The man who formerly served as president of Port Arthur Chemical and Environmental Services LLC (PACES) has been sentenced to serve one year in federal prison for his role in causing the death of one of PACES’ employees. According to court documents associated with the case, Matthew Bowman violated the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) in 2008 when he:
- Ordered truck drivers to continue transporting wastewater that contained hydrogen sulfide
- Ordered drivers to falsify transportation records to hide the fact that the wastewater was coming from PACE in order to get around the fact that a disposal company had put a moratorium on receiving wastewater loads from PACE due to the presence of hydrogen sulfide in the water.
The truck driver, Joey Sutter, ultimately died on December 18, 2008 as a result of his exposure to hydrogen sulfide.
In addition to having to serve a year in federal prison, Bowman will also have to pay $5,000 in fines and will likely be named as the defendant in a civil wrongful death suit filed on behalf of his family.
According to the Assisting Attorney General Robert G. Dreher who worked on this case, “the Justice Department and the U.S. Attorney’s Offices will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to vigorously investigate and prosecute those who violate the laws enacted to ensure the safety of workers handling hazardous materials and to prevent the kind of tragedies that occurred in this case.”
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