We recently had occasion to be called upon by the United States Department of Agriculture APHIS Unit (USDA) and the Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) due to requirements which are being implemented by several Prime Vendors for the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). These requirements are also part and parcel requirements by many of the Primes in pre conveyance work as well. What are they, you might ask? Well, the seemingly innocuous task of leaf, branch and wood mulch/debris removal.
Currently, in the State of Tennessee and across vast regions of the United States, there are Quarantines which forbid the transportation of any wood products (twigs, branches, mulch, leaves, etc.) to and from Quarantined Areas.
Now, in East Tennessee, the only way to remove the 60 and 70 Cubic Yards of leaves (for free bear in mind) is to haul them to a dump. The problem here is that there are only a couple of dumps we are able to use. So, what you have is tens of thousands of metric tons of contaminated wood products furthering the proliferation of invasive species. Not only is this against state and federal laws, the theoretical liability is astronomical. Simply picture this: A broke County is pissed off you are hauling debris to their dump and decide that the Emerald Ash Borer migrated in on your load. You just bought every tree in the County pal. Make no mistake, the Prime is not going to be there to bail you out!
Here’s the rub: I possess a license issued in accordance with the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) which is authorized the the Secretariat of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Suffice it to say that it puts me in a position to determine whether or not something needs methyl bromide treatment or not. When I stated this and voiced my concerns I met a brick wall. Several months passed and still nothing has been formally changed. The folly of all this is that the position of the Primes is that it is upon the vendor’s shoulders to do all the legwork!
Folks, I do not care what the title is of the person you interact with. When civil and criminal liability attach, you are the best person to look out after yourself! That’s why, time and again, you read about these kinds of things FIRST on Foreclosurepedia! This is simply one of the many stories we are breaking over in the Industry Insider section. Let me tell you, for the price of a cup of coffee you will be able to read about the uninformed Contractor in tomorrow’s newspaper filing bankruptcy due to their lack of knowledge in the Industry!