally unlawfully distributed or bought at the least 23,000 pesticide merchandise that had been unregistered, misbranded or restricted-use. The DOJ says the EPA issued a “cease sale” order in 2020 (amended in 2021), after which eBay continued to violate it. “Examples embody a excessive toxicity insecticide banned in america, restricted use pesticides that solely licensed applicators might apply and merchandise fraudulently claiming to guard customers in opposition to the SARS-CoV-2 virus,” the DOJ wrote.

The submitting provides that eBay distributed over 5,600 merchandise violating the TSCA Methylene Chloride Rule, a banned (probably lethal) chemical utilized in paint and coating removers.

In an announcement, eBay mentioned it blocks and removes greater than 99.9% of listings for merchandise cited by the DOJ. “And eBay has partnered carefully with legislation enforcement, together with the DOJ, for over 20 years on figuring out rising dangers and helping with prevention and enforcement,” the web retailer wrote. “The Authorities’s actions are fully unprecedented and eBay intends to vigorously defend itself.”

The DOJ asserted that EPA requirements will likely be enforced. “Our nation’s environmental legal guidelines shield public well being and the atmosphere by prohibiting the illegal sale of defeat gadgets; unregistered, misbranded and restricted use pesticides; and unsafe merchandise containing poisonous chemical substances akin to methylene chloride,” mentioned David M. Uhlmann from the EPA’s Workplace of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “The criticism filed immediately demonstrates that EPA will maintain on-line retailers accountable for the illegal sale of merchandise on their web sites that may hurt shoppers and the atmosphere.”

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