A federal grand jury in Beaumont, Texas, has reportedly indicted the former president of a Texas company for conspiracy to illegally transport hazardous materials resulting in the death of two employees. The 13-count indictment alleges 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 exposure resulted in the deaths of two employee truck drivers.
The defendant has been charged with conspiracy to violate the Hazardous Materials Transportation Uniform Safety Act (HMTUS A) 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 Administrative Act (OSH A). He is also charged with transportation of hazardous materials without placards and with false documents in violation of HMTUS A, violations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCR A) 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. The company, which has filed for bankruptcy, could be fined a maximum of $500,000. See Department of Justice Press Release, July 18, 2012.