Environmental Law

Our Environmental Law practice encompasses the full scope of environmental issues, from litigation to regulatory compliance and enforcement actions to environmental aspects of transactions.  Those transactions include mergers and acquisitions of businesses, purchases and sales of real estate.  We also advise lenders and borrowers on loans and other financing as well as insurance companies and insureds in connection with insurance claims and purchasing environmental insurance policies.  We have special expertise in connection with the remediation of contaminated  sites.  We also represent environmental consulting companies and have represented New Jersey Licensed Site Remediation Professionals in dealing with the Site Professional Licensing Board.

 

Our range of services includes the following:

  • Counselling clients with respect to compliance with site remediation requirements, including investigations, remedial strategies, schedules, access agreements, deed notices, settlements, NJDEP rules and guidance, and dealing with neighbors, regulators, municipalities, counties and LSRPs
  • Counselling clients and drafting agreements relating to the allocation of responsibility and risk regarding environmental liability in connection with real estate purchases, sales, leases and redevelopment, including brownfields, merger and acquisition, financings  and other commercial transactions
  • Counselling clients in the conduct of due diligence in connection with commercial transactions
  • Prosecution and defense of private cost recovery actions and defense of government-instituted contribution actions, including litigating responsibility among successive owners and tenants at contaminated sites, cost allocations and de minimis settlements at large multi-party sites
  • Prosecution of insurance coverage actions for cleanup of environmental contamination, including declaratory judgment actions against insurers on behalf of commercial and industrial clients seeking coverage for response costs at all types of contaminated sites
  • Counselling clients with respect to permitting and other compliance with environmental regulation affecting real estate and business, including wetlands regulation, Coastal Area Facility Review Act (“CAFRA”), Pinelands and Highlands regulation and development, underground storage tank law, storm water management regulations, sewers, septic systems, hazardous waste, medical waste and solid waste regulation and claims, including recycling and contracting, and A901 applications and licenses  
  • Counselling clients with respect to environmental permitting issues, including for specialized businesses such as manufacturing, major facilities, hospitals, schools, child care centers and residential developments
  • Responding to administrative notices of violation or penalty assessments, or notices of deficiency, or administrative directives or complaints, including from NJDEP, NYSDEC, USEPA and the LSRP Board
  • Negotiating coverage and provisions of environmental insurance policies and assisting in the administration of claims under environmental insurance policies.
  • Assisting clients identified by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), or others, including citizens groups, as Potentially Responsible Parties pursuant to CERCLA (“Superfund”), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”) and the Clean Water Act,  and other similar statutes, with respect to contamination at or from contaminated sites
  • Defending toxic tort litigation and stigma damage litigation or claims, personal injury and property damage cases arising out of exposure to asbestos, chemical contaminants and other hazardous materials or proximity to contamination
  • Counselling clients with respect to structuring, documenting and closing transactions involving solar energy and wind power
  • Counseling clients with respect to cell and other towers
  • Counseling and defending against state and federal natural resource damage claims

 

Representative Environmental Matters

Our attorneys have represented clients before state and federal agencies and local boards in fulfilling environmental requirements for site plan and construction approvals.  We have represented commercial and industrial clients in prosecution and defense of private cost recovery actions and defense of government-instituted contribution actions.  We have extensive expertise with the Industrial Site Recovery Act (ISRA) and have represented hundreds of companies involved in transactions and compliance under ISRA. Our attorneys have acted as expert witnesses in environmental and related and other matters, including for plaintiffs and defendants asserting or defending against malpractice claims. We have counseled LSRPs facing claims against them. Representative matters have included:

  • Defending owners/operators of three significant Superfund sites in central and northern New Jersey, including the prosecution of related insurance coverage actions, CERCLA costs-recovery actions and defense of governmental cost-recovery actions
  • Being part of a team that successfully resolved a state natural resources damage claim relating to a large former industrial site in northern New Jersey
  • Representing a municipality that successfully resolved a federal landfill remediation action, including a federal natural resources damage claim relating to a municipal landfill
  • Leading the defense in a New Jersey Spill Act claim for a large fuel oil concern at multiple sites across New Jersey
  • Routine involvement for over 10 years on a range of issues for remediation of 10-15 sites of a major commercial entity, including preparation, supervision, and negotiation of access and settlement agreements, deed notices, permits, submissions to NJDEP and other governmental entities, permitting, natural resource damage claim settlement, personal injury and property damage defense to claims, and property purchases and sales
  • Representing an owner/operator of a landfill facing remedial and natural resource damages claims by the federal government.
  • Representing defendants in the Passaic River litigation (New Jersey)
  • Representing environmental consulting firms and LSRPs in various matters, including response action outcome issues and Board complaints
  • Acting as environmental counsel in connection with the sale of a $100,000,000 portfolio of industrial properties, including ISRA compliance and liability allocation negotiations and documentation
  • Acting as New Jersey environmental counsel in connection with a $1 billion sale of an portfolio of industrial properties