2023 Settlements and Civil Penalties
2022 Settlements and Civil Penalties
2022 Criminal Prosecutions for FIFRA Violations
EPA Levies Penalties Against Three Companies for Illegal Antimicrobial Products
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fined three companies a total of more than $650,000 for importing unregistered and misbranded antimicrobial products. OnTel Products Corp., Forma Brands LLC and Loginet Inc. also failed to comply with federal reporting requirements for their products.
OnTel Products, a New Jersey corporation, imported numerous shipments of air-cooling products known as the “Artic Air Tower Evaporative Air Cooler” and the “Arctic Air Pure Chill Evaporative Air Cooler” into the United States through California. Although these products contained antimicrobial components and bore antimicrobial claims, they were not registered with the EPA and their labels included misleading language. The company also failed to file required reports under the FIFRA. Consequently, the company will pay a penalty of $638,624. In addition, OnTel has removed the antimicrobial components from the products and the misleading language from the labels, resulting in these products no longer being subject to FIFRA regulation.
Forma Brands, based in San Francisco, CA, imported a misbranded antimicrobial device called the “Morphe UV Disinfection Box”, and failed to comply with FIFRA reporting requirements. The company will pay a penalty of $22,083.
Loginet, out of the City of Industry, CA, imported and sold surface and skin disinfectant wipes called “75% Alcohol Wipes” that bore sterilizing claims but were not registered with the EPA. The company, which also failed to comply with federal reporting requirements under FIFRA, will pay a penalty of $17,666.
EPA Fines Wichita-Based La Palm Spa Products for Violating Federal Pesticide Law
LENEXA, KAN. (JULY 11, 2023)
Millenia Products LLC, doing business as La Palm Spa Products, will pay a $118,483 civil penalty for allegedly failing to properly label a pesticide product called “Hospital Disinfectant” and failing to register the product with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
According to EPA, La Palm Spa Products sold an unregistered pesticide that used another company’s registration number without an agreement from the original company. The product’s label says, “for Use in Barber Shops, Equipment, Home, Office …” and was distributed mainly to spa and beauty supply companies. Further, EPA alleges that the labels on the “Hospital Disinfectant” did not include required safety information, including sufficient directions for use, danger warnings, and first aid information.
EPA fines Best Buy for selling unregistered and misbranded disinfectant wipes from its Union City, Calif. store
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a settlement with Best Buy Co., Inc. for selling “Pure Mobile Sanitizing Tech Wipes,” an unregistered and misbranded product making disinfectant claims in violation of federal law. Today’s settlement follows a series of enforcement actions the Agency has taken to protect human health and the environment from misleading and harmful claims during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Best Buy has agreed to pay a $199,821 civil penalty and has revised its environmental management systems to mitigate the recurrence of such violations.
“We are dedicated to ensuring disinfectants meet EPA’s stringent effectiveness and safety standards,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Martha Guzman. “EPA will continue to use our enforcement and investigative toolset to stop illegal products, which – particularly during a pandemic – may harm consumers with unproven or misleading public health claims.”
On December 3, 2020, EPA conducted an inspection at the Best Buy store located in Union City, California. During this inspection, EPA found that the store had sold “Pure Mobile Sanitizing Tech Wipes” on 55 occasions from July 2020 through February 2021. Despite making pesticidal claims, this product was not registered as required under federal pesticide law. In addition, the product had misleading information on its label that caused it to be misbranded.
Pesticide Company Pays Penalty for Reporting Failures
A company that manufactures and imports pet care products has taken responsibility for its error and agreed to pay $151,040 to settle claims that it imported goods to its Mansfield, Mass. facility in violation of federal pesticide laws.
The Rolf C. Hagen Corp., which imports products from its manufacturing facilities in China and Italy, failed to file reports with EPA that are required by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, according to EPA’s New England office.
EPA’s complaint alleged that the company imported regulated pesticidal devices without submitting the required forms ahead of time. Federal law requires an importer to report vital information to EPA regarding the device and its major active ingredients, which allows EPA to decide whether the importation will pose unreasonable risks to public health or the environment.
The claims against Hagen involve the import between 2010 and 2014 of two types of devices that destroy algae and filter waste in ponds and fish tanks.
“The information required lets EPA decide before a product enters our country whether it poses a risk for the public or our environment,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “This reporting is important for EPA to ensure that we are protecting the public and our communities.”
The information required on the EPA forms includes, for example, details concerning active ingredients, quantities, countries of origin, identity of producing establishments, carriers, ports of entry, and contact information.