United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

EA-01-060 - Perf-O-Log, Inc.

April 10, 2001

EA-01-060

Bill Bouziden, President
Perf-O-Log, Inc.
Post Office Box 219
Broussard, Louisiana 70518

SUBJECT: NRC INSPECTION REPORT 150-00017/01-02 AND NOTICE OF VIOLATION

Dear Mr. Bouziden:

This refers to the inspection conducted by this office involving NRC- regulated activities conducted on February 16, 2001, from your Lafayette, Louisiana, office. The enclosed report presents the results of the inspection.

The inspection was an examination of activities conducted in offshore waters under NRC jurisdiction as they relate to safety and compliance with the Commission's rules and regulations and with the conditions of your general license. Within these areas, the inspection consisted of selected examination of procedures and representative records, and interviews with personnel. A preliminary exit briefing was held with you and Mr. Donovan of your staff at the completion of the inspection. A final telephonic exit briefing was held with you on March 6, 2001.

The purpose of the inspection was to examine compliance with NRC requirements related to well logging activities conducted within the NRC's jurisdiction, specifically to review activities conducted in offshore Federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico. Although you hold Louisiana License LA-4731-L01, activities conducted in offshore Federal waters are under the regulatory oversight of the NRC. During this inspection, you were informed of this jurisdictional issue.

During the telephonic exit briefing, you were informed that the NRC was considering escalated enforcement action for an apparent violation involving Perf-O-Log, Inc.'s failure to apply for and obtain reciprocity from the NRC prior to conducting licensed activities at offshore locations in the Gulf of Mexico. Additionally, you were informed that NRC believed it had sufficient information regarding the apparent violation and your corrective actions to make an enforcement decision without the need for a predecisional enforcement conference or a written response from you. Further, you indicated that Perf-O-Log, Inc., did not believe that a predecisional enforcement conference or written response was necessary.

Therefore, based on the information developed during the inspection, the NRC has determined that a violation of NRC requirements occurred. The violation is described in the enclosed Notice of Violation (Notice) and involves your failure to file NRC Form 241, "Report of Proposed Activities in Non-Agreement States, Areas of Exclusive Federal Jurisdiction, or Offshore Waters," with the appropriate NRC regional office prior to conducting licensed activities in areas of exclusive Federal jurisdiction. The inspection determined that Perf-O-Log, Inc., had conducted well logging operations in offshore Federal waters, in areas of exclusive Federal jurisdiction, during calender year 2000, without notifying the NRC of these activities. The NRC considers this type of violation important because it prevents the NRC from conducting inspections at temporary jobsites to assure that licensed material is being used safely and in accordance with NRC rules and regulations. Therefore, this violation has been categorized in accordance with the General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions (Enforcement Policy), NUREG-1600, dated May 1, 2000, at Severity Level III.

In accordance with the Enforcement Policy, a civil penalty with a base value of $5,500 is considered for a Severity Level III violation. Because your facilities have not been the subject of escalated enforcement action, the NRC considered whether credit was warranted for corrective action in accordance with the civil penalty assessment process in Section VI.C.2 of the Enforcement Policy. Based on Perf-O-Log, Inc.'s action to restore compliance by filing a Form 241 which was accepted by the NRC on December 5, 2000, the NRC has determined that your corrective actions warrant credit.

Therefore, to encourage prompt and comprehensive correction of violations, and in recognition of the absence of previous escalated enforcement action, I have been authorized, after consultation with the Director, Office of Enforcement, not to propose a civil penalty in this case. However, you are on notice that significant violations in the future could result in a civil penalty. In addition, issuance of this Severity Level III violation constitutes escalated enforcement action that may subject you to increased inspection effort.

The NRC has concluded that information regarding the reason for the violation, the corrective actions taken and planned to correct the violation and prevent recurrence, and the date when full compliance was achieved is already adequately addressed on the docket in this report and the Form 241 that Perf-O-Log, Inc., filed on December 5, 2000. Therefore, you are not required to respond to this letter unless the description therein does not accurately reflect your corrective actions or your position. In that case, or if you choose to provide additional information, you should follow the instructions specified in the enclosed Notice.

In accordance with 10 CFR 2.790 of the NRC's "Rules of Practice," a copy of this letter, its enclosures, and any response you choose to submit will be available electronically for public inspection in the NRC Public Document Room or from the Publicly Available Records (PARS) component of NRC's document system (ADAMS). ADAMS is accessible from the NRC Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html (the Public NRC Library). To the extent possible, your response (if any) should not include any personal privacy, proprietary, or safeguards information so that it can be made available to the Public without redaction.

If you have any questions about this inspection, please contact Mr. Mark Shaffer at (817) 860-8287 or Mr. Richard A. Leonardi, Jr. at (817) 860-8187.

Sincerely,

/Thomas P. Gwynn for/

Ellis W. Merschoff
Regional Administrator

Docket No.: 150-00017
License No.: General License of 10 CFR 150.20

Enclosure:  Notice of Violation

cc w/enclosure:  Louisiana Radiation Control Program Director


ENCLOSURE 1

NOTICE OF VIOLATION

Perf-O-Log, Inc.
Lafayette, Louisiana
    Docket No. 150-00017
License No. 10 CFR 150.20
   (General License)
EA-01-060

During an NRC inspection conducted on February 16, 2001, a violation of NRC requirements was identified. In accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions," NUREG-1600, the violation is listed below:

10 CFR 150.20(a) provides, in part, that any person who holds a specific license from an Agreement State is granted an NRC general license to conduct the same activity in offshore waters, provided that the provisions of 10 CFR 150.20(b) have been met.
10 CFR 150.20(b)(1) requires, in part, that any person engaging in activities in offshore waters, shall, at least 3 days before engaging in each such activity, file NRC Form 241, "Report of Proposed Activities in Non-Agreement States, Areas of Exclusive Federal Jurisdiction, or Offshore Waters," with the Regional Administrator of the appropriate NRC regional office.
Contrary to the above, on several occasions during calendar year 2000, Perf-O-Log, Inc., a State of Louisiana licensee, conducted well logging operations using americium-241/beryllium sealed sources in offshore waters without filing a Form 241 with the NRC.
This is a Severity Level III violation (Supplement VI).

The NRC has concluded that information regarding the reason for the violation, the corrective actions taken and planned to correct the violation and prevent recurrence, and the date when full compliance was achieved is already adequately addressed on the docket in this report and the NRC Form 241, "Report of Proposed Activities in Non-Agreement States, Areas of Exclusive Federal Jurisdiction, or Offshore Waters," from Perf-O-Log, Inc., dated November 29, 2000. However, you are required to submit a written statement or explanation pursuant to 10 CFR 2.201 if the description therein does not accurately reflect your corrective actions or your position. In that case, or if you choose to respond, clearly mark your response as a "Reply to a Notice of Violation," and send it to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, ATTN:  Document Control Desk, Washington, DC 20555, with a copy to the Regional Administrator, Region IV, within 30 days of the date of the letter transmitting this Notice of Violation (Notice).

If you contest this enforcement action, you should also provide a copy of your response, with the basis for your denial, to the Director, Office of Enforcement, United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001.

Under the authority of Section 182 of the Act, 42 U.S.C. 2232, any response you choose to submit shall be submitted under oath or affirmation.

If you choose to respond, your response will be made available electronically for public inspection in the NRC Public Document Room or from the Publicly Available Records (PARS) component of NRC's document system (ADAMS). ADAMS is accessible from the NRC Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html (the Public NRC Library). Therefore, to the extent possible, the response should not include any personal privacy, proprietary, or safeguards information so that it can be made available to the Public without redaction.

Dated this 10th day of April 2001

 

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