By: Staff and Wire Reports//October 30, 2014
By: Staff and Wire Reports//October 30, 2014//
Tier NY LLC, a Niagara Falls corporation, has pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Hugh B. Scott to negligent endangerment under the Clean Air Act.
The charge is punishable by a fine of $200,000 and a possible term of probation of up to five years.
The company, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron J. Mango, cleaned tanks that once carried hazardous materials, including titanium tetrachloride which, when combined with water, forms hydrochloric acid gas, a hazardous air pollutant listed under the Clean Air Act.
The charges stem from an incident that occurred on June 11, 2013 when Tier employees cleaned a tank that last contained titanium tetrachloride. During the cleaning process, employees allegedly introduced a caustic solution with an unverified concentration of sodium hydroxide and water and negligently caused the release of an unknown quantity of hydrochloric acid gas. The gas then travelled to an adjacent business and placed other people in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury.
Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 8 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Hugh B. Scott.