EA-98-347 - Cardinal Surveys Company

July 22, 1998

EA 98-347

James S. McLaughlin, President
Cardinal Surveys Company
P.O. Box 729
Odessa, Texas 79760-0729


Dear Mr. McLaughlin:

This refers to the inspection conducted on June 11-12, 1998, at your office in Odessa, Texas. The enclosed report presents the results of this inspection. A preliminary exit briefing was conducted with your staff at the conclusion of the inspection. A telephonic exit briefing was later conducted with you on June 26, 1998.

Based on the information developed during the inspection, the NRC has determined that a violation of NRC requirements occurred. The violation is cited in the enclosed Notice of Violation (Notice) and the circumstances surrounding it are described in detail in the subject inspection report. The significance of the violation and the need for lasting and effective corrective action were discussed with members of your staff at the conclusion of the inspection and during the telephonic exit briefing with you on June 26, 1998. The violation involved the failure to file an NRC Form 241 for proposed activities in non-Agreement states in accordance with 10 CFR 150.20. Licensed material was used in a non-Agreement state on April 17, 1998, without prior authorization from NRC's Region IV office in Arlington, Texas. The NRC acknowledges that the licensee identified their failure to file an NRC Form 241, at which time Cardinal immediately contacted the NRC Region IV office and submitted a properly completed NRC Form 241.

The NRC considers the violation to be significant, in part, because this failure denied the NRC the opportunity to inspect to assure the safety of Cardinal's activities. Therefore, this violation has been categorized in accordance with the "General Statement of Policy and Procedure for NRC Enforcement Actions" (Enforcement Policy), NUREG-1600 at Severity Level III.

Based on our review of the inspection findings and your discussion of proposed corrective actions during the inspection conducted on June 12, 1998, the NRC has concluded that we have sufficient information to make an enforcement decision without the need for a predecisional enforcement conference.

In accordance with the Enforcement Policy, a base civil penalty in the amount of $2,750 is considered for a Severity Level III violation. Because your facility has not been the subject of escalated enforcement actions within the last two inspections, the NRC considered whether credit was warranted for Corrective Action in accordance with the civil penalty assessment process in Section VI.B.2 of the Enforcement Policy. Based on the corrective actions that you have previously described, it appears that credit is warranted for prompt and comprehensive corrective actions. As noted below, the decision on providing credit for corrective action will be subject to your confirming on the license docket that the actions previously described to the staff have been or are being taken.

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 at this time. However, 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.

You are required to respond to this letter and should follow the instructions specified in the enclosed Notice when preparing your response. The NRC will use your response, in part, to determine whether further enforcement action is necessary to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.

As provided for in the enclosed Notice, you are required to include a description of the reasons for the violation, if admitted, and your corrective action. This description should address the actions taken following identification and the long term comprehensive actions taken or that will be taken to prevent recurrence. Your response should be submitted under oath or affirmation and may reference or include previous docketed correspondence if the correspondence adequately addresses the required response. If the NRC is satisfied with your response, you will be notified that this enforcement action is completed. However, if your documented corrective action is not sufficiently prompt and comprehensive such that a civil penalty may be warranted, we may telephone you or schedule a predecisional enforcement conference with you. In addition, if you dispute the enclosed violation or its severity level, you should describe the basis for the dispute in your response. Further, you may request that an enforcement conference be held, in which case, please advise D. Blair Spitzberg, Ph.D. within 7 days of the date of this letter. In the absence of such a request but where matters are disputed, we may also elect to hold an enforcement conference. In the event that a conference is to be held, it will be scheduled at least 2 weeks after receiving the written response to the Notice. Following review of any disputes and the record of the conference, if held, a decision will be made to modify, withdraw, or affirm the Notice and, if warranted, issue a civil penalty.

In accordance with 10 CFR 2.790 of the NRC's "Rules of Practice," a copy of this letter, its enclosures, and your response will be placed in the NRC Public Document Room (PDR).



Ellis W. Merschoff
Regional Administrator

Docket No.: 150-00042
License No.: Texas L00065

Enclosures: As stated


Cardinal Surveys Company
Odessa, Texas
  Docket No. 150-00042
License No. Texas L00065
EA 98-347

During an NRC inspection conducted on June 11-12, 1998, 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 Non-Agreement States, 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 Non-Agreement States, shall, at least 3 days before engaging in each such activity, file four copies of NRC Form 241, "Report of Proposed Activities in Non-Agreement States, with the Regional Administrator of the appropriate NRC regional office.

Contrary to the above, on April 17, 1998, Cardinal Surveys Company, a licensee of Texas used licensed materials in Oklahoma, a Non-Agreement State, without filing Form 241 with the NRC.

This is a Severity Level III violation (Supplement VI). (01013).

Pursuant to the provisions of 10 CFR 2.201, Cardinal Surveys Company, is hereby required to submit a written statement or explanation to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, ATTN: Document Control Desk, Washington, D.C. 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). This reply should be clearly marked as a "Reply to a Notice of Violation" and should include for each violation: (1) the reason for the violation, or, if contested, the basis for disputing the violation or severity level, (2) the corrective steps that have been taken and the results achieved, (3) the corrective steps that will be taken to avoid further violations, and (4) the date when full compliance will be achieved. Your response may reference or include previous docketed correspondence, if the correspondence adequately addresses the required response. If an adequate reply is not received within the time specified in this Notice, an order or a Demand for Information may be issued as to why the license should not be modified, suspended, or revoked, or why such other action as may be proper should not be taken. Where good cause is shown, consideration will be given to extending the response time.

If you contest this enforcement action, you should also provide a copy of your response 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, this response shall be submitted under oath or affirmation.

Because your response will be placed in the NRC Public Document Room (PDR), to the extent possible, it should not include any personal privacy, proprietary, or safeguards information so that it can be placed in the PDR without redaction. If personal privacy or proprietary information is necessary to provide an acceptable response, then please provide a bracketed copy of your response that identifies the information that should be protected and a redacted copy of your response that deletes such information. If you request withholding of such material, you must specifically identify the portions of your response that you seek to have withheld and provide in detail the bases for your claim of withholding (e.g., explain why the disclosure of information will create an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy or provide the information required by 10 CFR 2.790(b) to support a request for withholding confidential commercial or financial information). If safeguards information is necessary to provide an acceptable response, please provide the level of protection described in 10 CFR 73.21.

Dated at Arlington, Texas
this 22nd of July 1998

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