Who’s Responsible for This Mess?

Finding the responsible party after a spill

The cost of a chemical spill cleanup depends on many factors. The type of material involved, where it spilled, and how much was released all come into play when removing contamination. Heavy equipment and extensive labor could be necessary, and large amounts of waste may need to be disposed of. In the face of massive costs for a cleanup, one question inevitably bubbles to the surface; who will be paying for all this?

This is when the term ‘responsible party’ usually come up. In most situations, the responsible party is recognized as the entity who had custody of the chemical product or material at the time of the spill. This can include companies or individuals that transport or store chemical products.

It may seem obvious that a company that stores large quantities of chemicals at their site would be responsible if they spill. What’s less obvious is that when transporters have an accident, they are responsible for the spilled cargo along with the oils and fuel released from their vehicle.

This is true regardless of who caused the accident. When another driver causes a semi-truck to overturn, the company that owns the truck is still liable for the cleanup of their spilled material and the costs incurred. The transporter might be able to recoup these costs later, but they are ultimately on the hook for ensuring a proper cleanup.

Knowing this, transport companies would be wise to do two things, whether they haul hazardous materials or groceries: 1) Maintain a proper level of insurance coverage, and 2) Partner with a reliable emergency response contractor.

Over the road transporters who operate in North and Central Texas have counted on Protect Environmental for more than two decades to help them when an accident strikes. Our teams have handled thousands of transportation related spills over the years, and we know exactly how to
clean up spilled materials while limiting our client’s costs. It’s best to get to know your emergency response contractor before a spill ever happens, so contact our offices today to learn more about partnering with Protect.

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