Associate Attorney General, Biden, chemical industry, clean air act, Clyburn, Conflict of Interest, Delaware, DOJ, Dow Du Pont, Du Pont, Du Pont Board, environment, Federal Regulations, industrial safety, insecticide, Justice Department, methyl mercaptan, pesticide, Rajiv Gupta, Safety, Texas, US DOJ, Vanita Gupta
Biden’s nominee for Associate AG, the third highest position in the US Department of Justice, is Vanita Gupta, the daughter of a Du Pont board member, Rajiv Gupta. In the closing days of the Trump administration, Du Pont was charged in a fatal chemical leak. Du Pont is headquartered in Delaware. At one point, Biden even lived in a former Du Pont mansion.
The Associate Attorney General oversees the Antitrust Division, Civil Division, Civil Rights Division, Environment and Natural Resources Division, Tax Division, Office of Justice Programs, Foreign Claims Settlement Commission, among other things. https://www.justice. gov/asg/about-office As can be seen, the Du Pont connection has the potential for major conflicts of interest.
Vanita Gupta’s father, Rajiv Gupta, is on the board of the following corporations:
Du Pont 06/2019–present; Chairman Aptiv PLC 12/2017–Present; Chairman Avantor Performance Materials Inc 08/2011–present; Chairman Avantor Inc 01/2010–present; Chairman Avantor Performance Materials India Ltd; Board Member Dupont de Nemours Inc, 06/2019–04/28/2021 (Bloomberg: https://archive.is/mgXBd )
Rajiv Gupta was born in Muzaffarnagar, India to Phool Prakash and Rukmini Sahai. He graduated in 1967 from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rajiv_L._Gupta
Du Pont board https://archive.is/V67UA
Is Du Pont board member, Frank Clyburn, kin to Biden backer Congressman Clyburn? Frank Clyburn is executive vice president and president of Human Health for Merck, as well.
“United States v. E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company Inc., et al., No. 4:21-CR-00016 (S.D. Tex.), AUSAs John R. Lewis and Belinda Beek and SAUSA Kristina Gonzales.
On January 7, 2021, prosecutors charged E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company Inc. (DuPont) and former employee Kenneth Sandel, with violating the Clean Air Act and for negligently releasing an extremely hazardous substance in November 2014 (42 U.S.C. §§ 7413(c)(4), 7413(c)(1), 7412(r)(7)).
DuPont owns chemical manufacturing plants around the world, including one located in La Porte, Texas. The Insecticide Business Unit (IBU) manufactured pesticides, including Lannate and Vydate. Sandel ran the IBU between 2009 and 2014 as the Unit Operations Leader. The IBU used a variety of chemicals to produce Lannate and Vydate, including methyl mercaptan (also known as MeSH), a highly toxic and flammable gas. A particularly dangerous substance, MeSH cannot always be detected by smell.
Sandel and DuPont engineers devised a plan to divert a large volume of MeSH into a waste gas pipe system during the day before, and night of, the fatal incident. Sandel failed to implement necessary procedures (including key safety provisions required in a Risk Management Plan) to evaluate safety parameters and to prohibit workers from opening the pipe to the atmosphere. As a result, on November 15, 2014, employees released 24,000 pounds of MeSH at the La Porte plant killing four employees and injuring several others. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Criminal Investigation Division conducted the investigation, with assistance from the Texas Environmental Enforcement Task Force“. https://www.justice.gov/enrd/page/file/1375231/download#page6
“FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, January 19, 2021
DuPont and former employee charged in 2014 fatal La Porte incident
HOUSTON – A Houston federal grand jury has indicted E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company Inc. (DuPont) and a former employee for knowingly violating requirements of federal safety regulations and negligently releasing an extremely hazardous substance, U.S. Attorney Ryan Patrick announced today.
Kenneth Sandel, 49, Friendswood, along with representatives of DuPont are set to appear today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Frances Stacy at 10 a.m.
The indictment stems from the Nov. 15, 2014, incident at the LaPorte plant when 24,000 pounds of methyl mercaptan – a highly toxic, flammable gas – were released. The incident resulted in the deaths of four plant employees and injured others, according to the charges.
According to the charges, returned Jan. 7, DuPont is headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, and owns chemical manufacturing plants around the world, including the La Porte facility.
Sandel ran the Insecticide Business Unit (IBU) at that location and was responsible for ensuring IBU employees followed applicable federal safety regulations.
The IBU has since been demolished, but at the time, allegedly produced pesticides called Lannate and Vydate, among other products. The indictment alleges Lannate and Vydate generated annual net income for DuPont of approximately $123 million during 2014.
The safety regulations are part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Risk Management Plan, created following 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act.
Congress had directed the EPA to create reasonable regulations to prevent the release of certain hazardous chemicals after such events had resulted in the death or injury to many people in the United States and abroad.
The indictment alleges DuPont and Sandel knowingly failed to implement certain DuPont procedures federal regulations required. Specifically, Sandel and DuPont engineers allegedly devised a plan to divert a large volume of methyl mercaptan gas into a waste gas pipe system during the day before and night of the fatal incident. However, Sandel failed to implement necessary procedures to evaluate safety aspects of that plan and to prohibit workers from opening the pipe to the atmosphere, according to the charges.
If convicted of the federal safety regulations violations, Sandel faces up to five years in federal prison while the negligence charge could result in an additional one-year term. Both convictions also carry a potential fine of $250,000.
The company itself faces potential fines of the greater of $500,000 or twice the gross gain derived from the offense.
The EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division conducted the investigation with assistance from the Texas Environmental Enforcement Task Force. The indictment is part of an EPA initiative titled Reducing Risks of Accidental Releases at Industrial and Chemical Facilities. Assistant U.S. Attorneys John R. Lewis and Belinda Beek and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristina Gonzales are prosecuting the case.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.
USAO – Texas, Southern
Updated January 19, 2021” https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdtx/pr/dupont-and-former-employee-charged-2014-fatal-la-porte-incident
Excerpt from an interim report on the case:
“The Office of the Associate Attorney General advises and assists the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General in formulating and implementing Departmental policies and programs pertaining to a broad range of civil justice, federal and local law enforcement, and public safety matters. The Office oversees the following DOJ components: Antitrust Division, Civil Division, Civil Rights Division, Environment and Natural Resources Division, Tax Division, Office of Justice Programs, Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), Community Relations Service, Office on Violence Against Women, Office of Information Policy, Executive Office for U.S. Trustees, Foreign Claims Settlement Commission, and the Servicemembers and Veterans Initiative.
Updated June 20, 2018” https://www.justice. gov/asg/about-office
DowDuPont Announces New Members for Future Board of Directors of DuPont
DowDuPont News Release, Apr 17, 2019, 08:00 ET https://archive.is/34J4l
“The Department of Justice announced today that it will require The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) and E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co. (DuPont) to divest multiple crop protection and two petrochemical products to proceed with their proposed merger valued at about $130 billion.
The Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, along with the offices of three state attorneys general, filed a civil antitrust lawsuit today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to enjoin the proposed transaction, along with a proposed settlement that, if approved by the court, would resolve the department’s competitive concerns. The participating state attorneys general offices represent Iowa, Mississippi, and Montana.
The department said that, without the divestitures, the proposed merger likely would reduce competition between two of only a handful of chemical companies that manufacture certain types of crop protection chemicals and the only two U.S. producers of acid copolymers and ionomers, potentially harming U.S. farmers and consumers.
“The Department of Justice conducted a thorough investigation into this merger,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Andrew Finch of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division…“ https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/justice-department-requires-divestiture-certain-herbicides-insecticides-and-plastics
“Within 18 months of the merger the DowDupont was split into three publicly traded companies with focuses on agriculture (Corteva), materials science (Dow Inc.), and specialty products (DuPont).” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DuPont