Assessing and addressing environmental risk

Our Environmental team helps companies identify and mitigate environmental risks. We advise on environmental issues related to transactions (acquisitions, divestitures, and financings), operations (permitting and compliance), enforcement, and litigation. And we work with companies across sectors, including private equity firms, institutional investors, financial institutions, and real estate developers and investors.

Connect with our Environmental team and let us know how we can help.

Areas of Focus

Understanding the scope and magnitude of potential environmental liabilities requires careful review of proposed and historic operations, as well as environmental reports prepared by qualified consultants. Strict, joint and several liabilities often transfer with site ownership or operation, and as a new owner or tenant, statutory safe harbors may be available if considered early enough in the process. Site access agreements, environmental insurance and other deal terms beyond representations, warranties, and indemnities can manage risks, allocate liabilities, and establish cost-sharing for issues that may persist post-closing. Leveraging our experience in these areas, we can also assist with crafting language for public offerings or other securities matters that require disclosure of potential environmental liabilities.

Few commercial enterprises are beyond the regulatory reach of the federal, state and municipal agencies charged with protecting the environment and public health. From life science laboratories to full-scale industrial manufacturing, these property types are often subject to numerous regulatory standards involving wastewater discharges, air emissions from stacks or fume hoods, hazardous waste management, emergency planning and community right-to-know regarding the storage and use of hazardous chemicals, release reporting and more. Whether operated by the client or a third-party, non-compliant facility operations can impact a business’s ability to meet objectives in a timely and cost-effective manner. We help clients determine whether the necessary permits are in place and advise on internal environmental audits of facility operations.

We assist clients in responding to notices of violation, requests for information and other correspondence from regulatory agencies that can lead to formal enforcement proceedings. Beyond fines and compliance orders, standard enforcement can escalate to a suspension or curtailment of operations while the facility returns to compliance. Self-disclosure of violations identified during a voluntary internal audit may help mitigate penalties.

We support clients in litigation matters that touch on environmental issues, from administrative proceedings to appellate judicial review. These matters include challenges to regulatory approvals by third-parties, comments and court challenges to agency rulemakings, and novel interpretations of environmental statutes that could impact client operations.