We had a chance to talk to Paul Ducharme, President of Excel Industrial Group, about the state of the industrial waste industry and the impact of a new administration will have on EPA regulations.
Below is a hasty transcript, please excuse any typos.
Matt Register: Hey guys, welcome back to the show, Texas Business Radio. Get your calls in at 844-814-8144 is our 24 hour call in line. Call in now, call in 3 o’clock in the morning. Really doesn’t matter to us. We’re going to get the experts on here to get those questions answered. We also monitor #TBR on Twitter, TBR, Texas Business Radio. Also, go to the Web site texasbusinessradio.com, get your questions in that way. I’m your host Matt Register, here as always with Jake Curry. If you are in an industrial business in the Texas area. And a lot of you guys are. Keeping yourself clean with the EPA is got to be top priority because these guys will shut you down. They will shut you down and put you in jail. This is not something to play with. So we’re going to talk a little bit about the environmental side of industry and the environmental side of running an industrial company. Cause there are some things you got to be very careful of whenever you get rid of them. Jay what do you think?
Jay Curry: I’ve got to tell you, I love this model because… and only in America. Find a gap and fill it right? Well, this turns out to be a real nightmare for CEOs. That you know, have any kind of pollution, you know, machinery shops, anything that the government might want to smell. And you have a one stop shop to take all of that regulation off your hands or you take care of it. This is… this is good, good business. I’m really excited for it.
Matt Register: Yeah, no doubt. Excel Industrial Group. We have Paul Ducharme, Ducharme. I’m sorry. Paul Ducharme, here who is the CEO of Excel Industrial Group. Paul, welcome to the show sir.
Paul Ducharme: Thank you. Good morning.
Matt Register: So tell us a little bit about what it is you do? Who do you do it too?
Paul Ducharme: Pretty much any company that’s generating any type of waste during the manufacturing process. We provide the transportation, disposal, the waste characterization, analysis etc. All the paperwork necessary to properly transport and dispose of your waste materials.
Matt Register: And these waste materials can be… I mean if you’re a machine shop washing parts, it could be you know acids, it could be some pretty nasty stuff. Right?
Paul Ducharme: Absolutely solvents, acids, plating baths, you name it.
Matt Register: Well, I’ll tell you what in… you know being an investment banker we sold a year or so ago a coatings company that did industrial coatings. And I’m telling you those those buyers were looked so deep at the environmental because that that can come back and bite you big time. Right?
Paul Ducharme: It’s such a big liability for companies.
Matt Register: So, how many times do you get involved in a company. Once they have a problem. How many times is is it preventative where they know this is something they need to work, work on? Or how many times is it after the EPA comes in and dings them real hard?
Paul Ducharme: Well, our goal is to always try to minimize that for all of our customer is always.
Matt Register: Right.
Paul Ducharme: However, there are many situations were customers have called us up because the TCEQ or the EPA stopped in on them and found violations.
Matt Register: Now the TCEQ is the Texas version of the EPA, correct?
Paul Ducharme: Correct. Texas Commission of Environmental Quality.
Matt Register: All right.
Paul Ducharme: And they will come in and if they find a violation with the company, they’ll fine them. And in some cases even threaten to thrown in jail. Depending, you know, how serious it is.
Matt Register: And these fines aren’t minor emotional events. I mean these are, these are significant fine. They don’t feel sorry for you at all, do they?
Paul Ducharme: It is… they don’t feel sorry for you. It is less expensive to do the right thing, rather than try to hide it.
Jay Curry: Yeah but not when you want to have… that’s not when you want to get the call, right? I mean you want to get the call way before they walk in. Because then they’re in deep, deep.
Paul Ducharme: Yes, it is definitely added pressure put onto them to get it done. And it would be much more expensive. There are fines issued as well.
Matt Register: Nope, no doubt right up front. Occasionally we were talking during a break. Very occasionally there are times where the waste product is a commodity that can then be resold for, for additional use. So sometimes the act of disposing of their chemicals is a revenue producing. Where it used to be something where they had to pay to have it disposed of. Right?
Paul Ducharme: That’s correct. There’s many products out there, many ways that companies may be disposing of to actually have value still and repurpose in other markets such as acid solvents. So many different types of materials. Even glycols, that if you give us a call there’s a good chance we might even buy it from you and resell it and take that off of your waste list.
Matt Register: Well, that’s, that’s always… you can take a liability and turn it into an asset. It’s always a blessing, correct?
Paul Ducharme: Yes absolutely.
Matt Register: Now, you guys also do some cleanup work. Right? So if you have a spill, you have something like that. Tell me a little bit about your services surrounding that.
Paul Ducharme: Sure. Many companies might have an accident with a forklift driver runs into a drum and a leaky drum gets in the dirt. We will come in we’ll excavate the dirt. Properly do the analytical on it, characterize the material and handle it for you and get it off your hands.
Jay Curry: And fill out the paperwork and take care that you know that the environmentalist are going to be smelling around. Right.
Paul Ducharme: That’s correct.
Jay Curry: All of that work.
Paul Ducharme: You will have everything for your files later on. To make sure that all the proper documentation is there. Showing exactly what you did with that waste and how you handled it.
Matt Register: Well, I’ll tell you what, as somebody who used to own a machine shop. I have dealt with a lot of guys that are in your business, some of them are are pretty sketchy. They they they come across the the spectrum of you know absolutely legitimate operations that you know and then somebody in a truck. This is not something that you need to go for the cheapest bid necessarily because this liability trails you all the way through. Right? If somebody finds something years from now, that has your name on it that hasn’t been disposed of properly, you’re still on the hook for it. Regardless if you paid somebody to handle it. Correct?
Paul Ducharme: That is correct Matt. It’s called cradle to grave and even 20 years down the road if your waste is found somewhere else. The generator or you are responsible for that waste and to cleaned up again. Even if you paid the least cost provider to handle it for you. So you must know where you’re going, how it’s being handled and you want to make sure you waste is being handled properly.
Jay Curry: Now, Paul is there a certification type thing or you just give them the document that you’re an independent assessor of this situation. There’s not a certification that people in your business have.
Paul Ducharme: There are certain companies any company we’re going to use to transport dispose of the waste. We do proper audits on them and we make sure that they are handling everything properly and correctly. And we also urge all of our customers and any company that’s generating any type of waste and bringing it to a facility. To audit those facilities. Make sure they have the proper systems in place so, that we handle it correctly and in a final disposal resting place.
Jay Curry: What that tells me is that if there isn’t a certification process. That means you better not be going for the cheap guy. You better have somebody that does this right. That does the audits and fills out all the paper work because there’s no no certified like CPA that can do this.
Paul Ducharme: That’s correct. It’s always important to you. I’m not saying the least cost provider isn’t doing the right thing. However, just check the provided that you are using to make sure that your waste is ending up at the proper place and you’re receiving all the documentation necessary for your files. So that if you are audited. You can sit back and relax and sleep at night knowing that you’ve done the right thing.
Jay Curry: Because you hired the right guy.
Paul Ducharme: That’s correct.
Matt Register: You know we were talking during the break and a change in administration has the EPA in the news. Right?
Paul Ducharme: Yes.
Matt Register: Tell me about what your thinking is, is going to happen over the next few years with this new administration with y’alls ability. Are the regulations imposed on industrial companies.
Paul Ducharme: I don’t think they’re going to change. If anything, most administrations are going to get more stringent with the rules. I can’t see them getting more relaxed with the rules. Because everybody wants to make sure that the water tables and everywhere else they’re sleeping and living at night and during the day that make sure that you know they’re not being… there’s no pollution around.
Jay Curry: You know I don’t see anybody losing work because of this, if they do it right and they hire you. So I don’t know why they would go after reducing it, you know what Trump, for example, is trying to do is reduce the overhead requirements that will increase employment. But this is not a situation like that. This is where people’s lives could be in danger. They want to make sure that’s done right. They need to hire somebody like you.
Paul Ducharme: Correct. I don’t see the rules getting less stringent I see them probably more stringent as time goes on.
Matt Register: Interesting. All right we’re talking to Paul Ducharme, the CEO of Excel Industrial Group. Paul, what is the easiest way to get in touch with you guys? What’s the easiest way to do it?
Paul Ducharme: A couple of different ways, you can e-mail us or look us up on our Web site at www.eigus.com or you can call our office at 281.213.3822. Talk to anybody there.
Matt Register: Wonderful, eigus.com. And guys don’t take notes we’re going to have all this linked from TexasBusinessRadio.com. Excel Industrial Group. Paul, thank you very much for joining us, sir.
Paul Ducharme: Thank you. I’ve enjoyed it. Thank you for having me.
Matt Register: Industrial. You know for industrial companies this is stuff that that they got to get right. That’s important because the EPA will drive you out of business. They will put you in jail.
Jay Curry: They have no qualms about doing it.
Matt Register: No, absolutely not. Guys we got to a couple of bills. We’re going be back right at this with a whole lot more. We’re just getting warmed up. We’ll be back.
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In addition to hosting "Texas Business Radio," Matt is an investment banker and serial entrepreneur from Montgomery, Texas. He is the owner of RREA Media and Register Real Estate Advisors and a Managing Director and Principal at Corporate Finance Associates. He has a BS from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from Rice University in Houston. You can read more about Matt HERE.