After a long-simmering defamation lawsuit was dismissed this month, the Basel Action Network has gone on the offensive. A report released by BAN today indicates Intercon Solutions, a Chicago-area processor that appears to be inactive, exported at least 167 containers of scrap material to Hong Kong and other Asian ports between 2010 and 2011.
The new allegations, which build on BAN’s initial export charges against Intercon, suggest Intercon’s activity was “likely in contravention of international, Chinese and U.S. law,” the group claims.
After more than three years of legal battles stemming from a 2011 report by BAN accusing Intercon of shipping hazardous waste to Hong Kong, Northern Illinois district Judge Virginia M. Kendall on Oct. 9 dismissed with prejudice Intercon’s lawsuit against BAN, ordering the two sides to pay for their own legal fees accrued over the years.
BAN has been represented by lead attorney John Phillips. The group also received support from Chicago firm Winston & Strawn.
By dismissing the case with prejudice, Judge Kendall precluded Intercon from re-filing a suit.
The defamation lawsuit, which was first launched in 2012 and followed by a countersuit that has since been thrown out, claimed BAN’s export accusations were unfounded and caused Intercon undue harm.
Once a prominent processor in Chicago Heights, Ill., Intercon no longer seems to be accepting material. Its website, interconrecycling.com, is not active. Also, the company did not return a call Wednesday by E-Scrap News, and an email to Intercon’s CEO, Brian Brundage, bounced back.
When it was active in the e-scrap space, Intercon made claims that it did not export hazardous material.
Today, BAN has released what it says is more evidence pointing to “consistent and systematic” export activity by Intercon between 2010 and 2011. According to the report, which can be read in full here, BAN alleges Intercon sent at least 167 containers overseas, many to a broker in Hong Kong, in that two-year timespan.
According to BAN, receipts and records obtained through an anonymous source during the trial “record the dropping of empty and loaded containers at Intercon and the sending of loaded containers from Intercon to Long Beach and Los Angeles, Calif.” BAN then used PIERS Journal of Commerce Data to track the containers as they traveled to various countries in Asia.
The group says the shipments were “likely” in violation of international treaties and law and suggest Intercon “failed to abide by the U.S. CRT rule,” which requires companies register with the U.S. EPA before sending any potentially hazardous CRT waste abroad.
The report also notes Intercon relied on a “no exportation” policy in online marketing and when it successfully garnered $430,000 in funding from the Illinois EPA between 2004 and 2009.
Jim Puckett, BAN’s executive director, told E-Scrap News while there’s “no positive proof” about what was contained within the exported containers, BAN has been informed Intercon was shipping a variety of e-scrap abroad between 2010 and 2011.
“Whistleblowers and former employees told us everything would go into the containers – CRTs, batteries, everything,” Puckett said.