Yesterday afternoon, news came out of Northumberland County that Minuteman Environmental Services – a waste hauling company associated with the natural gas industry – was raided by a slew of state and federal agencies. These agencies include the IRS, FBI, PA Department of Environmental Protection and the state’s Attorney General’s Office.
According to multiple news reports, this is the same company where Governor Corbett made a visit and touted it as an “American success story.” Brian Bolus, owner of Minuteman Environmental Services, reportedly donated $10,000 to the governor’s gubernatorial campaign.
News reports and blogs covering the story read that:
Agents were at the plant for more than 9 hours and seen carrying out boxes and boxes of presumably files, documents and other records. Reports also stated agents were combing over every inch of the plant.
Employees trying to get to work were stopped, frisked and vehicles searched. A few employees inside the facility were handcuffed with zip ties. They were told it was for their own protection.
In 2011, MES was fined $7,000 by DEP for dumping and storing waste without DEP approval at sites in Green Township, Clinton County, and White Deer Township, Union County. DEP stated the facilities held waste from natural gas drilling sites in the Marcellus Shale.
DEP was tipped off by a citizen’s complaint in July 2011. MES received a notice from DEP in August 2011 requiring the removal and proper disposal of the waste.
Ten containers of gas-well drill cutting waste were found at the Green Township site, and 7 at White Deer. Six of the White Deer containers held plastic lines, and one had liquid from a gas well spill.
Minuteman Environmental Services provides support services for the natural gas industry.. It also handles Haz mat situations on area interstates.
Agents from the FBI and State Attorneys office along with the State DEP and the Milton sewer authority also took part in the operation.
Eyewitness News has confirmed that agents inspected sewer drains around the property. Workers from Minuteman were not allowed to enter the facility..
Agents removed truckloads of boxes from Minuteman throughout the day. (PAHomePage.com)
Environmental is right in the name of the Minuteman outfit. Investigators with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection were also there, but the agency would not say why.
Even employees from the Milton Regional Sewer authority were called in but no one would say what for.
“I think it’s kind of interesting what’s going on. I’m not sure. This company here, they deal with environmental stuff. Just don’t know what’s going on,” said Michael Storer.(WNEP)