Environmental, Regulatory & Redevelopment Law

Much Shelist represents manufacturers, consultants, developers, lenders and other corporate clients in a broad range of environmental matters, including federal and state litigation, regulatory compliance, permitting and operational issues.

Our attorneys regularly counsel real estate developers, buyers and sellers during the acquisition and sale of industrial, commercial, residential and multi-use properties, including conducting due diligence investigations and negotiating and drafting the environmental provisions of deal documents. We negotiate and draft environmental services contracts with consultants and supervise consultants' work on environmental projects, including closures under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), Superfund remedial actions, asbestos abatements, and the removal and cleanup of underground storage tanks. Our attorneys also advise clients regarding voluntary environmental and Occupational Safety and Health Administration compliance audits.

Much Shelist's environmental attorneys have the ability to call upon other practice groups at the firm—including Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Real Estate and Business & Finance—to provide effective, comprehensive representation to our clients.

We provide environmental services in the following areas:

Litigation & Administrative Enforcement Resolution

Much Shelist has a diverse environmental litigation practice aimed at minimizing expense, exposure and future enforcement scrutiny for our clients. Our attorneys have litigated and resolved cases concerning the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA); the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the Clean Water Act; underground storage tank and asbestos regulations, as well as numerous other environmental requirements under state and local laws. Our attorneys often defend clients in connection with enforcement actions, notices of violations and noncompliance letters, and permit violations brought by federal and state authorities, including the U.S. EPA and Department of Justice, as well as state and local governmental entities.

Much Shelist has significant experience defending toxic tort and other environmental claims alleging both bodily injury and property damage, including class actions and individual claims. We regularly defend citizen suit actions under RCRA, the Clean Water Act and other statutes, as well as state claims for toxic chemical and asbestos exposure, and trespass and nuisance related to environmental contamination. We also initiate litigation on behalf of our business clients when their property has been affected by others. Our work in this area is national in scope and covers a wide range of industries and business and environmental issues.

Part of our environmental litigation practice involves the critical area of insurance coverage. We regularly advise clients regarding the availability of insurance coverage for environmental matters under present and historic policies, and litigate environmental coverage disputes with insurance carriers.

Regulatory Compliance & Permitting

Much Shelist regularly assists clients in their efforts to achieve and maintain environmental compliance. Our environmental attorneys are experienced in all aspects of compliance, permitting and enforcement counseling. Our role includes assisting in the permitting for air, water and solid waste; developing and implementing compliance audit programs and environmental management systems; and strategic planning for the implementation of new regulations. We also advise clients regarding Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspection, violations and compliance audits.

With regard to permitting, we help clients obtain, revise, renew, close and comply with a wide range of federal, state and local permits. Our lawyers have successfully handled many permit appeals and challenges to agency actions.

Brownfields & Real Estate Redevelopment

Much Shelist counsels industrial entities, public bodies, lenders and real estate developers on the acquisition and redevelopment of brownfields and the remediation of properties that are contaminated with hazardous substances. Our capabilities include corporate and real estate transactions, as well as remediation under CERCLA, RCRA, related state statutes and brownfields redevelopment programs. Our environmental lawyers help evaluate the nature and extent of the contamination, estimate the cost of remediation, define and develop strategies to minimize future liabilities, assist in development planning, and negotiate final sale/acquisition terms following remediation. We coordinate with developers, environmental consultants, lenders, insurance providers and regulatory agencies to best meet our clients' goals and protect their long-term interests.

We regularly obtain No Further Remediation letters under an array of state and local programs for our clients across the country. Our lawyers have experience with all regions of the U.S. EPA and most state agencies.

Corporate Audits & Due Diligence

From mergers, acquisitions and divestitures to real estate purchases and sales, virtually every corporate transaction has environmental implications. In this context, Much Shelist represents financial institutions, buyers, sellers, developers and underwriters in connection with a range of domestic and international transactions, including sales, purchases, joint ventures, leases, mortgages, financing, refinancing, reorganizations, and security and debt offerings. We work with clients to structure and document transactions in a manner that protects their interests while ensuring completion of the deal. Our attorneys work with environmental consultants, review Phase I and Phase II reports on prior or current contamination from operations, negotiate the environmental portion of the deal and help secure environmental insurance. Much Shelist also counsels clients regarding the environmental compliance necessary to complete these transactions promptly and in keeping with the business objectives of the parties involved.