The Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed a lawsuit against eBay on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for allegedly selling over 343,000 “rolling coal” pollution devices and other illegal environmental products.
Rolling coal involves modifying a vehicle’s engine to emit excessive diesel, resulting in sooty black exhaust. The EPA has penalties of $5,580 per sale under the Clean Air Act.
eBay has refuted the claims, stating that it blocks over 99.9% of the listings for the cited products and collaborates with law enforcement to enforce regulations.
The DOJ’s complaint includes eBay screenshots showing emissions manipulation equipment.
Besides rolling coal products, eBay is accused of selling harmful methylene chloride paint removers and banned pesticides, totalling over 5,600 and 23,000, respectively.
Prosecutors claim that eBay had the capacity and resources to cease selling unlawful products but chose not to.
If found guilty, eBay could face fines of up to $2 billion.
The lawsuit underscores the challenges online platforms pose in preventing the sale of illegal and harmful products and the legal consequences they may face for such activities.