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.
Comprehensive Experience in Environmental Issues
We counsel clients 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 attorneys have vast experience in representing joint defense groups or representing clients within such groups, including:
- 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, our attorneys assist property owners in addressing site remediation, including developing strategies for cost-effective site remediation and negotiating prospective purchaser agreements with state and/or federal agencies.
Leading Roles: Superfund Sites
Saul Ewing's Site Remediation attorneys have represented clients in matters involving more than 150 sites undergoing remediation under Superfund or comparable state law. Whether representing joint defense groups or individual clients, our attorneys are often in a lead role at these sites due to our experience, skills and knowledge in this area. 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
- One-on-one negotiations with the United States Department of Justice and with state and federal environmental agencies
- Settlement negotiations with other responsible parties
When disputes arise, we are as experienced in resolving such disputes through alternative dispute resolution techniques as we are in litigation. We counsel clients early in the representation on the advisability of pursuing alternative dispute resolution versus litigation.
Broad Experience: Immersed in Environmental Issues
Our attorneys are experienced with, and 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. We represent redevelopment authorities, business entities, and individuals before those agencies.
Saul Ewing's Site Remediation attorneys offer broad experience covering environmental law from a range of perspectives. Our Environmental Practice includes attorneys with training in environmental sciences and engineering; others joined the firm after tenures with various regulatory agencies. For example, our team includes several former attorneys with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources (now the Department of Environmental Protection), including an assistant attorney general and assistant counsel, a litigation counsel, and a regulatory counsel. One of our attorneys is a former Pennsylvania legislator who sponsored and negotiated the 1992 amendments to the Pennsylvania Air Pollution Control Act, and who also formerly served as secretary of the Board of Pennsylvania Environmental Council and chairman of Pennsylvania's Low Emission Vehicle Commission. Additionally, two of our attorneys also served as counsel to the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board. These backgrounds allow us to work effectively with site remediation experts and regulatory agencies in developing cost-effective site cleanup strategies, negotiating settlements with government agencies, and in working as a partner with our clients.