Maytag Aircraft Corporation Agrees to Pay $ 1.9 Million to Settle Liability for 2014 Fort Hood Jet Fuel Spill | USAO-WDTX

WACO – U.S. Attorney-at-Law Ashley C. Hoff of the Western District of Texas today announced that defense contractor Maytag Aircraft Corporation (“Maytag”) has agreed to pay $ 1,901,200.96 to resolve allegations. which the company negligently caused a kerosene spill at the Robert Gray military airfield in Fort Hood. Bulk Storage and Hydrant Facility (“RGAAF”) and made false statements to federal investigators to avoid contractual liability for cleanup costs.

Defense Logistics Agency (“DLA”) Energy has contracted with Maytag to provide operation and maintenance services for government ground aviation and fuel facilities at Fort Hood, including the RGAAF. The United States alleged that, on January 30, 2014, Maytag employees did not negligently close a fuel separation valve while the RGAAF fuel system was in operation. The open valve and pressure in the system caused fuel to overflow from the capacity of the underground spent fuel tank, spit out of the ground, and migrate into the nearby creek. Maytag’s contract with the United States required it to ensure that fuel valves were secure when not in use.

Following the spill, DLA Energy took emergency spill action in 2014 and continued to engage in environmental remediation efforts through 2020 due to the location and nature of the cleanup. necessary. The United States argued that Maytag was responsible for spill response and repair costs under its contract with DLA Energy, which required reimbursement for damages. This damage included the cost of containment and cleanup, property damage, and loss of fuel resulting from Maytag’s negligence.

Following the spill, DLA Energy and the Defense Criminal Investigation Department investigated the cause of the incident. The United States has alleged that, in the course of these investigations, Maytag employees made false representations to the government to avoid contractual liability for the cost of corrective measures. For example, Maytag employees falsely told investigators that the valve was closed and that there was a lock on the valve prior to the spill. The United States argued that these statements violate the “reverse misrepresentation” provision of the Misrepresentation Act, which imposes civil liability on those who act inappropriately to evade an obligation to pay money to the government.

“The United States expects contractors who operate on military bases to be good stewards of federal lands and federal property,” said US Attorney Hoff. “We will hold these contractors accountable for actions that cause damage to the environment and negatively affect the health and safety of uniformed members, civilian employees and the community.”

“The Defense Logistics Agency values ​​our relationships with industry partners,” said DLA spokesperson Patrick Mackin. “We are pleased that we were able to resolve this long-standing claim and relieve the US taxpayer of the financial burden caused by the fuel spill and clean-up.”

Deputy US prosecutors Jacquelyn Christilles and Thomas Parnham represented the United States in this case.

The claims resolved by the settlement are only allegations and there has been no determination of liability.

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