The owner of a former leather tannery in New York State has pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of storing hazardous waste without a permit after the plant closed.
Robert Carville, 56, formerly of Johnstown NY and now of Florida, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court on Monday in connection with the dangerous chemicals that were stored at the mill during his ownership of the former Carville National Leather Corp. building.
Family owned tannery, Carville National Leather Corp. operated from 1976 until it closed in 2013 for financial reasons. Carville himself owned and operated the company for nearly a decade prior to it shutting down.
His guilty plea means that Carville has accepted responsibility, as the owner and manager of the tannery, for the materials left inside it after it closed.
Prosecutors said Carville fled the state, leaving behind, in the tannery building, hundreds of containers of hazardous chemicals. In his plea, Carville admitted he did not have a permit to store the hazardous materials at the tannery. He also admitted to storing the chemicals illegally for over two years.
The indictment handed up in April identified the hazardous materials as including chromium, lead, ignitable waste and corrosives.
Carville will be sentenced 20 May next year, by Senior U.S. District Judge Frederick J. Scullin Jr. He faces up to five years prison time and a maximum fine of up to £40,000 per day of violation. Carville is currently free on bail.