Environmental, Regulatory & Redevelopment Law

The old proverb, “What you don’t know can’t hurt you” asserts that if you have no knowledge of a potentially harmful situation you cannot be hurt by it. While that may be true in some circumstances, when it comes to environmental law, it is better to adopt the idiom, “forewarned is forearmed.”  Operating a business with environmental blind spots is risky.  The unexpected discovery of hazardous contaminants or harmful operating policies can have a negative impact on your company, your reputation and your bottom line.  It can also postpone or even derail a transaction that is important to your business.    

Much Shelist’s environmental attorneys represent clients in a broad range of industrial sectors, including manufacturers, chemical and transportation companies, refiners, power generators, developers, lenders, and other corporate and individual clients.  We provide proactive counsel on compliance, permitting and operational issues, and advise clients that face an enforcement action brought by local, state or federal governmental authorities. We also regularly counsel real estate developers, buyers and sellers during the acquisition and sale of industrial, commercial, residential and multi-use properties.  We structure and document transactions in a manner that protects the client’s interests and safeguards the completion of the deal.  

Regulatory Compliance, Permitting & Enforcement Counseling

Much Shelist’s environmental attorneys regularly assist clients in their efforts to achieve and maintain environmental compliance. 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 represent individual companies in trade associations in the development of new regulations by drafting comments or participating in regulatory proceedings. We also advise clients regarding Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspection, violations and compliance audits.

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

We negotiate and draft environmental consultants’ services agreements, and supervise their work on various 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.

Brownfields & Real Estate Redevelopment

Much Shelist counsels industrial entities, public bodies, lenders and real estate developers on the acquisition and redevelopment of properties that are contaminated with hazardous substances. Our capabilities include remediation under CERCLA, RCRA, related state statutes and brownfields redevelopment programs. We 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 assist our clients in meeting their goals and protecting their long-term interests.

Corporate Transactions & Due Diligence

From mergers, acquisitions and divestitures to real estate purchases and sales, virtually every corporate transaction has environmental implications. We counsel our clients regarding the environmental compliance necessary to complete these transactions promptly, while keeping sight of the business objectives of the parties involved.  We routinely represent  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 environmental consultants, review Phase I and Phase II reports on prior or current contamination from operations, conduct due diligence investigations and negotiate and draft the environmental provisions of deal documents, and help secure environmental insurance.  

Litigation & Administrative Enforcement Resolution

Much Shelist has a diverse environmental litigation practice aimed at minimizing expense, exposure and future governmental scrutiny. 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 and the Clean Air Act; underground storage tank and asbestos regulations, and numerous state and local environmental requirements. 

We have represented individual clients and served on common counsels in significant Superfund sites. Our attorneys often defend clients in connection with enforcement actions, notices of violations, noncompliance letters and permit violations brought by the U.S. EPA, the Department of Justice, and other state and local governmental authorities.

Our attorneys have defended toxic tort, class action and other environmental claims alleging both bodily injury and property damage. 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 litigate on behalf of our business clients when their property has been affected by others.

We also regularly advise clients regarding the availability of insurance coverage for environmental matters under current and historic policies, and litigate environmental coverage disputes with insurance carriers.