Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Clean Harbors Inc (CLH) Q3 2019 Earnings Call Transcript

By Motley Fool Transcribers – Nov 3, 2021 at 12:01PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

CLH earnings call for the period ending September 30, 2021.

Logo of jester cap with thought bubble.

Image source: The Motley Fool.

Clean Harbors Inc (CLH 0.12%)
Q3 2019 Earnings Call
Nov 3, 2021, 9:00 a.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:

Operator

Greetings. Welcome to the Clean Harbors Third Quarter 2021 Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. A brief question-and-answer session will follow the formal presentation. [Operator Instructions] As a reminder, this conference is being recorded.

It is now my pleasure to introduce your host Michael McDonald, General Counsel for Clean Harbors. Thank you, Mr. McDonald. You may begin.

10 stocks we like better than Clean Harbors
When our award-winning analyst team has a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, Motley Fool Stock Advisor, has tripled the market.* 

They just revealed what they believe are the ten best stocks for investors to buy right now... and Clean Harbors wasn't one of them! That's right -- they think these 10 stocks are even better buys.

See the 10 stocks

*Stock Advisor returns as of October 20, 2021

Michael McDonald -- Senior Vice President, General Counsel

Thank you, Rob, and good morning, everyone. With me on today's call are Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Alan S McKim; EVP and Chief Financial Officer, Mike Battles; President and Chief Operating Officer, Eric Gerstenberg; and SVP of Investor Relations, Jim Buckley. Slides for today's call are posted on our website and we invite you to follow along.

Matters we are discussing today that are not historical facts are considered forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Participants are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these statements, which reflect management's opinions only as of today, November 3, 2021. Information on potential factors and risks that could affect our actual results of operations is included in our SEC filings. The company undertakes no obligation to revise or publicly release the results of any revisions to the statements made in today's call other than through filings made concerning this reporting period.

Today's discussion will include references to non-GAAP measures. Clean Harbors believes that such information provides an additional measurement and consistent historical comparison of its performance. Reconciliations of these measures to the most directly comparable GAAP measures are available in today's news release, on our website and in the appendix of today's presentation.

And now, I'd like to turn the call over to our CEO, Alan McKim. Alan?

Alan S. McKim -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Michael. Good morning, everyone. On slide 3, you can see the strong contributions we received from both Environmental Services and Safety-Kleen Sustainability Solutions business really in posting the highest quarterly revenue in our history. Within Environmental Services, we benefited from a consistent flow of high-value waste streams in our disposal and recycling network. We also benefited from a recovery in a number of service businesses in the quarter, particularly our Industrial Services business.

The SKSS segment outperformed our expectations. Market conditions caused the rerefining spreads to remain wide all quarter and the team executed well in a disruptive environment. Product demand was robust throughout Q3 due to the industry's supply shortfalls and growing interest in our sustainability offerings. Without question, our industry has had to deal with economic headwinds, including higher supply chain, labor and transportation costs. We met those head on, putting in place a multitude of necessary price increases to offset the rising expenses.

Adjusted EBITDA grew 10% from a year ago, resulting in a healthy 19% margin. Adjusted free cash flow was in line with our expectations and we're on track to hit our new increased annual target.

Turning to our segments starting on slide 4, Environmental Services revenue grew 15%. Favorable mix and pricing in our disposal network combined with increased activities in a number of our service businesses, including Industrial and Field Services, really drove the year-over-year increase. Industrial Services grew 24% as customers continue to move forward with large turnarounds to reduce the backlog of maintenance projects that have been deferred due to the pandemic.

Our base business in Field Services, excluding decontamination work, was up approximately 25%, reflecting a more typical level of scheduled work and other smaller response jobs. As expected, adjusted EBITDA in the ES business segment was down from the third quarter of 2020 when we recorded a much higher level of government assistance and had significantly more high margin COVID decontamination work. Backing out those items from both periods, adjusted EBITDA in the segment would have increased year-over-year. Government assistance programs in this segment totaled $1.1 million in this year's third quarter compared to $11.2 million a year ago.

Q3 of this year also saw significant inflationary pressures and third-party costs, and we partially offset those with higher revenue, pricing, and cost mitigation strategies. Incineration utilization was 82% up from the prior year. We expect to see a lower number of turnaround days in Q4 and should generate stronger utilization to close out the year. Our measure of that expected utilization and current demand for our disposal services is our deferred revenue. At $86.6 million as of September 30, deferred revenue is at its highest level in our history. Our kilns remain busy as we finish out a very strong year.

In Q3, a favorable mix of waste supported by our pricing initiatives pushed our average incineration price up 18% from a year ago. Some of that increase resulted from a temporary high value waste stream project at our Canadian plant, but if we focus exclusively on our U.S. incinerators, our average price was up 11% in the quarter.

Environmental remediation projects remain limited in Q3. With the resurgence of the Delta variant causing an uptick in cases in some regions, a number of customers pushed back clean-up projects and regulators eased completion deadlines. The landfill volumes declined 5% as a result. Strong base business drove a 17% increase in average pricing per ton. Revenue from COVID-19 decontamination work totaled $8 million in the quarter, somewhat higher than we had anticipated due to the uptick in cases, but still down significantly from $20 million in Q3 a year ago. Demand for our core Safety-Kleen offerings was positive in Q3. Parts washer services were $232,000 in the quarter.

Moving to slide 5, SKSS revenue was up 60% to nearly $206 million, as product demand remained robust throughout the quarter. Base oil and blended pricing were substantially higher and volumes were stronger than the third quarter of last year when the pandemic negatively affected production. Adjusted EBITDA increased more than $41 million year-over-year, while margins topped 30%. These results were driven by the further widening of our rerefining spread and the return to a more typical production levels. Improvement in the SKSS margin also resulted from the cost and productivity initiatives that we implemented as part of our organizational change that we made over the past year.

Waste oil collections were strong exceeding 60 million gallons for the first time since the pandemic began. Given the margin opportunities in base oil and the additive shortages that exist in the market, the percentages of blended products and direct volumes came in as expected.

Turning to slide 6, in early October, we completed the acquisition of HydroChemPSC, a transaction we expect will contribute significant value to Clean Harbors in the coming years. We believe that the addition of HPC will afford us economies of scale in our network and with our combined resources. As a result, we expect to achieve at least $40 million of synergies, after our first full year of operating HPC. And not included in the net number are any cross-selling opportunities, which we are confident will be broad-based from this combination. The initial integration is proceeding smoothly. We're already starting to capitalize on HPC's leadership in industrial cleaning, specialty maintenance, and utilities services, including its unique automation technologies. We've had a number of executive team gatherings as part of our Stronger Together branding campaign. And for me, those meetings really have reinforced the natural cultural fit between our organizations, a cornerstone of making a large deal like this work. I'm excited about the opportunities ahead.

Turning to slide 7, we're continuing to invest capex to grow our business, particularly on the disposal side. We completed a large investment in our Utah incinerator this year, following a number of permit modifications. And this investment enables us to increase our containerized waste throughput, while managing waste within the total thermal capacity of the unit. As first noted on our Q2 call, we are moving more -- moving forward aggressively with our plan to add a new incinerator in Kimball, Nebraska.

And on the M&A front, while the HPC transaction closed quickly, our planned acquisition of the Vertex rerefining assets is taking a bit more time to complete. We are cooperating fully with the Federal Trade Commission, which has made an additional request for information as part of the Hart-Scott-Rodino review. We're working through that request and now envision that acquisition closing in the first half of 2022. We'll continue to look for opportunities, whether those are internal or external, which will generate the best returns on capital. With our debt level and leverage up significantly a result of HPC, we'll more closely evaluate reducing our debt going forward. We also intend to continue with share repurchases, although at a slower pace than we have in the recent years, given our other near-term capital priorities.

So in closing, I'm extremely proud of what our team has accomplished, not just in Q3, but this entire year. We're executing -- we've executed sharply, capitalized on favorable macro trends and we've benefited from a rebound in the industrial cycle, which has really helped our services business. However, one area that I've been disappointed recently is our safety. And after a strong start in Q3 in July, there were far too many safety incidences in August and September. Fortunately, all of these were minor, but whenever people get hurt, our performance is diminished. And we're really working with our operational leaders to reinforce our safety practices and ensure that everyone understands the benefits of our Safety Starts with Me culture here.

We enter the final quarter of the year in great shape to close out an excellent 2021. However, we do see the challenges created by labor availability and inflation, as well as supply chain and transportation limitations. While we're not completely immune to those obstacles, our company is better positioned than most to address those costs through aggressive pricing, as well as cost mitigation plans and productivity gains. So I expect us to perform well here in Q4 and enter 2022 with a really strong tailwind in terms of market demand.

So with that, let me turn it over to Mike Battles.

Michael L. Battles -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thank you, Alan and good morning, everyone. Turning to our income statement on slide 9, revenue increased 22% in the quarter driven by top line growth of more than $75 million in each segment. It is important to know that almost all of that growth is organic.

Adjusted EBITDA was 10% higher than a year ago, coming in at $185.1 million. Our EBITDA margin for the quarter was strong at 19.5%. On a percentage basis, SG&A was up 30 basis points from a year ago at 14%, largely due to higher incentive compensation, as well as severance and integration costs.

For the full year, using the midpoint of our guidance range that now includes HPC for a portion of Q4, we expect SG&A to be up in absolute dollars from the prior year, but flat to slightly down on a percentage basis.

Depreciation and amortization in Q3 declined slightly to $71.5 million, in line with our expectations. For 2021, we now anticipate depreciation and amortization in the range of $295 million to $305 million, which includes the impact of HPC.

Income from operations increased by 25%, reflecting our 22% revenue growth, as well as benefits from our pricing strategies.

Turning to slide 10, cash and short-term marketable securities at quarter end was $711.5 million, up more than $140 million from year-end and up approximately $45 million of June 30. Debt at quarter end was $1.55 billion with leverage on a net debt basis of 1.4 times. That ratio obviously changed recently with the addition of $1 billion of 7-year term debt at LIBOR plus 2% to support the HPC acquisition. Our weighted average cost of debt today, including our recently issued debt, is 3.3%. And we continue to have no debt maturities until 2024.

Turning to cash flows on slide 11, cash from operations in Q3 was solid at $102.8 million. Capex, net of disposals, was $41.7 million, up substantially from a year ago when the pandemic restricted our spending. Our capex spend this quarter included $2.1 million related to the new incinerator we will be constructing in Kimball. We delivered Q3 adjusted free cash flow of $61.1. For full year 2021, we still expect net capex in the range of $190 million to $210 million, even with the addition of HPC and the initial spend on the new Kimball incinerator that will likely total $6 million to $7 million.

During the third quarter, we bought back approximately 33,000 shares at a total cost of $3 million. We still have just over $150 million of our $600 million authorization remaining.

Turning to slide 12, based on our Q3 results, the closing of the HPC transaction and current market conditions, we are raising our 2021 guidance. We now expect adjusted EBITDA in the range of $655 million to $675 million with a midpoint of $665 million. This assumes approximately $15 million of contribution from HPC in the quarter reflecting up to $5 million in integration costs including severance.

Based on our year-to-date performance, here is how our full-year 2021 adjusted EBITDA guidance translates to our segments. In Environmental Services, we expect adjusted EBITDA to be slightly down on an absolute basis from full year 2020. Higher margin decontamination work is lower than a year ago and we are receiving approximately $26 million less in monies from government assistance programs in this segment. Despite these headwinds, this decrease was largely offset -- will largely be offset by other factors, including necessary and extensive price increases, higher profitability in our incineration business, gains in our Safety-Kleen branches, Field Service and Industrial Services, including the addition of HPC in Q4, and our comprehensive cost reduction measures.

For SKSS, we now anticipate adjusted EBITDA at the midpoint of our guidance to grow more than 150% over 2020. Driving this result is a combination of our wide rerefining spread and the year-over-year increase in our production levels and collection volumes versus 2020. That level of adjusted EBITDA would also put us approximately 75% above what that segment delivered in 2019. As a point of reference, this segment received government money -- government assistance of $3.7 million in 2020. We expect less than half that amount this year.

In our Corporate segment, we expect negative adjusted EBITDA to be up mid- to high-teens from 2020 largely due to higher incentive compensation and the addition of HPC. We also had about $3 million in government assistance in 2020 in Corporate and less than $0.5 million this year.

For full year 2021, our adjusted EBITDA guidance now assumes receiving a total of approximately $12 million in total government assistance, primarily from Canada. Based on our current EBITDA guidance and working capital assumptions, we now expect 2021 adjusted free cash flow in the range of $310 million to $330 million for a midpoint of $320 million.

In closing, we delivered another excellent quarter in both segments of our business, particularly on the top line as demand returned to pre-pandemic levels in many of our businesses. We are excited about the prospects of HPC. In Environmental Services, we expect to benefit from our record backlog. As Alan outlined, we're facing some cost and labor challenges but we are confident in our ability to address those. Within SKSS, higher base oil pricing and effective spread management has continued into Q4. We expect that spread to narrow at some point as supply normalizes, but we are maximizing the benefit for as long as we can. The team has done a great job driving profitability in that segment.

With that, Rob, please open up the call for questions.

Questions and Answers:

Operator

Thank you. [Operator Instructions] Our first question comes from the line of Noah Kaye with Oppenheimer. Please proceed with your question.

Noah Kaye -- Oppenheimer & Company -- Analyst

Hey, good morning, all, and thanks for taking the question.

Alan S. McKim -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Hi, Noah.

Noah Kaye -- Oppenheimer & Company -- Analyst

Hi. How are you? Maybe can you just start by talking about the acceleration of pricing initiatives, which you mentioned during the prepared remarks? I guess what level of price in ES do you believe is needed to drive margin expansion in this segment as we head into 2022? What's your confidence in your ability to get that price? And how much can you actually drive in F&S, including HydroChem, or does it need to come primarily from the disposal side?

Alan S. McKim -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

No, I think -- This is Alan. I think pricing really needs to come from across the board. Certainly, transportation impacts all pieces of our business as you know and that's where we have seen the greatest amount of challenge in moving our waste materials, but also servicing customers and gathering wastes. So we definitely know that we've had limitations on getting new equipment, getting trailers, getting subcontractors to support us when we've now maxed out our own internal capability. So I would say transportation really has tentacles throughout all aspects of our business. But as we think about price increases moving forward, we recognize that many other cost, materials and supplies, labor costs are going up, fuel, other energy, natural gas and so forth. So our team, which has been in place for years here really is working forward across all lines of business with pricing initiatives that have been, not only going on this year, but are going to be actually accelerated going into 2022.

Noah Kaye -- Oppenheimer & Company -- Analyst

Okay, thanks. And just sort of your confidence around ability to get enough price to drive margin expansion in the ES for next year?

Alan S. McKim -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, I think certainly we have some cost headwinds in regard to our labor costs and other costs, as you know. So we're not only hoping to offset those increasing costs, but also to get some margin expansion from that.

Michael L. Battles -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yeah, Noah, I think the difference this year versus prior years as well is that stick rates have been actually much better than we expected, and that's going to continue. I think the message is people got it. They understand that their costs are going up across the board. And so when we've gone to customers with price increases, they have been receptive.

Noah Kaye -- Oppenheimer & Company -- Analyst

Yeah. Makes sense. And just as a follow-up around HydroChem, you've provided a little bit of color on the integration so far. Can you give us a little bit more on where you're first focusing kind of some of the key early initiatives and priorities? And then if it's possible to get any thoughts on the cadence of how those $40 million in cost synergies flow through over the balance of the first full year?

Alan S. McKim -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Sure. Well, certainly our day one plan was to get HydroChem up and running on our platform, which we successfully did. And the management team is in place now and we've got some terrific people that came over from HydroChem. Combined with our team, we're really feeling excited about moving forward. There are obviously some synergies that we'll be working on in the next three months here to close out the year. And then moving forward into next year, a big focus will be on sort of looking at contracts, because we do have a number of customer overlaps within our businesses and so we're going to have to be working real closely with our customers as we combine contracts together, so we can move forward into 2022 with sort of everything-under-one-corporate organization here. So that's going to be our primary focus is to get those contracts rationalized.

Noah Kaye -- Oppenheimer & Company -- Analyst

Okay, perfect. Thanks so much.

Alan S. McKim -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Yep.

Operator

Our next question is from the line of Jerry Revich with Goldman Sachs. Please proceed with your question.

Jerry Revich -- Goldman Sachs -- Analyst

Yes. Hi. Good morning, everyone.

Alan S. McKim -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Good morning.

Michael L. Battles -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Hi, Jerry.

Jerry Revich -- Goldman Sachs -- Analyst

Can we talk about the incinerator pricing cadence? So based on contracts that you have in place heading into the fourth quarter, what level of incinerator price increases are you expecting based on what's already planned for the quarter? And then coming back to the 3M announcement now that some of your customers had more time to process what 3M is doing, I'm wondering if you've had inquiries for potential similar arrangements in terms of increasing scope with existing customers that might be vertically integrated in incinerators? Thanks.

Michael L. Battles -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Hi, Jerry. This is Mike. I'll start and I'll turn it over to Eric, who is with us today. So when you think about pricing for Q3, as we said, as Alan said in his prepared remarks, Q3 pricing in incineration was up 11%. And in the past we've been asked about what is that mix versus price. And we've always said, two-thirds mix, one-third price. I think in Q3, it's more two-thirds price, one-third mix. So we have been getting kind of a lot of price. And as contracts have come up for renewal, even off-cycle discussions, we've been able to drive price in incineration at a pretty high clip kind of all year, as you know, versus last year versus the year before and we've continued to drive a good price expansion in that business. And so I expect that as contracts come up for renewal and as we have -- as Alan said, not just an incineration but in all parts of our business, we've been able to drive -- we'll be able to drive price -- to drive profitability in the business. And we're talking about 3M, I'll turn it over to Eric and give you some more color on that.

Eric W. Gerstenberg -- Chief Operating Officer

Yeah, Jerry, this is Eric. So our start-up with 3M continues to go well. We've been handling a significant amount of volume from them throughout the course of this year and continue to implement our strategy with servicing all of their locations. As we look at our other captives in the industry, we have relationships with every one of those units that to have a captive incinerator and we continue to work closely with them. They've been our customers for a long time. There is certainly areas that we can continue to help them on reducing their costs by leveraging our network. So there does continue to look like there is opportunities there ahead of us.

Jerry Revich -- Goldman Sachs -- Analyst

Okay, great. And then on the rerefining spreads, you mentioned the record quarter for you folks. Can you talk about how do you view normalize rerefining margins post IMO 2020? Now that the world will hopefully be normalizing post-COVID, where do you expect rerefining margins to shake out compared to prior cycle levels?

Alan S. McKim -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, I think we certainly see the impacts of IMO when we look at outlets for recycled fuel oil versus our internalization of taking used motor oil and rerefining and into base oil. And so we can clearly see it in that market. We're going into the fourth quarter here and into the winter months with record inventory, over 40 million gallons inventory, so we're well positioned to have what we need in our facilities to process. And we're now looking at alternatives for some of our oil, because there's just a ton of oil around and I think that's evident of IMO 2020 in my opinion anyway. And so I think that moving forward into 2022, although we think that base oil pricing may start coming down, I think the team that we put in place at the beginning of this year to run this segment of our business is really doing an excellent job of maintaining that spread. And I think customers are really interested in our green oil. The whole idea of our sustainability program, I think we could sell a lot more direct lube oil to our customers, if not for the additive shortages that we had, the hydrogen problems that the industry has had in getting hydrogen. So I think, next year, we'll be able to offset probably some decline in base oil pricing with the further high margin sale of our blended direct materials, because the demand is there, we just need to get them the products.

Jerry Revich -- Goldman Sachs -- Analyst

I appreciate the discussion. Thanks.

Alan S. McKim -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah.

Operator

Our next question comes from the line of Tyler Brown with Raymond James. Please proceed with your questions.

Tyler Brown -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Hey, good morning, guys.

Alan S. McKim -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Good morning.

Michael L. Battles -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Hey, Tyler.

Tyler Brown -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Hey, Mike, on the guidance, it looks like you raised the EBITDA midpoint by, call it, $30 million. I think you called out the $15 million in HydroChem. But my hunch is, is there some moving pieces in that other $15 million? I don't know if you totally look at it this way, but could you bridge the other $15 million? I know you've got good guides like wider spreads and then maybe some things working going against you, but could you maybe bucket some of that?

Michael L. Battles -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Sure, Tyler. So it really is the addition of HydroChem. And just to clarify, when you talk about HydroChem, that has up to $5 million of severance and integration costs. And on a monthly basis, the business is not linear, right. We talk about overall $100 million of EBITDA in that business, but $15 million looks pretty light for Q4. We didn't buy that business until after the first week of October. October is a great month for the industrial business, lot of turnarounds happening and November and December tend to be slower. And so it's important to note that $15 million is not a -- please don't take $15 million as a run rate as you go into 2022 from a math exercise, I know you got love spreadsheets. The -- when you think about other things, it really is that I've called consistently spreads starting to narrow. And as we sit here talking to you, I don't see that happening, so as such, that's allowed us to raise our guidance again in Q4. There are a lot of moving pieces, whether it'd be severance cost, integration costs, other things we're doing, but that's, I'd say, at a high level that's just driving it.

Tyler Brown -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Okay, that's helpful. And then, Alan, on the pricing flexibility, I mean, I get it in disposal, maybe even charge for oil in SK, maybe even emergency response. But in these industrial cleaning contracts, how much pricing flexibility do you have? Is that those contracts maybe escalate annually or can you go back and maybe touch pricing there more often?

Alan S. McKim -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah.

Tyler Brown -- Raymond James -- Analyst

In times like this?

Alan S. McKim -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, I think that there has been certainly a shift over the last year and a half with our relationships with a lot of large industrial accounts. We gave back a lot of price concessions. And even though we had firm contracts with firm pricing, we gave back millions of dollars during 2020 with pricing concessions. When we are going back to those customers and others, and realizing that, yes, we have contracts in place, maybe some of them are not coming up for renewal for a year or two, but we are raising prices to those customers as well. We're going back and getting those concessions, and then some certainly, for sure. And with the shortage in labor or the inability to get equipment and transportation costs, there isn't a customer that we do business with that hasn't been touched by what we read about in the paper, all this supply chain issues. And so our feeling is quite frankly if we can't get the kind of margins for the risk that we're taking, we're not going to continue to do business. We're going to move forward and share those resources with other customers where we can make the margin, then we can recover the cost increases that we're seeing.

Tyler Brown -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Okay, that's helpful. And then just lastly, I know it is early, but just any flavor on capex for next year? I assume you're going to have a big jump in Kimball spend.

Michael L. Battles -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yeah, Tyler. So you have a couple of things there. You're going to have the HydroChem addition and that's going generate a fair amount of EBITDA. But they also need capital, and we have about $55 million, which we've talked about before, for the incinerator queued up for 2022.

Tyler Brown -- Raymond James -- Analyst

So is mid 2s a good placeholder or is it maybe toward 3?

Michael L. Battles -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Well, we have to go through our budget process and that includes the capital budget. So I'd hate to kind of give 2022 guidance on this call.

Tyler Brown -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Okay, all right. Appreciate it. Thank you.

Operator

Our next question is from the line of Michael Hoffman with Stifel. Please proceed with your question.

Michael E. Hoffman -- Stifel Nicolaus -- Analyst

Hey, thank you very much. Alan, if I could start with safety, I applaud that you share that with us. So what do you think happened? Is it just that everybody was having to work so hard, because they're such labor issues and then you had to kind of bring attention back to that? And then I want to follow up with a labor question.

Alan S. McKim -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, I think we've seen it over the last 18 months, and a lot of us think that there's just a huge distraction, particularly going through the pandemic. People, we just think that they're not focused. And it's a lot of slips, trips, and falls, stepping into a pothole and twisting an ankle, we're not seeing tremendous hugely injuries, but we're just seeing a lot of these small crazy things that otherwise we just would have never seen I think before the last 18 months or so. And so I guess we chalk it up to maybe a distraction at this point.

Michael E. Hoffman -- Stifel Nicolaus -- Analyst

Okay.

Alan S. McKim -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

But our TRIR certainly with the combination of HPC will probably be close to 1 or even under moving forward, because we have a lot more billable hours now coming over. But I think we've just gone through this sort of disruption and I think that's what's causing some of these issues.

Michael E. Hoffman -- Stifel Nicolaus -- Analyst

And then the labor issue, my view is, is that the total addressable pool has shrunk permanently in that where this doesn't -- you can't fix this with just paying people more, so how do you address the expanding of addressable pool for Clean Harbors? Where do you go looking to make that pool bigger so that you have people you can try and hire?

Alan S. McKim -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, I think we have to really look at all places, whether it's trade schools or the maritime academies or it's going into the drivers schools or the military. We have close to 800 military personnel now, former military personnel now working for us, so that's been a great place for us to recruit from and we've got some real strong relationships with the Army there that we want to expand. But we have to do better. We are several thousand people short. Our revenues are constrained by our staffing and we also know that, from a safety standpoint, that first year employee tends to have a higher incident rate than certainly other employees, who have been here longer, more experienced, better trained. So really doubling down on training, onboarding and really trying to fill those open key positions that we have out in the field.

Michael E. Hoffman -- Stifel Nicolaus -- Analyst

Okay. And then, Mike, can you help us -- we are modelers and spreadsheet people, so what's the rollover M&A sales and EBITDA you want us to use for HydroChem?

Michael L. Battles -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yeah, so, if you say $15 million and there is, let's say, $3 million of severance and integration, so that's -- and then we've already said publicly $115 million plus $20 million, $25 million of integration synergy costs, so you can do the math on that, you can get a rollover number from there.

Michael E. Hoffman -- Stifel Nicolaus -- Analyst

Okay. So I'm taking $115 million less $15 million, and then help me with the $3 million, is that $3 million is incremental to the $15 million, so it's a negative, it's really $12 million?

Michael L. Battles -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

So, let's say, it's $15 million for the quarter. So say it's $15 million for the quarter, $115 million we revised it publicly, plus $20 million, $25 million of synergy costs, that gives you like $135 million, minus the $15 million is probably $115 million run rate.

Michael E. Hoffman -- Stifel Nicolaus -- Analyst

Got it. Okay. All right. And then --

Michael L. Battles -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Incremental EBITDA 2022.

Michael E. Hoffman -- Stifel Nicolaus -- Analyst

Got it. And then if I do the math right, you're somewhere between up to maybe $100 million above 2019 in used oil, SKSS. Some piece of that, as Alan alluded to, has to have benefited from IMO. So when the number corrects, what I'm interested in is there is $115 million from HPC, there is potentially on an annualized basis $15 million to $20 million from Vertex. So I think we can have a conversation that says, even if this corrected 100% on January 1, you're not down. You're flat, maybe up, all else being -- without any other growth anywhere else. Is that the right way to start the thought process about '22?

Michael L. Battles -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yeah, so we have to go through the budget process, it includes a Board review as well as capex budget, so it's hard to kind of speak to that kind of with so much level of precision. But I would say that the -- when you think about the spread, as we talked about before, Michael, it's kind of three things. It is kind of the impact of IMO 2020 and I'd say strong spread management by the team we put in place kind of earlier this year, and it is wide. And I don't know, it's really hard for me to predict kind of when that gets back to -- when that contracts. And if that contracts, certainly not going to happen on January 1. As you know, it took a long time to get to here. It will also take a long time to get back to whatever normal is. I don't know what normal is. So it's really hard for -- I mean, I think, personally, I believe for us and people in our industry, this will be one of the hardest budgets and hardest guidances we'll have to do in our time here, because that's going to be really hard to predict. And if and when that does come back to whatever that was kind of pre-pandemic, if it does, so it's hard for me. Good news is I don't want to give that today. I have time to think about kind of where we are. We'll have a conversation in February about that. Looking forward to it.

Michael E. Hoffman -- Stifel Nicolaus -- Analyst

Okay, thank you very much.

Michael L. Battles -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thanks, Michael.

Operator

Thank you. [Operator Instructions] Our next question is from the line of Jim Ricchiuti with Needham and Company. Please proceed with your question.

James Ricchiuti -- Needham & Company -- Analyst

Thank you. Good morning. You talked about in the ES business some of the project volumes stalling a bit. At least in your slide, you talked about as a result of the pandemic. Just as we're starting to see some of the Delta concerns seemingly hopefully abating more recently, should we see that turn around? I assume you're starting to already.

Alan S. McKim -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

We have a pretty good pipeline, but Eric, maybe you might want to comment on that.

Eric W. Gerstenberg -- Chief Operating Officer

Yeah, Jim. Clearly, as we've gone through this year, our pipeline has been increasing quarter-to-quarter. The difficulty came about when many of these projects were restricted from getting permits to be able to move forward and do the cleanups that were required. And so the permit process has continued to be somewhat delayed, but our pipeline has grown. Our visibility of projects today is much better than a year ago and we do foresee as we go into the fourth quarter and get into 2022 that will have a much, much more robust project business into our sites.

James Ricchiuti -- Needham & Company -- Analyst

Got it. And just with respect to HPC, I certainly appreciate the short-term goals that you need in terms of integrating the business, but you've also talked about cross-selling opportunities. And I'm wondering how soon in 2022 might we begin to see the benefits of that?

Alan S. McKim -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, at least I'll start. I think we've looked really from a sales standpoint, we've sort of combined our sales organizations together now and I think looking at the white space that exists across particularly the top 40 or 50 accounts of HPC and vice versa, Clean Harbors as well, and so I think the team has really done a good job in these early weeks to start planning the strategies against that white space that exists on some of these contracts that we each have to kind of share our capabilities across those accounts. Not sure, Eric, if you want to add any?

Eric W. Gerstenberg -- Chief Operating Officer

Yeah, I would say in the early days that our teams on both sides now combined as one are very excited about the cross-sell opportunities. You think about refineries and chemical plants alone. Pre-acquisition, obviously HydroChem was really only doing industrial cleaning and things like leak detection and repair. And there is an opportunity at combined forces to do additional material processing, tank cleanouts together, transportation and disposal of those tank cleanouts. So our teams, our sales working together, they're already knee-deep, in fact, into starting to expand cross-sell with our customer base.

Michael L. Battles -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

And Jim, as we've given out these numbers, either in the earnings -- in the announcements we made in connection with the acquisition and through our earnings calls, our models do not include any cross-sell.

James Ricchiuti -- Needham & Company -- Analyst

Got it. And just with respect to pricing at HPC, I assume same kind of dynamics that you're seeing in the ES business. Have they been -- what have they been doing on the pricing side, as we've seen some of this inflationary pressure really build or is this something that you're addressing now at HPC, that part of the business?

Alan S. McKim -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, I would say we're just addressing it now. We were restricted during the entire of integration process of looking at any pricing data right up until the close. So with the close taking a place on the 8th, it's sort of been from that point on now that we've really been aggressively trying to look at all of that. But I would say the three months prior to signing our agreement, HPC did a pretty good job of managing pricing certainly with their customer base, but -- and had to take a pause during the integration. So I think we can be more aggressive now and try to get everything at least underway in the near term here.

James Ricchiuti -- Needham & Company -- Analyst

Got it. Thanks very much.

Alan S. McKim -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah.

Operator

Thank you. Our next question is from the line of Jeff Silber with BMO Capital Markets. Please proceed with your questions.

Jeff Silber -- BMO Capital Markets -- Analyst

Thanks so much. Wanted to switch the topic to what's going on in Washington. I know things are still not yet finalized, but you've got a few more months to look at some of the plans that they've been talking about come from an infrastructure perspective, etc. Any indication what impact that could have on your business over the next few years?

Alan S. McKim -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

I think one of the key things is to lowering the age on drivers to 18 and that -- there are a lot of routes that we do and a lot of movements that we do that, that would help us a lot to be able to put on a new generation of drivers sooner. And I think that will help in that issue across the board. But I think, I don't know, Eric, do you know where we are with PFAS at this point? I know that's a big topic that people have asked.

Eric W. Gerstenberg -- Chief Operating Officer

Yeah, PFAS continues to be a big focus. Obviously, in October, the EPA issued a PFAS policy statement, their first focus over the next year or two is around drinking water and groundwater. We continue to follow very closely where they're going with the legislation they look to create and what levels and limits they'd deploy. But that continues to be an opportunity for us, but it's going to be a long, long time in the making, and really a long tail over 10 to 20 years is how we look at that.

Jeff Silber -- BMO Capital Markets -- Analyst

Okay, that's helpful. And just keeping the discussion about the regulatory environment, I don't know if you can give us a little bit more color on the issues with the Vertex Energy closing and what are the milestones we should be looking forward over the next few months before that deal closes? Thanks.

Michael L. Battles -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Sure, Jeff. So, as we mentioned, we did get a second request from the Federal Trade Commission. We are working to respond to that and that includes providing all the data we need to give a thoughtful response back to the government. Until then, we are just working -- that business continues as a separate stand-alone public company and so do we. And so we're both working -- we both have a list of things we have to go do, and we're going to go -- we're working on it in every day.

Jeff Silber -- BMO Capital Markets -- Analyst

All right. Fair enough. Thanks so much.

Michael L. Battles -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thanks, Jeff.

Operator

[Operator Instructions] Thank you. This concludes our question-and-answer session. I will turn the floor over to Mr. McKim for closing comments.

Alan S. McKim -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Okay, Rob. Thanks. Thanks for joining us today. We are participating in the Baird Industrials Conference next week and certainly a number of other conferences before year-end. So we look forward to speaking with many of you at those events. Have a safe day.

Operator

[Operator Closing Remarks]

Duration: 46 minutes

Call participants:

Michael McDonald -- Senior Vice President, General Counsel

Alan S. McKim -- Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Michael L. Battles -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Eric W. Gerstenberg -- Chief Operating Officer

Noah Kaye -- Oppenheimer & Company -- Analyst

Jerry Revich -- Goldman Sachs -- Analyst

Tyler Brown -- Raymond James -- Analyst

Michael E. Hoffman -- Stifel Nicolaus -- Analyst

James Ricchiuti -- Needham & Company -- Analyst

Jeff Silber -- BMO Capital Markets -- Analyst

More CLH analysis

All earnings call transcripts

AlphaStreet Logo

This article is a transcript of this conference call produced for The Motley Fool. While we strive for our Foolish Best, there may be errors, omissions, or inaccuracies in this transcript. As with all our articles, The Motley Fool does not assume any responsibility for your use of this content, and we strongly encourage you to do your own research, including listening to the call yourself and reading the company's SEC filings. Please see our Terms and Conditions for additional details, including our Obligatory Capitalized Disclaimers of Liability.

The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.