Our Environmental Practice Group has extensive experience in counseling and representing clients on a wide variety of environmental matters. Whether a matter is simple or complex, we consistently deliver creative, progressive and cost-effective solutions by employing the right combination of legal expertise, technical knowledge, business acumen and understanding of our clients’ objectives. Our specific areas of expertise are described below.
We have substantial experience in assisting clients with site remediation projects performed pursuant to federal or state agency enforcement actions or pursuant to voluntary cleanup programs in Illinois and in many other states. Our attorneys have an intimate knowledge of the complex statutory and regulatory framework that governs site remediation and work effectively with consultants and regulators in this highly technical area of the law. We provide the full range of remediation-related legal services on matters relating to regulatory process, cleanup standards, contracts for engineering and remediation services and negotiation of completion agreements with federal and state regulatory agencies. We have substantial experience in remediation projects involving radiological contamination including cleanup pursuant to federal agency orders and pursuant to Nuclear Regulatory Commission license termination proceedings. We have worked extensively on cleanup of U.S. Department of Defense facilities under the Base Realignment and Closure program (including representing developers of the U.S. Army’s Fort Sheridan, Lake County, Illinois, the Orlando Naval Training Center, Orlando, Florida, and the U.S. Navy’s David Taylor Research Center, Annapolis, Maryland).
Environmental Compliance and Permitting
Our attorneys represent clients in a broad range of environmental compliance and permitting matters, including regulatory proceedings for water and air permits, pesticide registration proceedings, PCB cleanups and asbestos and lead-based paint abatement projects. We assist in audits of client facilities and operations to minimize risks of violations and in appropriate circumstances assist clients in complying with federal and state self-audit policies so as to reduce or avoid entirely fines and penalties for violations. We counsel clients on the design and implementation of effective corporate environmental compliance programs. Our attorneys are skilled at working with issues involving wetlands and identification and execution of appropriate mitigation strategies as needed for effective property utilization.
Environmental Issues in Transactions
We provide sophisticated, timely and practical expertise on environmental matters in corporate and real estate transactions, including environmental due diligence, issue identification, contract negotiations, risk allocations and implementation of environmental insurance programs and other risk reduction mechanisms. We have deep experience in representing sellers, purchasers, developers, landlords, tenants and lenders to advance the clients’ interests with the practical and solutions-oriented approach needed for successful transactions. We are particularly skilled at counseling facility purchasers and lenders on available defenses to “owner/operator” liability under CERCLA and state environmental laws.
We have a broad range of experience in environmental litigation, from private party contractual disputes over contaminated property to statutory claims brought by state and federal environmental authorities. Our firm has litigated CERCLA cost recovery cases, agency enforcement actions and citizens’ suits under RCRA, class actions and both individual and mass toxic tort matters. We have also handled significant insurance coverage disputes involving asbestos, chemical exposure and environmental remediation.