Legal Counsel for Site Cleanup Efforts
When a landowner has an environmentally impacted property that requires remediation or restoration, Saul Ewing attorneys provide legal counsel to guide the site remediation process. We help clients navigate the complex investigation, reporting, compliance, funding, and enforcement issues associated with site remediation.
We represent both individual clients and joint defense groups on a wide range of issues, including applying for funding for environmental cleanups or obtaining tax relief for brownfields developments; devising environmental management systems to fit a client's corporate guidelines; and ensuring compliance with clean-up requirements. Our work includes:
- Negotiating and drafting joint defense agreements and funding/allocation agreements, including designated settlement fund arrangements
- Developing legal and technical strategies to achieve joint defense and client objectives
- Developing appropriate budgets for joint defense work, including legal and technical services
- Contracting with consultants and remediation firms
- Negotiating with state and federal environmental agencies regarding cleanup measures
- Negotiating settlements with state and federal agencies, including administrative orders, consent decrees, voluntary cleanup program agreements and, in New Jersey, ISRA and Spill Act compliance matters
- Appealing administrative determinations
- Litigation against recalcitrant responsible parties
Further, we assist property owners in addressing site remediation by developing strategies for cost-effective site remediation and negotiating prospective purchaser agreements with state and/or federal agencies.
Our Site Remediation attorneys have represented clients in more than 150 matters involving remediation under Superfund or comparable state law. We often have a leading role, whether we are counseling joint defense groups or individual clients. We also serve as common counsel for cases in which more than one party is identified as being responsible. In those situations, we:
- Work with the parties to formulate strategies to minimize site remediation costs
- Work with technical consultants in developing estimates of potential site remediation costs to assist our clients in evaluating their exposure
- Coordinate allocation among responsible parties
- Formulate settlement strategies
- Participate in one-on-one negotiations with the United States Department of Justice and with state and federal environmental agencies
- Negotiate settlements with other responsible parties
When disputes arise, we counsel clients early in the representation on the advisability of pursuing alternative dispute resolution versus litigation.
Our significant environmental law practice informs our work in the site remediation arena. Our team includes attorneys with training in environmental sciences and engineering as well as lawyers who served in the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Pennsylvania legislature, and as counsel to the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board. In addition, we have working relationships with key regulatory bodies, including local and state departments of environmental protection, the federal Environmental Protection Agency, United States Coast Guard, and the United States Army Corps of Engineers. This enables us to work effectively with both site remediation experts and government agencies on site cleanup strategies and agreements.