US government sues eBay for violating environmental laws

US government sues eBay for violating environmental laws

The U.S. Department of Justice on Wednesday filed charges against online sales company eBay for violating laws to market devices that alter the control of vehicle emissions and pesticides.

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The department alleges in its complaint filed in New York federal court on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that between January 2017 and September 2020, the site offered for sale more than 343,000 devices that altered the control of vehicle emissions.

Marketing these devices violates the federal Clean Air Act (CAA), he emphasizes.

The U.S. government also accuses eBay of selling at least 23,000 unapproved or regulated pesticides since 2016, despite an EPA injunction, and more than 5,600 items containing methylene chloride, a highly toxic solvent, since November 2019.

“EBay’s sale of emissions control devices, pesticides and other hazardous products poses an unacceptable risk to our population, which is disproportionately affected by environmental and climate hazards,” said Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York York.

The government is asking the court to order the company to stop violating air quality laws and to impose fines on it for its violations of the Clean Air Act.

eBay responded in a statement saying it would “vigorously” defend itself against these allegations and ensure it did everything it could to prevent prohibited items from being marketed on its website.

“eBay blocks and removes more than 99.9% of product listings identified by the Department of Justice, including millions of listings each year,” the company claims.