Company indicted for Kenai facility chemical releases

The oil field services company and a manager are facing 25 felony counts.

  • Thursday, September 12, 2019 12:04am
  • News

An oil field services corporation, its subsidiaries and an employee were indicted in Anchorage on Tuesday on assault charges related to chemical releases at a transfer facility in Kenai, according to a Wednesday release from the Alaska attorney general’s office.

Baker Hughes Inc., Baker Petrolite Corporation, Baker Hughes Oilfield Services Inc., and John Clyde Willis, a manager for Baker Hughes, are facing 25 felony counts, including 10 counts of first-degree assault, 10 counts of second-degree assault, and five counts of third-degree assault.

The indictment alleges that in 2014 during the construction of a new chemical transfer facility, a construction crew was repeatedly exposed to toxic chemical releases at an existing chemical transfer facility, according to the attorney general’s office.

Baker Hughes Inc., its subsidiaries and Willis failed to provide safety information regarding the chemicals used on-site and didn’t respond to repeated complaints by workers about the chemical exposures, the indictment alleges.

Several workers were sent to the hospital in May 2014 because of a large exposure event. Five people experienced prolonged serious physical injury including ataxia, memory loss, migraines, vertigo, respiratory issues and tremors, the attorney general’s release said.

If convicted, Baker Hughes Inc., Baker Petrolite Corporation, and Baker Hughes Oilfield Services Inc. face fines up to $2.5 million for the most serious charges. Willis faces a sentence up to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $250,000 for the most serious charges if convicted.

If defendants are convicted, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendants, the release said.

— Clarion staff

More in News

Daily school district COVID-19 risk levels: Aug. 3

Risk levels are based on COVID cases reported in a community and determine how schools will operate.

A fire crew can be seen here at a containment line for the Swan Lake Fire in this undated photo. (Courtesy Kenai Peninsula Borough Office of Emergency Management)
Fire crew’s departure highlights different wildfire season

With fire season winding down, state sends firefigthers south

Photos by Jeff Helminiak / Peninsula Clarion 
                                Part of a newly installed interagency public lands display at the Kenai Municipal Airport.
Kenai airport gets public lands display

The murals stretch from floor to ceiling in the ticketing area of the newly remodeled airport.

File
Seward extends emergency restrictions

Emergency ordinance 2020-009 was adopted unanimously by the city council on July 27.

COVID-19. (CDC)
State reports 1 new COVID death, no new peninsula cases

The person who died was an Anchorage man who was in his 70s.

Image via Kenai Peninsula Borough School District
Daily school district COVID-19 risk levels: Aug. 1

Risk levels are based on COVID cases reported in a community and determine how schools will operate.

Rep. Gary Knopp is seen in this undated photo. (Photo courtesy Jayme Jones)
Lawmakers remember colleague killed in crash

State Rep. Gary Knopp, who represented Kenai-Soldotna area, was one of seven people killed Friday.

COVID week in review: Cases climb; state reports new deaths

18 new hospitalizations and four deaths associated with COVID-19 were reported this week.

A screengrab of Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Superintedent John O’Brien announcing in a Thursday, July 30, 2020 video that masks will be required in school buildings this fall, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Schools to require masks, face coverings

Masks are now mandatory for all staff and students in third grade and higher.

Most Read