|AECOM filed this Form 10-Q on 02/06/2019|
We may be subject to substantial liabilities under environmental laws and regulations.
Our services are subject to numerous environmental protection laws and regulations that are complex and stringent. Our business involves in part the planning, design, program management, construction and construction management, and operations and maintenance at various sites, including but not limited to, pollution control systems, nuclear facilities, hazardous waste and Superfund sites, contract mining sites, hydrocarbon production, distribution and transport sites, military bases and other infrastructure-related facilities. We also regularly perform work, including construction services in and around sensitive environmental areas, such as rivers, lakes and wetlands. In addition, we have contracts with U.S. federal government entities to destroy hazardous materials, including chemical agents and weapons stockpiles, as well as to decontaminate and decommission nuclear facilities. These activities may require us to manage, handle, remove, treat, transport and dispose of toxic or hazardous substances. We also own and operate several properties in the U.S. and Canada that have been used for the storage and maintenance of equipment and upon which hydrocarbons or other wastes may have been disposed or released. Past business practices at companies that we have acquired may also expose us to future unknown environmental liabilities.
Significant fines, penalties and other sanctions may be imposed for non-compliance with environmental laws and regulations, and some environmental laws provide for joint and several strict liabilities for remediation of releases of hazardous substances, rendering a person liable for environmental damage, without regard to negligence or fault on the part of such person. These laws and regulations may expose us to liability arising out of the conduct of operations or conditions caused by others, or for our acts that were in compliance with all applicable laws at the time these acts were performed. For example, there are a number of governmental laws that strictly regulate the handling, removal, treatment, transportation and disposal of toxic and hazardous substances, such as Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act of 1980, and comparable state laws, that impose strict, joint and several liabilities for the entire cost of cleanup, without regard to whether a company knew of or caused the release of hazardous substances. In addition, some environmental regulations can impose liability for the entire cleanup upon owners, operators, generators, transporters and other persons arranging for the treatment or disposal of such hazardous substances related to contaminated facilities or project sites. Other federal environmental, health and safety laws affecting us include, but are not limited to, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Air Mercury Rule, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the Toxic Substances Control Act and the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act and the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, as well as other comparable national and state laws. Liabilities related to environmental contamination or human exposure to hazardous substances, or a failure to comply with applicable regulations could result in substantial costs to us, including cleanup costs, fines and civil or criminal sanctions, third-party claims for property damage or personal injury or cessation of remediation activities. Our continuing work in the areas governed by these laws and regulations exposes us to the risk of substantial liability.
Demand for our oil and gas services fluctuates.
Demand for our oil and natural gas services fluctuates, and we depend on our customers willingness to make future expenditures to explore for, develop and produce oil and natural gas in the U.S. and Canada. For example, the past volatility in the price of oil and natural gas has significantly decreased existing and future projects. Our customers willingness to undertake future projects depends largely upon prevailing industry conditions that are influenced by numerous factors over which we have no control, such as the anticipated future prices for natural gas and crude oil.
Failure to successfully integrate acquisitions could harm our operating results.
We have grown in part as a result of acquisitions. We cannot assure that suitable acquisitions or investment opportunities will continue to be identified or that any of these transactions can be consummated on favorable terms or at all. Any future acquisitions will involve various inherent risks, such as:
· our ability to accurately assess the value, strengths, weaknesses, liabilities and potential profitability of acquisition candidates;
· the potential loss of key personnel of an acquired business;
· increased burdens on our staff and on our administrative, internal control and operating systems, which may hinder our legal and regulatory compliance activities;
· liabilities related to pre-acquisition activities of an acquired business and the burdens on our staff and resources to comply with, conduct or resolve investigations into such activities;