Melissa Clarke concentrates her practice in the areas of environmental law and real estate transactions, with a particular focus on environmental litigation, penalty and enforcement matters, and cost recovery actions involving federal and state statutes and regulations such as CERCLA (Superfund), RCRA and New Jersey’s Spill Act.
In addition to counseling clients on regulatory compliance, Melissa assists clients in obtaining and defending state and federal environmental permits. As a transactional attorney, Melissa has negotiated and drafted environmental contractual provisions in a wide variety of corporate and real property transactions.
Melissa’s environmental practice areas include handling complex allocations of liability among potentially responsible parties at Superfund Sites, including the Gowanus Canal, Passaic River, and Berry’s Creek sites.
Melissa also assists with:
- Environmental due diligence and remediation liability risk assessment in real estate transactions.
- Compliance with the New Jersey Industrial Site Recovery Act (ISRA).
- Cost recovery and contribution claims under CERCLA and the New Jersey Spill Act.
- Defense of New Jersey Spill Act, Environmental Rights Act and common law claims.
- Assessment and defense of natural resource damages (NRD) claims under federal and state law.
- Drafting site access agreements and environmental provisions in commercial real estate and corporate agreements.
- Environmental land use compliance and permitting under federal and state law, including wetlands, waterfront development, coastal areas (CAFRA) and flood hazard areas.
- Riparian (tidelands) rights and approvals.
- Administrative law matters challenging and defending permit decisions.
- Green Acres diversion application process.
- Pinelands development credits.
Melissa also represents title insurance underwriters, insureds and title insurance agencies in commercial and residential title related disputes and foreclosure actions.