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Spill Center Audit Detects Excessive Contractor Fees

A Spill Center transportation client based in Montreal, Canada, was able to negotiate down charges on a cleanup contractor’s invoice to the tune of about $30,000 after a Spill Center auditor found the charges to be excessive for the size and scope of the job.

Spill Center’s audit service is intended to provide a neutral and unbiased review of charges and documentation in order to ensure fairness and encourage free-market practices. The auditor provides the client with a recommendation based on a review of similar incidents and current industry standards for the region in which the spill occurs.

“Our client asked us to perform an audit of a cleanup contractor’s invoice he received after a roadside spill in Keeseville, New York,” relates Tracie Murphy, Spill Center Senior Compliance Associate. The contractor’s charges totaled nearly $115,000 for cleanup and disposal costs related to a spill of about 750 gallons of driveway sealant. The spill impacted a drainage area and outfall.

The cleanup entailed the following: Flush out the drainage line, excavate the impacted soil, restore the site and transport and dispose of the waste generated. Eight rolloff boxes of soil were generated during the cleanup, which were staged for disposal. The site was restored and analytical samples were returned. Nearly 134 tons of soil was transported for disposal.

According to Tracie, the Spill Center audit flagged the following excessive charges in the invoice:

  • Personnel overtime, excluding emergency response
  • Hours for rolloff box delivery
  • Excavator rates
  • Rolloff box rental
  • Per ton disposal rate/transportation

The auditor reviewed rates for personnel, equipment, transportation, disposal, rolloff rental and fuel surcharge allowed on heavy equipment, comparing them to current industry standards, based on a typical response, including labor and equipment needed to adequately remediate a job of this size and scope.

“We made a recommendation to our client based on our review of similar incidents and current industry standards for that region,” says Tracie. “As a result, our client was able to negotiate costs down and saved approximately $30,000 off the total.”

Spill Center auditing service is available to clients who receive invoices from cleanup contractors, fire departments and other emergency responders that seek reimbursement for work performed.

If you’re not yet a client of Spill Center, we urge you to register. Our expertise in spill management and environmental claims handling has helped hundreds of clients in the transportation, chemical, insurance and other industries. They count on us to help get past spill incidents and avoid fines and penalties for non-compliance with reporting regulations.

For more information about Spill Center’s services, visit the website: www.spillcenter.com. Or call Tom Moses, president and founder, directly at 978-568-1922. Email him at tmoses@spillcenter.com.

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