EPA Interpol Meeting

Is the Export of used electronics glass 80% full or 80% empty?

The lack of data has reached a critical mass.   Despite independent research (ASU) and documented shipping records from Fair Trade (WR3A efforts), site visits to distinguished factories in China and Indonesia, film of fair trade operations in Africa, South America, and Asia, NPR coverage of win-win programs in Mexico, and complete exposure of fraud in CBS News reporting (not a SINGLE monitor from the Hong Kong shot can be seen in Guiyu, and I have an email from Jim Puckett from 2007 saying he knows there are no CRTs in Guiyu)... despite R2 stakeholders and ISRI stakeholders in detailed meetings working out which exports are legal under Basel Convention, etc... despite all this, the export for repair and refurbishing business is on the ropes.
The single critical flaw is false data.  BAN cites an African expert for their 80% waste statistic, the expert cites BAN as his source.  Even the "worst" operators cannot export that much junk (unless there are drugs, arms, or financial laundering involved, in which case they could be exporting anything - cheese and crackers or oak leaves). If the outcome of the meeting below is a standard of "fully functional" and "tested working", or that all computers must be repaired or readied for repair in the USA, the effect on repair employment and internet access will be devastating. I am ready to export a repairable P4 laptop (taking full responsibility for documenting responsible recycling of any replaced parts) as an act of civil disobedience (if I can continue to write from prison ;)
Will Fair Trade be embraced, or will this remain a case of unintended consequences, and environmentalism going freakishly wrong? Read below:

25 May 2010 - DAY 1
Open Meeting
Registration of Participants
Welcoming Remarks
Ms. Cynthia Giles - Invited
Assistant Administrator, Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, US Environmental Protection Agency
Strategic overview of the INTERPOL Global E-Waste Crime Group

Long term aims, ambitions and potential benefits of the project

Mr Emile Lindemulder
Project Manager
INTERPOL Environmental Crime Programme
Tactical overview of the Global E-Waste Crime Group

The practicalities of the group. What it will look like how will it work?

Mr. Chris Smith
Project Leader
Environment Agency England and Wales
Introduction of Participants
Participants state their name, job title, and organisation
 All participants

Country reports on e-waste investigations addressing these topics:

  •  What techniques or strategies have been used in your country to investigate and prosecute e-waste violations?  Have they worked?
  • Has your enforcement program developed any valuable source of leads or contacts for investigating e-waste offenses?
  • What have been your country's major challenges in investigating and enforcing e-waste violations: e.g.,
    • resources,
    • cooperation from necessary partner governmental departments or foreign countries,
    • laws that are either weak or difficult to enforce, anything else?

Running order to be determined

Chris Smith, Environment Agency England & Wales

Input From Stakeholders

Reaction to project plan, suggestions for effective operational approach

Running order to be determined


Open discussion: reactions on project plan and how to move forward

Chris Smith and Emile Lindemulder

Closing Remarks - Keynote

The Honourable Lisa P. Jackson
Administrator, US Environmental Protection Agency

Reception hosted by The Honourable Lisa P. Jackson, Administrator, US Environmental Protection Agency

The INTERPOL General Secretariat is pleased to announce its Global E-Waste Crime Group Meeting which will be held in Alexandria, Virginia from 25 to 27 May 2010. This meeting will be co-hosted with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The General Secretariat would like to thank the Director of the Office of Criminal  Enforcement, Forensics and Training of the U.S. EPA for agreeing to co-host this important gathering.

The illegal trafficking of electronic waste (e-waste) is considered a serious crime and a growing international problem by INTERPOL General Secretariat and its Environmental Crime Programme. It poses an unacceptable environmental and health risk, in particular in developing countries in Africa and in Asia. INTERPOL established a project under the name the Global E-Waste Crime Group in order to develop a multi-national enforcement strategy to control the illegal trade of e-waste. Managed by the INTERPOL Environmental Crime Programme, the Global E-Waste Crime Group is comprised of many INTERPOL member nations. The Environment Agency of England and Wales is the project leader of this group.

The first day (25 May) of the meeting will be open to the public, including stakeholders, non-governmental organizations, business, government and law enforcement. The overall purpose of this day will be to exchange information and develop a sustainable information network which will assist environmental law enforcement from both exporting and importing countries concerning e-waste export and disposal.

The law enforcement agencies and stakeholders will also have the opportunity to provide the project group members with valuable advice for the implementation phase. Members of the INTERPOL Global E-Waste Crime Group will report on the goals and strategy of the project. Representatives of participating nations will present their respective country’s strategic efforts to control the problem.

During days two and three of the meeting (26-27 May), in a closed session, the members of the INTERPOL Global EWaste Crime Group will incorporate the outcomes of the first day in their working plan towards implementing multi-national enforcement operations aimed at controlling and deterring the illegal traffic of e-waste. To enable the exchange of confidential case-sensitive information, the gathering will be held in closed session. Only government employees having environmental law enforcement responsibility are therefore invited to attend all three days of the conference. Delegates should be prepared to be asked how their countries could practically participate and supply necessary intelligence to the project.

All other participants (i.e. members of the public, non-governmental organizations, business, academe, the press, and government employees not having law enforcement responsibility) are cordially invited to attend the first day only.


An agenda is being developed and will be disseminated to participants in advance of the meeting’s commencement. 


The conference is scheduled to take place at the Hilton in Alexandria, Virginia, which is just across the state border with Washington D.C.

Address: 1767 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314; telephone: +1 703-647-2007.


The meeting will be conducted in English.

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