DISH Network to pay $5.5 million settlement for alleged hazardous waste disposal violations – CBS San Francisco

OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Satellite television provider DISH Network will pay $5.5 million to settle a lawsuit accusing it of illegally disposing of hazardous waste in Alameda County and elsewhere in the state.

DISH Network is accused of violating California environmental laws by sending hazardous waste to local landfills that are not equipped or licensed to receive the waste.

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According to state attorney general Rob Bonta, audits of DISH facilities in California found that DISH had repeatedly disposed of hazardous waste since 2005 in violation of the Hazardous Waste Control Act and the Environmental Protection Act. unfair competition.

“If you break the rules, we will hold you accountable,” Bonta said in a press release. “For years, DISH has carelessly dumped and sent hazardous waste to local landfills, ignoring the consequences to our communities and environment. From there, dangerous chemical elements from electronic devices, batteries, aerosols, etc. could seep into the ground and contaminate our environment. Today’s regulations are essential. Big companies like DISH have a responsibility to uphold our environmental laws and do their part to protect our state’s precious resources.

“My office is committed to holding corporate polluters accountable for violations of state environmental laws,” Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley said in a statement. “Hazardous e-waste is everywhere, and everyone needs to do their part to keep these items out of the landfill, especially large companies that handle large volumes of e-waste.”

As a provider of television and video services to residential and commercial customers, DISH employees handle large volumes of electronic equipment, such as remote controls, power transformers and adapters, various batteries, spray cans and other items classified as hazardous waste.

The Colorado-based company will pay penalties, costs, and the additional environmental project to benefit the community while making significant changes to its operations and practices to comply with state law.

Specifically, DISH must:

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• Pay $5.5 million, including $3.32 million in civil penalties, $835,500 in legal costs and $845,000 for additional environmental projects. DISH is also to spend $500,000 to implement enhanced environmental compliance measures to ensure proper management of hazardous waste at its California facilities.

• Hire an independent third-party auditor to perform environmental compliance audits at DISH’s 25 facilities across the state;

• Conduct regular inspections of facility dumpsters and roll containers to ensure containers are free of hazardous waste; and

• Provide employee training to ensure compliance with California hazardous waste laws.

In a statement provided to CBS San Francisco, DISH Network said:

“We became aware of this in 2012 and immediately conducted an internal review, implemented additional protocols, and worked with the State of California to ensure we were in compliance with regulations. We have been in compliance since the end of 2012. Although these issues have been resolved for years, we are pleased to have reached an agreement with the State, in particular an agreement that recognizes our many training and waste management actions that will beyond the limits. state legal requirements.

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According to the offices of the Attorney General and Alameda DA, the DISH settlement is the fifth case by a telecommunications industry giant dealing with the illegal disposal and management of hazardous waste. The two bureaus also successfully sued AT&T, Comcast, DirecTV and Cox Communications for similar environmental violations related to the illegal disposal of large volumes of electronic waste from their cable and satellite video services.

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