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Any transaction involving the transfer of real estate, stock or business assets has the potential to trigger significant environmental liability issues.  Our environmental lawyers bring years of experience to such projects. We help clients identify and address liabilities associated with both known and unknown environmental conditions to minimize risks and maximize options. 

We assist our clients in planning and overseeing the work of environmental engineers and consultants in investigating and remediating Brownfields under federal and state-based programs. Typically, these efforts involve considerable strategizing concerning the breadth of work necessary to meet applicable cleanup standards and other remediation guidance.

We understand the different and frequently overlapping federal (Superfund and RCRA) and state transfer and remediation laws that impact those sites, and help our clients to clean up these sites in concert with redevelopment plans. Available tools include prospective purchaser agreements, covenants not to sue, innocent purchaser "safe harbors" and Environmental Land Use Restrictions.  Other vital tools are insurance products such as pollution legal liability and cost cap policies that, properly selected and negotiated, can effectively minimize risks of toxic tort and other third party actions and cost overruns. We also assist our clients in identifying and taking advantage of Brownfields grant and loan programs that are available from state and federal agencies.

The "Superfund" statute, passed by Congress in 1980, has dramatically affected the business community over the past three decades, as millions of dollars have been applied to address historic disposal and release practices. We have been involved in Superfund actions since the beginning of the program, representing myriad large and small clients in minimizing the liabilities relating to their generator, transporter, or site owner or operator status. Such representations have ranged from Superfund sites involving a half dozen "potentially responsible parties" ("PRPs") to larger sites with hundreds or even thousands of such PRPs. Our experience includes helping PRPs perform remedies, assisting PRPs in obtaining partial or full "cash out" settlements, and pursuing and defending cost recovery and contribution actions.

Given New England's rich manufacturing tradition, many properties and businesses confront the legacy of historic releases of manufacturing processes, such as petroleum, solvents, plating wastes and pesticides. When land or assets change hands, buyers, lenders and sellers must identify and evaluate environmental risks, negotiate appropriate contract terms and comply with applicable laws. Our Environmental practice counsels clients in all aspects of such transactions. We pride ourselves in facilitating transactions through creative solutions that protect our clients from known and unknown liabilities. Often, solutions involve working hand-in-hand, not just with environmental consultants and parties to a transaction, but also agency personnel at various levels to best identify, allocate and manage risks. Our experience involves the consideration and application of all available tools, including qualification to the maximum extent possible under the regulatory liability "safe harbors" and use of sophisticated risk transfer mechanisms such as cost-cap and pollution legal liability insurance products.

Related Information

Site Remediation (Brownfields)

  • Played lead role in the state's first municipal brownfields project. Our client was able to acquire a blighted property, secure state funding for remediation, and transfer to a neighboring manufacturer, allowing the company to remain and grow in Connecticut. This breakthrough transaction occurred prior to the development of brownfields program. The creative solutions brokered by our attorneys became the basis for our current brownfields laws.
  • Represented Fortune 100 company in obtaining clean closure, termination of interim status under RCRA, and final cleanup under the Transfer Act.  This is only the second site in Connecticut to achieve final approval allowing the site to exit the RCRA regulatory program.
  • Represented retail company who is negotiating with a city and a large petroleum company to clean up a former tank farm and convert it to a distribution center. 
  • Assisted solid waste management authority in transferring environmental remediation liabilities for Brownfield site to an environmental consulting firm backed by a pollution legal liability insurance policy and other securities.   The Site is being remediated under Connecticut's Property Transfer Act.
  • Assisted large aluminum company in transferring environmental remediation liabilities for brownfield site to an environmental consulting firm. The transaction included both pollution legal liability and cost cap insurance policies to control risks and back the cleanup obligations of the contracted firm.
  • Represented the past owner/operator of a manufacturing facility that was sold for redevelopment as a shopping center.  As part of the transaction, we negotiated an agreement with the developer pursuant to which our client accepted responsibility under the Transfer Act for remediating the property in compliance with remediation standards and TSCA PCB requirements in conjunction with the redevelopment process.  To minimize remediation costs, we obtained state and federal approval for the on-site reuse of PCB contaminated materials.
  • Assisted innovative renewable energy generator in acquiring a Brownfields site for redevelopment as a renewable fuel processing and electric generation facility. The purchaser will assume responsibility for executing a Remedial Action plan, however, the potential risks are mitigated by a remediation cost cap insurance policy. 
  • Represented a major affordable housing developer in connection with multiple projects including purchase and redevelopment of old industrial mill properties. 
  • Represented Fortune 100 company in connection with the investigation and remediation of a former ammunition manufacturing facility, which is the largest undeveloped industrial / commercial site in Fairfield County. Activities included negotiating a corrective action consent order with U.S. EPA, obtaining approval of a corrective action management unit (CAMU) and development of final remediation standards.
  • Represented manufacturing client in Brownfields redevelopment project where our client is remediating PCBs and other pollutants simultaneously with construction of a new shopping center.

Site Remediation (Superfund)

  • Represented Fortune 100 company in connection with remedy negotiation and performance issues at a municipal landfill site. The matter has involved multiple settlements, including a de minimis settlement, negotiating an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for mixed funding for the remedy and several Records of Decision. 
  • Assisted aerospace company in connection with Superfund liability at sites in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Colorado. 
  • Represented a PRP Group in implementing a Remedial Design and Remedial Action Consent Decree at a Superfund site in Connecticut. 
  • Represented a small manufacturing company in connection with U.S. EPA Remedial Action at its facility in Massachusetts, which was destroyed by an explosion. 
  • Represented a Fortune 100 company in negotiations with the federal and state Natural Resources Trustees over alleged natural resources damages in a coastal setting.  The matter was successfully negotiated with a reasonable payment to the Trustees for wetlands restoration.
  • Represented numerous clients in connection with Superfund litigation or settlements, de minimis or otherwise, at Superfund sites in Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.