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Ex-chemical plant president charged with conspiracy in employee deaths

August 01, 2012
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BEAUMONT, Texas — A Southeast Texas chemical plant and its former president have been charged with conspiracy to illegally transport hazardous materials, resulting in the deaths of two employees.

In a 13-count indictment handed down by a federal jury, Port Arthur Chemical and Environmental Services, LLC (PACES) and its former president and owner Matthew Lawrence Bowman are accused of scheming to transport hazardous materials illegally with false documents and without placards.

According to the indictment, workers were not properly protected from exposure to hazardous gases.

The exposure resulted in the deaths of two employees, who were truck drivers, at the PACES facility on Dec. 18, 2008 and April 14, 2009. Both deaths are attributed to exposure to hydrogen sulfide.

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 sulfide in violation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Act. The defendants are 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.

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