Apple has been forced to pay out $450,000 to settle a case in which the company faced allegations of operating two hazardous-waste processing plants without approval from Californian environmental authorities.
The company blamed the error on an “oversight in paperwork.” The $450,000 pay out is equivalent to one minute’s worth of income for the technology giant, with the company reporting a total revenue of $234 billion in the year of 2015.
The settlement brings to an end an investigation in which were the company were found to have run a plant near Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California.
Apple have since closed the plant, although its existence was never brought to the attention of California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control.
The plant reportedly produced over 1.1 million pounds of electronic waste over two years. Only after relocating operations to Sunnyville and processing another 803,000 pounds of electronic waste did Apple alert regulators to their activities.
Regulators say Apple’s actions has not caused damage to the environment, although Apple did mishandle fine dust that contained dangerous levels of copper and zinc by sending them to the incorrect facility.