Today, environmental responsibility and sound business practices are more closely linked and aligned than ever as organizations seek a clean environment, lower costs, and improved efficiency.
Our Environmental Law Practice Group commenced with the inception of environmental laws and regulations in the early 1970s. As those laws and regulations have evolved, so has our practice, beginning with the earliest pollution standards and continuing through regulation and beneficial reuses of materials and polluted real property (such as brownfields), alternative energy facilities, sustainability, green building, leasing, and construction practices.
The environmental team combines legal, business, scientific, and government affairs acumen to provide practical advice. Our goal is to provide service well beyond mechanical compliance with arcane environmental standards: We help clients make informed business decisions by explaining the risks and rewards. Our attorneys guide clients evaluating new technologies and initiatives promoting sustainability, going green, and alternative or renewable energy. When litigation is strategically advantageous or necessary, our team provides clients with aggressive effective advocacy.
Attorneys in the Environmental Law Practice Group work with a diverse group of clients, including banks and lenders; buyers and sellers in acquisitions and divestitures; energy producers; government and quasi-government entities; importers/exporters of chemicals, pharmaceutical ingredients, and other goods; insurers and reinsurers; manufacturers of chemicals, paper, and other goods; real estate developers and managers; and universities and schools.
Our services include:
- asserting and defending Superfund claims - including natural resource damages claims - under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and equivalent state laws;
- advising owners, investors, consultants, and insurers on all aspects of brownfield transactions, environmental liability transfers, and related transactions;
- representing stakeholders in transactions relating to energy production (fossil fuel, solar, wind, waste-to-energy);
- defending manufacturers and other clients against environmental criminal charges;
- defending clients in mass toxic tort cases (asbestos, silica, hearing loss);
- representing parties to disputes regarding insurance coverage for environmental clean up and toxic tort costs;
- evaluating methods and costs of environmental compliance for buyers, sellers, and financing providers in development, lending, and other transactions;
- supervising environmental audits;
- preparing environmental impact statements and Findings of No Significant Impact (FONSI);
- recommending, hiring, and monitoring technical experts and laboratories, including licensed site remediation professionals;
- advising clients on compliance with the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), including premanufacturing notice, consent order, and significant new use regulation proceedings, including nanoscale materials; and
- advising clients on occupational safety and health laws; federal food, drug and cosmetics laws; and hazardous materials transportation laws including responses to inspections.
Notable engagements include:
- serving as real estate, environmental and general corporate counsel to a U.S. corporation in the multi-year sales of a portfolio of European, U.S. and Latin American properties, including: the negotiation and performance of contracts to acquire the assets with environmental remediation and demolition contractors, environmental consultants and real estate brokers; transferring the assets from SNAP to new owners; environmental insurance policies; advice in connection with environmental remediations to achieve "no further action" (or equivalent) determinations in the various jurisdictions; and general counseling and representation regarding entity governance and dispute resolution, including selection of counsel and advisors with specialized or local expertise;
- representing a Somerset County municipality (New Jersey) in the acquisition from the State of a underutilized mental hospital, various buildings and nearly 300 acres of adjacent land, including counseling the municipality on the technical, environmental, insurance and financial aspects of brownfield remediation and, in five year's time, selling the property to the State's development authority for future parks and open space;
- representing a higher education institution in the development of a solar energy generation system to augment its campus cogeneration plant;
- advising investment bank on the negotiation and drafting of a national secured creditor environmental insurance policy;
- representing a lender in connection with a loan to an industrial spice manufacturer to finance the cost of the design, engineering, construction and installation of a solar photovoltaic system at New Jersey industrial plant;
- representing municipalities in acquisitions and divestures of contaminated properties for reuse, including for commercial, open space and solar energy, including renewable energy credits and public financing through the New Jersey Economic Development Authority;
- representing a paper manufacturer in air emission, storm water discharge, and solid waste permit proceedings;
- representing a sports authority in a development project, including permitting of railroad links, proceedings before the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, agencies, environmental impact statements, related public hearings and litigation; and
- representing a water utility company in appeal relating to water effluent discharge permit.
Attorneys in the Environmental Law Practice Group work closely with the Firm's other Practice Groups, including Real Estate, Financial Transactions, Energy & Utilities, Infrastructure Development & Finance, Transportation, Litigation & Alternative Dispute Resolution, and Insurance, providing clients with comprehensive representation.