EPA Concerns

I roofed my first tornado damaged home today.,well except for ridging which will be done tommorow but I knew someone who was in the path of the storm and stopped by to check on them, well they were missing alot of the roof.They proceeded to tell me that they let the homeowners insurance lapse so a claim was out of the question.I had the shingles for the reroof from a mass amount I purchased this fall.They were $300 short for the hard bid.,so they started the “lets make a deal tactic”.Well they offered to dispose of the tear off,they stated they would load it up and take it to the recycling center or the landfill.,so everything was thrown off the roof,I asked the son about the disposal and he informed me that it was going to be put in a hole on the backside of the property.Should I have them sign something releasing me from responsibility of the debris? Am I being paranoid and over thinking the situation? I just don’t want anything to come back to haunt me, I have no idea what a fine from the EPA would be but I am sure it is not good.

Yeah, umm, I would walk away.

Sounds like one of those deals that has very few things that can go well and a number of things that can go badly. I’d not only walk away, I’d be into a brisk trot rather quickly.

Don’t worry about the EPA… They’re here to help!

Just kidding.

Hope you have some sort of leverage to get them to sign a document acknowledging they maintain responsibility for the debris. Don’t want to have children running on rusty nails getting all lock-jawed or whatever.

Cross your fingers!

I know that you are not an attorney (and I know that you don’t profess to be) but in my contract/proposal it states that “All debris caused by new work to be picked up and hauled away by the contractor”, that statement alone answers my question(realistically)but is it possible to create a document stating something like:

Roofmasters 417 and Bo Diddley came to an agreement that Bo Diddley would be responsible for the debris removal and disposal of materials at 1600 pennsylvania ave.And Bo Diddley accepts responsibility of the debris and Bo Diddley agrees to conform and abide to the laws set forth by the EPA regarding disposal of said debris from the property at 1600 pennsylvania ave ?

That sounds like a good idea roofmaster. I can remember back when I first started working in the trade, it was kinda common to see them dig a big hole and burry construction debris. They also used to throw it in foundation holes before they backfilled. Today some of those areas have potholes im sure. Now its never done.,and thats a good thing.

you’ve already done the roof? i would certainly get it in writin, i would also ask a lawyer about it or get bo didley to sign something that he’ll pay you off by the month of whatever he’s short,something like that…

Personally I would take pictures of the family disposing it, because I doubt they are going to sign on for responsibility.

Maybe you could write it into a warranty, something detailing the work done:

Roofmaster removed old roofing material from roof.
Bo Diddly was responsible for old material disposal.
Roofmaster put on new roof material.
yada yada yada

I’d look at it this way. What is the best thing that can happen if you replace this roof? Then, what is the worst thing that can happen if you replace this roof, the Homeowner disposes of the demo in their back 40 and the EPA investigates?

I guess if you really, really need the work, you write some statement into your contract making the Homeowner solely responsible for the disposal of the debris. I’m not aware of any laws that make the roofer automatically responsible for properly disposing of the debris. However, I’m not an attorney or EPA expert so I don’t know this to be 100% fact.

To me, the upside to this job is normal at best, the potential worst case downside is huge. Plus, you are aware they will be doing something that is wrong. Whether you like it or not, that makes you a party to their violation at least morally and ethically and possibly legally.

Are you getting paid 100% upfront? This Customer is hard up for money, that’s obvious. So what happens when you get done and the Homeowner says “I can’t pay the balance and if you push on it, I’ll report you to the authorities for illegally disposing of the debris.” Probably not likely, but again, something you have to consider.

Well guys I thought about it all night and this morning after my cocktail of Mt. Dew and RedBull and M&M’s I decided that I would call in all the troops and go pick it up and haul it off.,so I did.,Trucks trailers and a mass of manpower we cleaned it up in about an hour and a half.,47sq. x 2.,I put in a risk assessment and came to terms that $300 wasn’t worth the risk and actually no price is worth the risk.,I have been preaching proper methods and workmanship
detail and leading by example.,well I had to put myself in check and it was the most logical explanation to my delima.,funny thing happened when I was pulling out,the customer (friend) was impressed so he borrowed the $300 from his pops and I got paid in full.,but i paid out in labor but it was a small price to pay for self-education,I guess I was consumed by the fact of being $300 off than looking at the big picture.I was wrong and I learned a VERY valuable lesson in risk assessment.So I was high on life when I pulled out only to start another job and shot myself in my knee with my nailgun.Talk about a day of learning.Why does life have to be painful?..,not really just funnin,life is good.Thanks

Congratulations! Sounds like you made the best decision and things worked out for the best. I have to believe you will sleep better tonight knowing you did the right thing.