Injection molder and machinery builder Tulip Corp. and two of its officials pleaded guilty to offenses regarding lead-contaminated plastic chips at the firm's Buffalo, N.Y., facility.
The company and plant manager John Signore agreed that Tulip stored, without permission, lead-contaminated battery casing chips in Buffalo. The chips are considered hazardous waste. The offense is a felony.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron J. Mango spearheaded the case and said in a telephone interview that he will recommend a sentence of 10-16 months. Signore's sentencing is due the week of Feb. 15.
Mango said Tulip's Buffalo plant superintendent, Louie Zaninovich, pleaded guilty to a charge of discharging a pollutant into the regional water-treatment system. Water was contaminated from lead during plastics processing. The charge is a misdemeanor that could lead to fines of $25,000 for each day of violation and one year of probation. Mango said the U.S. attorney will not oppose probation. Sentencing is set for May 10.
The chips infraction occurred from Oct. 2004 to July 2007. At the end of the period, officials discovered 80,000 pounds of lead-contaminated chips being stored outside. The water pollution infraction occurred between May 2006 and Nov. 2007.
Tulip, based in City of Industry, Calif., declined comment on the legal actions.
At this time we are not discussing our plant, a spokeswoman stated.
Tulip injection molds batteries, dairy cases, bottled-water crates, solid-waste containers and a range of custom molded items. Its machinery business includes precision hydraulic presses, pipe-fabricating equipment and automatic beam-welding systems.
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