Niagara Gazette

Local News

May 17, 2010

Tulip Corp. handed six-figure fine

Falls company sentenced for violating environmental laws

NIAGARA FALLS — A Niagara Falls company that pleaded guilty to violations of federal environmental laws has been hit with a $100,000 fine.

Tulip Corporation, a California company, that does business in the 2100 block of Highland Avenue, was given the fine and three years of probation by Chief U.S. District Court Judge William Skretny. Federal authorities said the company, also made a $25,000 contribution to Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper.

The United States Attorney’s office said the contribution was made “outside the context of the criminal case.”

Tulip, a plastics recycling company, had pleaded guilty to storing hazardous waste without a permit

“By illegally storing hazardous wastes, the Tulip Corporation put the public at potential risk,” said William Lometti, special agent in charge of the EPA’s New York Area Office of Criminal Enforcement. “Today's sentence should send a strong message that we will vigorously prosecute those who intentionally violate environmental laws and disregard the public's well-being.”

One of the company’s product lines involves re-processing and recycling of shredded battery casings, commonly referred to as “chips,” into a usable materials. Tulip purchases the chips from various suppliers, and then re-processes the chips at its Highland Avenue plant.

The re-processing involves washing, drying, and extruding the chips. Some of the chips processed and recycled by Tulip were contaminated with lead, making them hazardous materials. 

On July 11, 2007, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation conducted an inspection at Tulip and found approximately 80,000 pounds of chips being stored outside. Samples of those chips were taken by the DEC and determined to contain lead levels that were above legal limits.

“The Tulip Corporation endangered the environment by disregarding the law when it wrongly accumulated and stored the hazardous waste,” Western District United States Attorney William Hochul Jr. said. “Corporations which place their own profit before the law will be brought to justice.”

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