Don Carrington details a setback for an Apple project devoted to clean energy.

The N.C. Division of Environmental Quality has fined Apple Computer’s data center in Maiden more than $40,000 for violating the state’s Solid Waste Management Act.

Correspondence between Apple and state inspectors indicates Apple believed it followed state laws and that Bloom Energy — the maker of the fuel cells that inspectors cited at the data center — was responsible for any waste handling regulations. Bloom collects the hazardous material and transports it to a site in Texas for processing and disposal.

State inspectors disagreed and Oct. 2 notified the company of the violations and subsequent fines. Apple was fined $40,589 and also must pay $2,773 for investigative and inspection costs associated with the penalty. That’s in addition to $1,400 a year for two previous years, as well as each coming year because it generates 1,000 kilograms or more of hazardous waste.