McWane Inc. has agreed to plead guilty to felony charges that will settle its criminal case in federal court. The Birmingham-based company, which operates pipe and water-fittings foundries, has pleaded guilty to nine felony violations of the Clean Water Act stemming from effusions at the McWane Cast Iron Pipe plant into Avondale Creek. McWane will also pay a $4 million fine and pay for the construction of a city park.
The original case filed in the matter went to trial in 2005 in U.S. District Court in Birmingham. The company was convicted of 20 felonies and fined $8 million. The conviction was later overturned and a new trial scheduled. No trial will now be required because of the settlement. McWane operates 25 plants and employs 6,000 people in North America, Australia and Canada. It’s one of the four largest North American makers of ductile-iron pipe used to carry water into homes and business.
Source: Birmingham News
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