Posts Tagged ‘Environmental Protection Agency’

Trashed Tech Dumped Overseas: Does the U.S. Care?

Saturday, October 4th, 2008

A new report proves that the fed’s environmental watchdog has knowingly allowed toxic e-waste to be shipped overseas

e-WasteThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) knows that most of the 1.9 million tons (1.7 million metric tons) of discarded cell phones, computers and televisions, among other electronic goods, went into landfills, because those are the agency’s own figures.

The EPA also knows that this so-called e-waste contains cadmium, mercury and other toxic substances, and it is responsible for making sure that lead-laden monitors and television sets with cathode-ray tubes (CRT) are disposed of properly and the parts recycled. But congressional investigators charge that the EPA has failed to even attempt to clean up the mess—or keep it in check. The agency has “no plans and no timetable for developing the basic components of an enforcement strategy,” concludes a report released this week by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), Congress’s investigative arm.

GAO official John Stephenson testified at a House hearing yesterday that his investigators had posed as would-be buyers of CRT waste in Hong Kong, India, Pakistan, Singapore and Vietnam and found at least 43 recyclers willing to export the toxic e-waste from the U.S. in direct violation of EPA regulations. In addition, unlike the European Union (E.U.), the EPA has no regulations concerning the disposal of other types of used electronic devices, despite their dangers.