Environment News Service (ENS)

Environment News Service (ENS)

Man Jailed for Hazwaste Handling That Created Fire Risk

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Source: Environment News Service (ENS)

POCATELLO, Idaho, October 23, 2007 (ENS) - An Alaska man who used to reside in Idaho was sentenced Monday to 21 months in prison for illegally transporting hazardous materials and illegally storing hazardous waste, the Justice Department announced.

Krister Sven Everston, of Wasilla, Alaska, also known as Krister Ericksson, was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $421,049 and placed on supervised leave for three years.

Evertson was convicted on June 18, 2007 by a federal jury in Pocatello of one count of violating the Hazardous Materials Transportation Safety Act for transporting un-placarded tanks and drums on an unplacarded trailer down a highway without proper shipping documents.

He was also convicted of two counts of Resource Conservation and Recovery Act violations for unlawful storage of hazardous waste.

EPA Assistant Administrator Granta Nakayama said, 'The defendant's illegal transportation, storage and disposal of highly reactive sodium metal created a risk of fire.'

'Mr. Everston's sentence is an indication of the degree to which we value our clean environment here in Idaho,' said U.S. Attorney Tom Moss. 'Actions like his which endanger the environment and individuals require the sentence imposed today.'

During the trial, the Justice Department proved that Everston, the former owner and president of the now defunct SBH Corporation, transported 10 metric tons of sodium metal from its port of entry in Seattle, Washington, to his former place of residence in Salmon, Idaho.

There, he used some of the sodium in an effort to manufacture sodium borohydride, a specialty reducing agent used in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals and other compounds.

In August of 2002, Everston arranged for the transportation of the sodium metal not used in the manufacturing process and several above-ground storage tanks which contained sludges and other liquids from SBH's Salmon manufacturing facility to a storage site at the Steel and Ranch Supply facililty in Salmon.

Sodium metal and the materials in the tanks are highly reactive with water, and Everston failed to take protective measures to reduce the risk that the transported material would react and damage people or property.

On May 27, 2004, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency personnel went to the SRS facility and removed the sodium metal, one tank that contained sludge, and another tank containing corrosive liquid.

Commercial laboratories refused to accept the sludge for testing because they considered it too dangerous, so the EPA tested the sludge at the National Enforcement Investigations Center laboratory. It was determined to be highly reactive with water and classified as a hazardous waste.

More than $430,000 was spent on cleanup and response costs related to Everston's abandonment of the hazardous materials.

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