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CWA CrimeBox For the week of May 22 to 28, 2023

Environmental Crimes:  Fiscal Year 2015; Case ID# CR_2703 (Louisiana)

Gulf oil and gas platform submits false test data to certify blow-out prevention system -- 2 years after Deepwater Horizon disaster


Environmental Crimes:  Fiscal Year 2015; Case ID# CR 2703  Region 8

The following summarizes one of sixty-six Clean Water Act Prosecutions in Louisiana since 1990

The defendant in this case was the supervisor on an offshore oil and gas platform drilling and operating in the Gulf of Mexico, who pled guilty to making false statements to Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) inspectors.  The criminal act in this case was motivated by economics over safety, driving to keep the oil and gas platform in operation no matter the regulations protecting the Gulf and human life.

Just two and a half years after the horrific Deepwater Horizon blowout with lives lost and the ongoing environmental catastrophe it created in the Gulf, with the largest fine ever levied for an environmental crime at $4 billion, the defendant platform supervisor went ahead and presented fabricated test results to safety inspectors in order to pass blow-out preventer safety test requirements.  The pressure test data presented to safety inspectors falsely indicated the operating oil and gas platform’s blow-out prevention system in working compliance with safety regulations when it was not.

Federal district court in Louisiana backed the federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement in sentencing the defendant gave a clear signal that the federal courts will prosecute to support the efforts of all federal agencies engaged in upholding environmental laws.

Federal fine: $0  Probation: 12 months Community Service:  40 hours

 

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