WASHINGTON – Krister Sven Everston, of Wasilla, Alaska, also known as Krister Ericksson was sentenced today to 21 months in prison for illegally transporting hazardous materials and illegally storing hazardous waste, the Justice Department announced. He was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $421,049 and placed on supervised leave for 3 years.
Evertson was convicted on June 18, 2007 by a federal jury in Pocatello, Idaho 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.
“Mr. Everston chose to ignore hazardous materials laws and in the process put the environment in danger and community health at risk. For his illegal actions, he now faces prison time and restitution payments,” said Ronald J. Tenpas, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.
“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.”
As shown at trial, 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, Wash., to his former place of residence in Salmon, Idaho. There he used some of the sodium in an effort to manufacture sodium borohydride.
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 (ASTs) which contained sludges and other liquids from SBH’s Salmon manufacturing facility to a storage site at the Steel and Ranch Supply facililty (SRS) 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 persons or property.
On May 27, 2004, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) responded to the SRS facility and removed the sodium metal, one AST that contained sludge, and another tank with corrosive liquid. Commercial laboratories refused to accept the sludge for testing since it was highly reactive with water. The EPA tested the sludge at the National Enforcement Investigations Center laboratory, where 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.
Granta Nakayama, EPA’s Assistant Administrator said, “The defendant’s illegal transportation, storage and disposal of highly reactive sodium metal created a risk of fire. Today’s sentence demonstrates that those who refuse to comply with the law and put the public and environment at risk will be vigorously prosecuted.”
The case was investigated by the EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of the Inspector General, and the FBI. It was prosecuted by the Environmental Crimes Section of the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Idaho.