January 07, 2013

The Advocate

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NEW ORLEANS — A judge says a Houston company must pay $1 million in fines and community service payments for falsifying water tests at an offshore production platform in 2009.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Orleans says in a news release that U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon sentenced W&T Offshore Inc. on Thursday.

The company had pleaded guilty to tampering with monitoring required under the Clean Water Act.

Permits require monthly tests of whether oil and grease discharges are within federal limits.

Prosecutors say that, at least six times in 2009, a contractor’s employees filtered samples before sending them to a lab. A news release did not identify the contractor.

As part of three years on probation, W&T is to have three-quarters of its 107 offshore facilities audited.