Former head of Texas chemical company charged with conspiracy

19 July 2012 23:12  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--A Texas chemical services company and its former president were charged with conspiracy to illegally transport hazardous materials, resulting in the deaths of two employees, the US Attorney’s Office said on Thursday.

Port Arthur Chemical and Environmental Services (PACES), and its former president, Matthew Bowman, were charged in an indictment handed down on Wednesday by a federal grand jury in Beaumont, Texas, the US Attorney’s office said.

“The 13-count indictment describes a scheme in which hazardous materials were transported illegally with false documents and without placards, and where workers were not properly protected from exposure to hazardous gases,” the US Attorney’s Office said.

Exposure to hydrogen sulphide from the materials resulted in the deaths of two truck drivers at the PACES Port Arthur facility, on 18 December 2008, and 14 April 2009, the US Attorney’s Office said.

PACES, which produced and sold caustic materials to paper mills, has filed for bankruptcy, according to the indictment.

The defendants were charged with a conspiracy to violate the Hazardous Materials Transportation Uniform Safety Act (HMTUSA) and two counts of failure to implement appropriate controls to protect employees from exposure to hydrogen sulphide in violation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Act.

The defendants were also charged with transportation of hazardous materials without placards and with false documents in violation of HMTUSA, violations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and making false statements.

The conspiracy and substantive counts of the indictment each carry a maximum possible sentence of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 (€205,000), and a $500,000 maximum fine for the corporation.

($1 = €0.82)

By: Brian Ford
+1 713 525 2653

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