Government intervenes in whistleblower cases against environmental cleanup company

by Ben Vernia | October 29th, 2018

On October 26, the Department of Justice announced that it was intervening in three whistleblowers’ suits against a New Jersey-based environmental contractor over cleanup contracts at a government site in northern California. According to DOJ’s press release:

The United States has intervened in three whistleblower cases pending in the Northern District of California against Tetra Tech EC Inc. (Tetra Tech) alleging that Tetra Tech submitted false claims to the United States Navy for radiological remediation and support services provided at Hunters Point Naval Shipyard in San Francisco, the Justice Department announced today.

Tetra Tech is a government contractor headquartered in Morris Plains, New Jersey. The Navy awarded contracts to Tetra Tech to test parcels of land at the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard for radiation and to remediate any areas where the radiation was excessive.  The lawsuits allege that Tetra Tech misrepresented the source of soil samples it submitted for radiological testing.  The lawsuits also allege that Tetra Tech falsified data collected from radiological surveys of existing buildings at Hunters Point Naval Shipyard.

Earlier this year, two Tetra Tech supervisors, Stephen C. Rolfe and Justin E. Hubbard, pleaded guilty to falsifying records and were sentenced to eight months in prison. Rolfe and Hubbard both admitted as part of their guilty pleas that, rather than take soil samples from the survey units undergoing analysis, they participated in the substitution of “clean” (non-radioactive) dirt fraudulently taken from other areas within the former naval base.

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