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            january 20, 2020

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FAA seeks US$350,000 Amazon fine for drain cleaner leak at UPS facility


E-commerce giant Amazon is facing a possible US$350,000 Federal Aviation Administration fine after being charged with sending a leaking caustic drain cleaner that came in contact with workers at a United Parcel Service (UPS) facility, reported Bloomberg News.
"Amazon has a history of violating the hazardous materials regulations," said the FAA press release. "From February 2013 to September 2015 alone, Amazon was found to have violated the hazardous materials regulations 24 other times."
The shipment of corrosive drain cleaner wasn't properly packaged, declared and labelled, the FAA said in the release. Amazon also failed to include emergency response information on the package and didn't train employees on handling hazardous materials.
Companies hit by FAA fines can negotiate with the agency and penalties are sometimes reduced. An Amazon spokesman didn't immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.
The proposed fine stems from a 2014 incident in which nine UPS employees came into contact with a corrosive chemical that had leaked through a shipping package and had to be treated with a chemical wash after feeling a burning sensation.
The liquid leaked from a one-gallon container of "Amazing Liquid Fire," a drain cleaner, during a flight from Louisville, Kentucky, to Boulder, Colorado.
In 2015, the FAA handed out more than US$4.5 million in civil penalties for improper shipments of hazardous materials aboard aircraft, up from $3.4 million in 2014, according to a report in the Dallas Morning News.

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