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Compliance Briefing: E-Waste African Dumping, Prop 65 Suits

Leading U.K. recycler Environmental Waste Controls (EWC) has admitted that e-waste left in its care ended up being dumped in west Africa, in violation of WEEE regulations, according to the Ecologist and the Guardian. In a documentary aired on the BBC last night, made in collaboration with the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), investigators at one EWC site were told that at least seven tons of TVs were being sold to a third party company each week, and that some of the waste was sent to Nigeria and Ghana. WEEE permits working TVs to be exported, but EIA used tracking devices to determine that disabled sets were ending up in the two African countries, the Guardian reports. Yesterday the EIA also published detailed findings of an 18-month investigation into how U.K. e-waste ends up abroad. EWC’s clients include Asda, Tesco, Barclays, Network Rail and the National Health Service (NHS), and it also runs 49 waste sites for local authorities. In a statement to the Ecologist, EWC acknowledged that e-waste from its facilities had ended up in Africa in contravention of WEEE regulations. The company said, “This is unacceptable and EWC has put in place measures to prevent a reoccurrence [sic] of this practice and to undertake a full investigation in cooperation with the regulator and relevant authorities. We have instructed all our sub contractors that no electronic equipment deposited at designated collection facilities operated by EWC should leave the UK until further notice.” EWC also told the Ecologist that since October, it has not worked with the third party company accused of exporting the faulty TVs.

The UK was ranked sixth out of 11 European countries for its rate of electronics recycling, in a study conducted by the European Recycling Platform and reported on Edie.net. The study found that larger household appliances such as washing machines and freezers are the most recycled in the UK, Norway, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Poland, while IT and telecommunications equipment are the most recycled e-waste items in France and Denmark.

The Center for Environmental Health has announced that it will take legal action against more than 40 suppliers of aviation fuel at California airports, alleging violations of the California Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, also known as Proposition 65. The Oakland-based group is planning action against ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP, Shell and 39 other suppliers for water and air pollution around 25 airports, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The Metzger Law Group has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Council for Education and Research on Toxics, seeking an order to require coffee makers and retailers to warn consumers abut acrylamide, a chemical known to the state to cause cancer, the Association of Corporate Council reports.

Former Hawaii governor Ben Cayetano and several other individuals and groups have filed a lawsuit aimed at stopping a $5.3 billion Honolulu rail project, claiming that city officials failed to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act, and that the project violates both the Department of Transportation Act and the National Historic Preservation Act. Defendants include federal transportation secretary Ray LaHood, the Honolulu Civil Beat reports.

Compliance software company 3E Company has launched 3E Integrated MSDS Data for MSDgen. The platform integrates 3E’s material safety data sheet (MSDS) management service with its MSDgen system for authoring MSDSs.

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