Civil Settlement Reached With Environmental Testing Company Over Claims That Testing Procedures Were Not Followed
NEWARK, N.J. – An environmental testing company headquartered in Dayton, New Jersey, will pay $3 million to resolve allegations that it failed to follow proper EPA methodology during some of its tests, U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman announced today.
Accutest Corp., also known as Accutest Laboratories (Accutest) is an environmental testing laboratory founded in 1956. It provides environmental analytical services to industrial, engineering/consulting, and government clients, according to its website.
The settlement resolves allegations that between Jan. 1, 2011, and Dec. 31, 2013, Accutest failed to properly follow EPA standards in analyzing certain soil and water samples in its semi-volatile and extraction laboratories. It was alleged that Accutest did not properly extract samples because: (1) It did not perform the required number of shakes for waste water samples, (2) it did not wait the required amount of time in between shakes of the samples, and (3) it did not properly “spike” samples with a known compound as part of the quality control process, possibly affecting the quality control process in place to ensure that materials in the sample were fully extracted. It was also alleged that Accutest altered the settings on their gas chromatography/mass spectrometry machines and disregarded calibration protocols.
In addition to the $3 million payment by Accutest, the company has agreed to fully comply with the requirements of its certifying bodies regarding notice of the allegations and has agreed to notify any of its clients that could have been impacted by the alleged conduct.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the Environmental Protection Agency under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Thomas E. Muskett of the Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations, Washington Field Office; the U.S. Department of Defense, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Craig W. Rupert; the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division, Major Procurement Fraud Unit, Mid-Atlantic Fraud Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Larry S. (Scott) Moreland. He also thanked the U.S. Navy Criminal Investigative Service – Northeast Field Office and the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark C. Orlowski of the U.S. Attorney’s Civil Division in Newark.
The case is captioned U.S. ex rel. Koroush Vaziri, et al. v. Accutest Laboratories, Civil Action, No. 3:13-CV-02223-FLW-TJB.
Defense counsel: Lisa A. Krigsten Esq., Kansas City, Missouri
Counsel for relator: Neil Mullen Esq., Montclair, New Jersey