Cleanup Contractor’s Excessive Charges Uncovered in Invoice Audit by Spill Center™

anne News

A Spill Center™ transportation customer 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.

Tracie Murphy, Spill Center Senior Compliance Associate, relates: “Our customer asked us to perform an audit of a cleanup contractor’s invoice he received after a roadside spill in Keeseville, New York. The contractor’s charges totaled nearly $115,000 for cleanup and disposal costs related to a spill of about 750 gallons of driveway sealant,” she says, noting that 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 roll-off 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 audit flagged the following charges that were deemed excessive in the invoice:

  • Personnel overtime, excluding emergency response
  • Hours for roll-off box delivery
  • Excavator rates
  • Roll-off box rental
  • Per ton disposal rate and transportation

The auditor reviewed rates for personnel, equipment, transportation, disposal, roll-off rental and fuel surcharge allowed on heavy equipment, comparing them to current industry standards. The rates were 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’s auditing service is available to clients who receive invoices from cleanup contractors, fire departments and other emergency responders that seek reimbursement for work performed. 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 minimize spill-related costs, protect against liability lawsuits and avoid fines and penalties for non-compliance with reporting regulations.

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