Epson Begins Litigation against Oji Paper

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Epson Begins Litigation against Oji Paper

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Epson Begins Litigation against Oji Paper over Cost of Cleaning Buried Industrial Waste

Noticias Info - April 28, 2006

Seiko Epson Corp. ("Epson") today announced that it had begun litigation in the Tokyo District Court against Oji Paper Co., Ltd. ("Oji Paper"). The action follows the discovery of buried industrial waste in land previously owned by Oji Paper at Epson's Hirooka Office. After a concerted effort to return the area to its natural state, Epson held a series of meetings with Oji Paper in which the former requested compensation for cleaning up the waste. Epson took the decision to start litigation after repeated negotiations failed to produce an agreement.

Epson purchased the land in question from Oji Paper in July 2000. In July 2004, Epson discovered industrial waste in sludge form after boring a well to test the groundwater for arsenic. Epson then checked with previous landowner Oji Paper about the history of the industrial waste, and confirmed the connection between the waste and the business activities carried out by Oji Paper on the site. After disclosing the results of the survey into the buried industrial waste, Epson was instructed by the local authorities on handling the waste and other polluted materials. It then followed the correct cleanup procedures in consultation with Oji Paper. However, Epson was unable to obtain agreement about compensation for the survey and the cleanup, and took the unavoidable decision to begin litigation.

Details of industrial waste

Industrial waste including sludge, printing ink, incinerated ash, and plastics was found at a depth of approximately 0.5 to 2.5 meters below the surface of the land in question.

An analysis of the waste and soil revealed dioxins, PCBs, lead, fluorine, hexavalent chromium, boron, and arsenic at levels exceeding legitimate standards in the soil.

Processing method

Epson excavated the buried waste, and separated it on-site into waste materials, polluted fragments and soil. It then took appropriate measures to process the waste, including commissioning a waste disposal company to process the waste materials.

It then processed the polluted soil in a similar, appropriate manner.

Waste materials including dioxins and PCBs were covered with tents etc., excavated, and processed correctly. PCBs were returned to Oji Paper.

All processes were performed in consultation with the local authorities. Epson also held an explanatory meeting for local citizens, and gained their understanding. The company has also disclosed the information to the local media as necessary.

Amount of waste found
Approx. 9,200 tons

Amount of compensation claimed
640 million yen (correct as of April 20)

SOURCE: ... 1399&src=0
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