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Former Asphalt Manager of Refinery Pleads Guilty

Wed, 11/02/2011 - 6:38am
the Associated Press

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — Pelican Refining Company LLC's former asphalt facilities manager has pleaded guilty to negligent endangerment after the release of a highly dangerous and hazardous chemical in 2007.

U.S. Attorney Stephanie A. Finley says Mike LeBleu entered the plea Monday in federal court in Lafayette. LeBleu was in charge when extremely high levels of hydrogen sulfide were emitted between Aug. 19, 2007, and Sept. 30, 2007 from the Lake Charles refinery.

He faces up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine. Sentencing has not been set.

Pelican pleaded guilty Oct. 12 to felony violations of the Clean Air Act and obstruction of justice for mismanagement of the refinery. Sentencing is Dec. 15. Pelican's vice-president and general manager, Byron Hamilton, also pleaded guilty to negligent endangerment and is awaiting sentencing.

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