February 27, 2019
Montana Business Owner Pleads Guilty To Violating the Clean Air Act
On February 27, 2019, Mark Hurst, owner of Custom Carbon Processing, Inc. (CCP), a slop-oil processing/recycling company based near Wilbaux, Montana, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court, District of Montana, to a violation of the Clean Air Act—Negligent Endangerment. Hurst was charged due to his involvement in the release of a hazardous air pollutant and other extremely hazardous substances.
On December 29, 2012, a driver for Woody’s Trucking, located in Baker, Montana, arrived at CCP to offload natural gas condensate (“drip gas”) from a pipeline station that transports products from the North Dakota Bakken oil fields. The drip gas was hauled to CCP from Watford City, North Dakota. The bill of lading that accompanied the shipment identified the product as “slop oil and water,” a nonhazardous substance. Drip gas is a hazardous material, and trucks that transport drip gas are required to bear a “flammable liquid” placard. In this case, while the driver was filling the front tank of the truck with the drip gas, a fire ignited, injuring three CCP employees. The tanks on the truck burned for 8 days until the local fire department determined that the tanks held drip gas and not the slop oil and water indicated on the bill of lading. The fraudulent bill of lading was also submitted to the Department of Labor–Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Great West Casualty Company to conceal the contents of the shipment.
DOT-OIG is conducting this investigation with EPA-CID.