Chemical Company Employees Dump Waste In Desert (Video)

| by John Freund
Chemical wasteChemical waste

A disturbing video has surfaced of employees of a Nevada company allegedly being told by their boss to dump chemical waste into the desert and light in on fire (video below). 

The video, posted to YouTube, begins with an unseen employee pointing the camera at barrels of chemical waste stacked together in the desert.  The employee says, "We've been ordered to dump these barrels, two or three a night, and then burn 'em out."  

The employee then frets about how what he and his co-workers are doing is "so illegal," and goes on to say, "This is what we gotta do, or we'll lose our jobs." 

As another employee, identified by the speaker as Cliff, dumps a barrel of waste into the desert, the employee with the camera can be heard lamenting, "Oh my God. God forgive me. I'm so sorry."  

The employee with the camera then focuses on the label on one of the barrels. It reads, "Houghton International, Inc. Hocut 795-H."

Houghton is a specialty chemical company. According to the company's website, Hocut 795-H is: "A general-purpose cutting fluid, Hocut 795-H is an industry-changing soluble oil that operates independent of sump-side additives even in the most severe conditions." 

The employee holding the camera then turns the camera on himself and declares, "I am documenting this because I'm not trying to go to prison for this. We've been forced to do this. We've been told to do this. I have four children, I'm sorry I'm doing this. This feels wrong, this is wrong."    

After the video was posted to Reddit, many users commented on the illegality of the employees' actions, regardless of whether their boss demanded they dump the waste or not.  

One Reddit commenter, claiming to be an owner of an environmental engineering company, wrote: 

"You need to contact the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection (NDEP) as soon as possible. You can be held criminally liable for causing the contamination, but if you're the one that's calling NDEP, the District Attorney will more likely decide that you're not the one they want to go after. If all goes well, you would become a witness. If someone calls NDEP or the DA before you do, you will become a defendant in a criminal case. They'll go after everyone - you, your boss, your co-workers, the company. The legal defense costs will break you.

"Unfortunately, your admission that 'this feels wrong. this has to be illegal' doesn't help you. Frankly, it probably hurts you. What's your response when the prosecution says 'You knew, or should have known what you were doing was illegal...yet you did it anyway. If your boss told you to rape a 6 year old, would you do it? Your video proves that you knew you were doing an illegal act.' Unfortunately you just posted it to the internet, so somebody is probably calling NDEP by the end of the week."

Many other commenters added that the employees' boss can simply deny that he ordered his employees to dump the waste, leaving the employees to suffer the consequences. 

No word yet from federal authorities on any action that may or may not be taken in regard to this video.  

The video ends with the employee asking, "What's today's date?"  He then gets a response, and says, "March 3, 2016."

WARNING: Contains strong language.

Sources: Reddit, YouTube, Houghton International / Photo credit: UNEP via Dabanga

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