Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Commitments and Contingencies

Commitments and Contingencies
9 Months Ended
Sep. 30, 2021
Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]  
Commitments and Contingencies

9. Commitments and Contingencies


Hazardous Waste


In connection with our waste management services, the Company processes both hazardous and non-hazardous waste, which we transport to our own, or other, facilities for destruction or disposal. As a result of disposing of hazardous substances, in the event any cleanup is required at the disposal site, the Company could be a potentially responsible party for the costs of the cleanup notwithstanding any absence of fault on our part.


Legal Matters


In the normal course of conducting our business, we are involved in various litigation. We are not a party to any litigation or governmental proceeding which our management believes could result in any judgments or fines against us that could would have a material adverse effect on our financial position, liquidity or results of future operations.


During July 2020, Tetra Tech EC, Inc. (“Tetra Tech”) filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California (the “Court”) against CH2M Hill, Inc. (“CH2M”) and four subcontractors of CH2M, including the Company (“Defendants”). The complaint alleges claims for negligence, negligent misrepresentation and equitable indemnification against all defendants related to alleged damages suffered by Tetra Tech in respect of certain draft reports prepared by defendants at the request of the U.S. Navy as part of an investigation and review of certain whistleblower complaints about Tetra Tech’s environmental restoration at the Hunter’s Point Naval Shipyard in San Francisco.


CH2M was hired by the Navy in 2016 to review Tetra Tech’s work. CH2M subcontracted with environmental consulting and cleanup firms Battelle Memorial Institute, Cabrera Services, Inc., SC&A, Inc. and the Company to assist with the review, according to the complaint.


The complaint alleges that the subject draft reports were prepared negligently and in a biased manner, made public, and caused damage to Tetra Tech’s reputation; triggering related lawsuits and costing it opportunities for both government and commercial contracts.


The Company has provided notice of this lawsuit to our insurance carrier. Our insurance carrier is providing a defense on our behalf in connection with this lawsuit, subject to a $100,000 self-insured retention and the terms and limitations contained in the insurance policy.



On January 7, 2021, Defendants’ motion to dismiss the complaint in its entirety was granted without prejudice, with leave to amend. Tetra Tech subsequently filed a First Amended Complaint (“FAC”) and Defendants filed a motion to dismiss Tetra Tech’s FAC. Tetra Tech filed an opposition to Defendant’s motion to dismiss Tetra Tech’s FAC. Defendants, subsequently filed a joint reply to Tetra Tech’s motion in opposition. A decision and Order on Defendants’ motion to dismiss is pending from the Court while discovery is allowed to proceed. At this time, the Company continues to believe it does not have any liability to Tetra Tech.




The Company has a 25-year finite risk insurance policy entered into in June 2003 (“2003 Closure Policy”) with AIG Specialty Insurance Company (“AIG”), which provides financial assurance to the applicable states for our permitted facilities in the event of unforeseen closure. The 2003 Closure Policy, as amended, provides for a maximum allowable coverage of $28,177,000 which includes available capacity to allow for annual inflation and other performance and surety bond requirements. Total coverage under the 2003 Closure Policy, as amended, was $19,898,000 at September 30, 2021. At September 30, 2021 and December 31, 2020, finite risk sinking funds contributed by the Company related to the 2003 Closure Policy which is included in other long term assets on the accompanying Consolidated Balance Sheets totaled $11,469,000 and $11,446,000, respectively, which included interest earned of $1,998,000 and $1,975,000 on the finite risk sinking funds as of September 30, 2021 and December 31, 2020, respectively. Interest income for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2021 was approximately $2,000 and $23,000, respectively. Interest income for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2020 was approximately $28,000 and $111,000, respectively. If we so elect, AIG is obligated to pay the Company an amount equal to 100% of the finite risk sinking fund account balance in return for complete release of liability from both the Company and any applicable regulatory agency using this policy as an instrument to comply with financial assurance requirements.


Letter of Credits and Bonding Requirements


From time to time, the Company is required to post standby letters of credit and various bonds to support contractual obligations to customers and other obligations, including facility closures. At September 30, 2021, the total amount of standby letters of credit outstanding was approximately $3,020,000 and the total amount of bonds outstanding was approximately $50,092,000.