The Department of Justice has filed a suit against eBay, alleging the e-commerce site has sold and distributed restricted and illegal products.
According to the DOJ, eBay has sold hundreds of thousands of products that violate environmental regulations. In addition, the platform is accused of selling, or contributed to the sale, of 343,000 “defeat devices” designed to circumvent vehicle emission controls.
The DOJ says eBay was also involved in the sale of at least 23,000 pesticides that were restricted, misbranded, or unregistered, even doing so in violation of a previous EPA order to stop.
The company is also accused of distributing more than 5,600 items that violate the TSCA Methylene Chloride Rule.
“Laws that prohibit selling products that can severely harm human health and the environment apply to e-commerce retailers like eBay just as they do to brick-and-mortar stores,” said Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD). “We are committed to preventing the unlawful sale and distribution of emissions-defeating devices and dangerous chemicals that, if used improperly, can lead to dire consequences for individuals and communities.”
“Our nation’s environmental laws protect public health and the environment by prohibiting the unlawful sale of defeat devices; unregistered, misbranded and restricted use pesticides; and unsafe products containing toxic chemicals such as methylene chloride,” said Assistant Administrator David M. Uhlmann of the EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “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.”
“eBay’s sale of emission control defeat devices, pesticides and other unsafe products poses unacceptable risks to our communities disproportionately impacted by environmental and health hazards,” said U.S. Attorney Breon Peace for the Eastern District of New York. “Together with our partners, this office will vigorously enforce federal law against those whose conduct endangers public health and the environment.”