Enforcement agencies across the U.S. and Canada participated in a two-day operation on Aug. 17-18 aimed at cracking down on the illegal transportation of hazardous materials.
The operation focused on major transportation routes in the New York, Michigan and Ontario areas, according to a release by Interpol, an international police organization, with 188 member countries.

During the two-day blitz, the agencies checked 313 vehicles, identified 85 violations and launched two investigations.

Led by officers from the Canadian and U.S. national environmental agencies (Environment Canada, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency), and supported by provincial and state environmental agencies, police and national customs authorities, the operation also involved Interpol's National Central Bureaus (NCBs) in Ottawa, Ontario, and Washington which provided secure police communication channels, access to a range of Interpol databases and analytical support.

"To ensure the proper disposal of hazardous waste it is absolutely essential that we work with our international partners," said Fred Burnside, director for EPA's Office of Criminal Enforcement, Forensics and Training. "Illegal disposal of hazardous and toxic wastes can endanger our communities. EPA is committed to a strong and continued collaboration with Canada to make certain that criminal violations of environmental laws are not tolerated."

"The illegal transportation of hazardous waste is a growing global concern," said Albin Tremblay, Environment Canada's chief enforcement officer. "Fortunately we have proven that operations of this kind provide a clear message of deterrence. I am pleased that Environment Canada, and our partnering organizations, have been able to build on the collective success that we have previously experienced with this type of operation."

Other participating agencies included Ontario's Ministry of Transportation, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. DOT Office of Inspector General, and the U.S. DOT's Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA), among others.