Environmental

Transactions

Understanding the scope and magnitude of potential environmental liabilities requires careful review. This is conducted during the diligence period 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 certain statutory safe harbors may be available if considered early enough in the process to allow the proper investigations to take place. Site access agreements, environmental insurance and other deal terms beyond representations, warranties and indemnities can successfully manage risks, allocate liabilities and establish cost-sharing for issues that may persist post-closing. Leveraging our lawyers’ collective experience in these areas, we can also assist with crafting language for public offerings or other securities matters that require a description or disclosure of potential environmental liabilities.

Operations

Very 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 and active pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturers to full-scale manufacturing, these property types are often subject to numerous regulatory standards involving wastewater discharges, air emissions from stacks or fume hoods, hazardous waste management (from generation and storage to off-site transportation and disposal), 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 that the client depends on for product development or manufacturing, non-compliant facility operations can have a material impact on a business’s ability to meet objectives in a timely and cost-effective manner. We can assist clients in determining whether the necessary permits under federal, state and local laws and ordinances are in place, as well as advise on the performance of internal environmental audits of facility operations.

Enforcement

We assist clients in responding to notices of violation or other correspondence (e.g., requests for information) 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.

Litigation

We have supported several 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.

Contact Us

If you identify potential environmental issues or your client is confronted directly by them, please contact our lawyers today to discuss your legal needs: Nate Brodeur (617.570.8263) and Bob Fitzgerald (617.570.1343)

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