On June 22, 2020, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, Joshua Springer of Scottdale, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty to making and causing the making of a false document in connection with an interstate pipeline project.
Springer was a level II radiographic technician whose responsibilities included testing pipeline welds via x-ray and certifying their quality and integrity. Specifically, he developed the film (exposures), interpreted the test results, and signed reader sheets, which record the results and are required by the Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) regulations. According to an information filed on March 10, 2020, in August 2017, Springer allegedly made and caused the making of a reader sheet that falsely stated that he had properly x-rayed a pipeline weld and the resulting exposures were acceptable. In fact, he had not properly x-rayed the weld, and had not properly interpreted the weld, which was not acceptable.
As part of its oversight of pipeline safety, PHMSA reviews construction and operational records, including the results of nondestructive weld testing.
DOT-OIG is conducting this investigation with the FBI. PHMSA has provided substantial assistance.