Hazardous materials experts are trained to consult on chemicals such as those listed by the EPA and OSHA as carcinogens, toxic agents, corrosives, and air pollutants. The Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources Division announced October 12, 2016 that four Texas companies will pay $3.5M for violations of the Clean Air Act at two oil and chemical processing facilities. The Eastern District of Texas criminal case charges KTX Limited and KTX Properties Inc. with negligently releasing hazardous air pollutants after a 2011 tank explosion at their chemical and petroleum processing facility in Port Arthur, Texas. The explosion killed one worker and severely injured two others. The complaint states that Crosby LP and Ramsey Properties LP failed to monitor leaks of ground-level ozone resulting in air pollutants. The defendants admitted to falsifying records and reports for Title V permit requirements to the EPA and the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality.
Department of Justice press release 16-1192 states:
According to the factual basis of the plea agreement, KTX Limited and KTX Properties Inc, authorized two contract workers to perform welding or “hot work” on piping connected to a tank at their Port Arthur facility. Prior to beginning the welding, the defendants falsified the “hot work” permit issued to the workers and failed to properly drain, isolate and decontaminate the tank and connecting equipment as required by Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) regulations. As a result, the welding work ignited vapors causing the tank to explode and release hazardous air pollutants to the environment. Because the defendants had failed to properly inspect and maintain the tank pursuant to generally accepted industry standards, the exploding tank collapsed spilling burning product which severely injured two workers. A third worker was killed when the rails and ladder from the collapsing tank fell on his head.
The highly qualified hazardous materials expert witness is called upon to evaluate cases involving workplace accidents. Hazardous materials experts are knowledgeable and can testify on EPA and OSHA requirements regarding the use of flammable materials. In this case, lapses in safety protocols caused a tank to explode, killing one worker and severely injuring two more. The defendants admitted to falsifying records and reports to the EPA and the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality.