Franklin Foundry and Company President Pleaded Guilty to Illegally Storing Hazardous Waste

WASHINGTON – John R. Wiehl and the company, Franklin Non-Ferrous Foundry, Inc., pleaded guilty to unlawfully storing hazardous waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Wiehl, 64, is the president of the foundry, which is located in Franklin, N.H. The company manufactures a variety of metal parts for various industrial applications. A byproduct of the foundry’s operation is the generation of waste containing hazardous or toxic concentrations of lead and cadmium. Exposure to lead and cadmium can cause or contribute to a range of health effects, including behavioral problems, learning disabilities and kidney disease.

In April and August 2009, two workplace inspections conducted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found that the company was illegally storing hazardous waste. Under RCRA, a generator may not store hazardous waste at its facility for more than 90 days without a permit. OSHA reported the findings of their inspections to EPA. In December 2009, EPA executed a search warrant at the foundry and discovered drums of hazardous waste stored on the premises.

In August 2010, a federal grand jury indicted Wiehl and Franklin Non-Ferrous Foundry for unlawfully accumulating and storing lead and cadmium hazardous waste at the foundry site since July 2005. Neither Wiehl nor the company had been issued a permit to store hazardous waste for more than 90 days. The company was cited by EPA for similar violations in 2002 and 2005, but neither the company nor Wiehl previously faced criminal charges.

Wiehl faces a possible maximum sentence of two years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. Under the terms of a plea agreement filed with the court, the United States Attorney’s Office has agreed to recommend that he serve two years of probation, six months of house arrest, and that he publish a public apology. Franklin Non-Ferrous Foundry, Inc is facing a possible maximum fine of $500,000.

This case was being investigated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Criminal Investigation Division. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mark S. Zuckerman.

Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

More information about EPA’s criminal enforcement program: http://www.epa.gov/compliance/criminal/index.html

Written by greenlivingguy

The Green Living Guy, Seth Leitman is a green living expert, celebrity and Editor of the McGraw-Hill, TAB Green Guru Guides. Seth is also an Author, Radio Host, Reporter, Writer and a Environmental Consultant on green living. The Green Living Guy writes about green living, green lighting, the green guru guides and more. Seth's books range from: # Build Your Own Electric Vehicle by Bob Brant and Seth Leitman (2nd and 3rd editions) # Build Your Own Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle by Seth Leitman # Build Your Own Electric Motorcycle by Carl Vogel # Green Lighting by Seth Leitman, Brian Clark Howard and Bill Brinsky # Solar Power For Your Home by David Findley # Renewable Energies For Your Home by Russel Gehrke # Do-it-Yourself Home Energy Audits by David Findley # Build Your Own Small Wind Power System by Brian Clark Howard and Kevin Shea # and more green living books to follow.