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Former Radiograph Technician Sentenced to Probation for False Statements on Rockies Express Pipeline

On October 23, 2013, Eric Barnes, former Acuren Inspection, Inc. Level II Radiograph Technician, was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Indianapolis, Indiana, to 24 months probation and ordered to pay a $500.00 special assessment for submitting false statements. 

Barnes was responsible for conducting non-destructive testing (NDT) of pipeline welds on a portion of the Rockies Express Pipeline and then interpreting and reporting the results of the tests. The results of the NDT include whether the radiograph of the pipe weld was acceptable or rejected, the number of the weld, and other technical data about the process. The information is recorded on a reader sheet which is maintained by the owner of the pipeline as proof of the NDT as required by PHMSA regulations.

Barnes made false statements on reader sheets by confirming that welds of the pipeline at the compressor station in Bainbridge, Indiana, had been radiographed, when in fact, not all of the welds had been tested. Barnes loaded multiple pieces of film into one cassette, which is used to radiograph the welds. Even though only one weld was radiographed, Barnes reported that multiple welds were radiographed and intentionally mislabeled the film with different welds, and then reported this false information on reader sheets.

We conducted this investigation jointly with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and U.S. Department of Justice, Environmental Crimes Section.