Fujicolor Processing, a unit of Japan's Fuji Photo Film Ltd., agreed Sept. 6 to pay a $200,000 criminal fine for discharging excessive amounts of photo processing waste. The company pleaded guilty to violating U.S. law by dumping silver-tainted wastewater to a Texas treatment plant, the Justice Department and Environmental Protection Agency said.
Based on an internal investigation, Fujicolor discovered that from 1999 through July 2002 employees were selectively reporting to the city only test results that fell within permit limits, officials said.
In July 2002, the city of Terrell, Texas, fined the facility $105,725 for exceeding its monthly limit for silver, based on samples submitted by the facility. The company has since taken action to address the environmental problems, including firing employees responsible for violations and putting safeguards in place to prevent additional violations, according to a Justice Department statement.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007