Following an investigation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the eyeglass lens manufacturer Carl Zeiss Vision has admitted in federal court to consistently discharging hazardous waste materials into an Oregon county sewer system. Sentencing for the offense will take place on April 23.
The hazardous material was discharged into Clackamas County’s sewer system. Such discharges are a violation of the Clean Water Act, and the company will be made to pay a fine between $75,000 to $750,000.
The dumping of contaminants went unchecked for three years while the company operated without a necessary wastewater discharge permit. Specific contaminants found in the leaked water includes both cadmium and lead.
The investigation into the matter commenced following a complaint filed by a former company employee filed in 2014. EPA then served a search warrant to the company in 2015. The violation perpetrated by the company is a misdemeanor under federal law.