LOS ANGELES, Sept. 28 — E-commerce giant eBay unlawfully sold and distributed hundreds of thousands of products in violation of US environmental laws, reported German Press Agency (dpa) quoting the US Justice Department (DOJ) on Wednesday.
The department filed a complaint against eBay on behalf of the US Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, in federal court in Brooklyn, New York.
The complaint seeks a court order that eBay’s business practices as an e-commerce retailer violated US environmental laws and requests injunctive relief to enjoin eBay from further violations of these laws, as well as civil penalties for Clean Air Act (CAA) violations.
Responding to US Department of Justice lawsuit, eBay said the US government’s actions are entirely unprecedented and the company intends to vigorously defend itself.
eBay said it is blocking and removing more than 99.9 per cent of the listings for the products cited by the DOJ, including millions of listings each year. And eBay has partnered closely with law enforcement, including the DOJ, for over two decades on identifying emerging risks and assisting with prevention and enforcement.
Meanwhile, the DOJ’s complaint alleged that “eBay sold, offered for sale or caused the sale of more than 343,000 aftermarket defeat devices, which defeat motor vehicle emission controls, a violation of the CAA.”
The complaint also alleged that eBay violated the US Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act “by unlawfully distributing or selling at least 23,000 unregistered, misbranded or restricted-use pesticide products, even in violation of a stop sale order EPA issued to eBay in 2020 and amended in 2021.”
The complaint alleged that eBay has distributed over 5,600 items in violation of the Methylene Chloride Rule.
The rule prohibits retailers from distributing in commerce products that contain methylene chloride for paint and coating removal to prevent unreasonable risks, including death, presented by these types of products.
“The complaint filed today demonstrates that EPA will hold online retailers responsible for the unlawful sale of products on their websites that can harm consumers and the environment,” said EPA’s David Uhlmann.