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California Man Pleads Guilty to Unlawfully Refilling and Transporting Uncertified Compressed Gas Cylinders

On May 21, 2012, in the Eastern District of California, James Richard Giles of Stockton, California, pled guilty to charges involving the unlawful refilling of a cylinder with compressed natural gas, a hazardous material, knowing that the cylinder was overdue for its 5-year requalification. Mr. Giles then offered the cylinder for transportation.   

Mr. Giles was the owner of Clean Fuels, LLC, a business that transported compressed natural gas.  Compressed gas cylinders are highly pressurized containers that store various kinds of gases. Refilling and then using compressed gas cylinders to transport hazardous materials requires that the cylinders be recertified every five years. 

The charge to which Mr. Giles pled guilty pertains to a trailer used to transport 38 cylinders of compressed natural gas.  All 38 cylinders refilled by Mr. Giles had service certification dates that expired months before. He personally transported them from his business in Stockton, on his trailer, to Pacific Gas & Electric's natural gas refilling station on McDonald Island, in San Joaquin County. Our investigation also found that Mr. Giles did not have a DOT required Retester's Identification Number and is not a DOT authorized tester.  

Sentencing for Giles is set for September 11, 2012. 

OIG conducted this investigation with significant assistance from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.