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HazMat Fines: More Common, More Expensive!

October 11th, 2011 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, HazMat, Industry News

Fines for non-compliant shipments of dangerous goods are getting larger and more frequent.

Only recently, Jones International Groups, Inc. agreed to pay EPA $17,000 for failing to comply with requirements related to the export of universal waste – spent lead-acid batteries — to Hong Kong through the Port of Portland in Oregon. Quality Carriers, Inc. will pay more than $46,000 to settle hazardous chemical reporting violations at its facility in Kent, Washington, for storing large amounts of hydrogen peroxide above threshold planning quantities without properly reporting it to the Kent Fire Department, King County Local Emergency Planning Committee, and the state emergency response commission. The DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced $3,876,000.00 in fines against American Welding & Tank, LLC (AWT) of Fremont, Ohio for violating federal hazardous materials safety standards. The company was fined for manufacturing and selling unsafe nurse tanks — a type of cargo tank used to store and transport anhydrous ammonia, a hazardous material used in farming operations.

But the fine that is the most astounding is that Logitech was fined $261,000 for making unsubstantiated pesticide claims for its computer keyboards. The company incorporated a silver compound designed to protect a keyboard against deterioration, then marketed the keyboard as protecting the user from bacteria and microbes. To promote such benefits for that use a company must have the product tested, then registered by the EPA. Products that kill or repel bacteria or germs and/or claim to do so are considered pesticides, and must be registered with the EPA before their sale or distribution, pursuant to the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). EPA will not register a pesticide until it has been tested to show that it will not pose an unreasonable risk when used according to the directions.

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