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Monitoring Firm Admits to Bogus Reports

Friday, July 20, 2012

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A global provider of specialty services for the oil and gas industry has pleaded guilty to falsifying a Texas refinery’s air emissions reports to regulators over a two-year period.

Team Industrial Services Inc.’s employees “manipulated testing data to falsely represent emissions monitoring events that were not performed,” according to court documents.

Guilty Plea

Team Industrial, based in Alvin, TX, pleaded guilty Tuesday (July 17) to a misdemeanor violation of the Clean Air Act related to leak detection and repair (LDAR) activities conducted by what the company called “a small number of non-management employees” in its Borger, TX, office.

 Team Industrial Services Co.  services the refining, petrochemical and other industries.

 Team Industrial Services

With more than 100 locations worldwide, Team Industrial Services Co.  provides services for managing, maintaining and installing piping systems and vessels in the refining, petrochemical and other industries.

The charge, filed July 6, carries a sentence of up to five years’ probation and a $200,000 fine. Sentencing has not yet been set.

The case stems from bogus reports submitted by Team from 2007 to 2009 regarding conditions at the Valero McKee refinery in Sunray, TX. The reports were submitted to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Leaking equipment at petroleum and chemical facilities is the largest source of pollutants that are known to cause cancer and birth defects, according to the EPA.

Plea Agreement

As part of the plea agreement, Team will develop a compliance plan to address leak detection and reporting methods to meet the federal Clean Air Act’s requirements. The company said in a statement that it would “make substantial investments in upgraded LDAR equipment with GPS tracking technology and … implement other changes in its LDAR programs designed to enhance its overall LDAR programs.”

The facility also will be placed on the EPA’s list of violating facilities, which bars it from any federally funded contracts or loans until it is removed from the list, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

‘Extremely Disappointed’

“We are extremely disappointed that the actions of a few non-management employees in a single branch have damaged the good reputation maintained by Team Inc.’s global organization,” said Phil Hawk, Team’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

“As an industry leader in the field of leak detection and repair services, we are committed to offering the best LDAR services in the industry to our customers, including investing in state-of-the art LDAR technology and continuously enhancing our LDAR compliance programs.”

Team provides specialty services at more than 100 locations worldwide for managing, maintaining and installing high-temperature and high-pressure piping systems and vessels used in the refining, petrochemical, power, pipeline and other heavy industries.

   

Tagged categories: EPA; Inspection; Laws and litigation; Oil and Gas; Quality control

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