Many companies have purchase policies that require their employees to purchase goods and services from the lowest bidder. These policies work well with paper clips and most commodities. But they don’t really work well when it comes to the selection of hazardous waste disposal sites and consultants.
The superfund law carries joint and several liability. What that means is that if you ship your hazardous wastes to a treatment storage and disposal facility (TSDF) that turns into a Superfund site, your company can be held liable for the ENTIRE cleanup cost of the contaminated site. It is important that you do due diligence before you ship your wastes out. Do not simply pick the lowest cost TSDF or the lowest cost transporter. This is where you tell your purchasing department that you may not want to go with the low bidder.
The same holds true with the selection of consultants. When you choose a consultant to apply for a permit for you, make sure that consultant or the firm has a demonstrated good working relationship with the permitting agency. There are consultants out there who hold themselves to be superior to the permit writers and that attitude often is not well hidden. Beware of consultants who submit a “low ball” bid just to “get their feet in the door”. These lowest bid consultants will inudate you with change orders as soon as the ink dries on the purchase order. Here is an article on how to select your consultants.