Practice/Industry Group Overview
Connell Foley’s Environmental Law practice group features lawyers with decades of experience in regulatory compliance, complex litigation, transactional due diligence, as well as spills and other environmental catastrophes. When crises strike, our lawyers manage risk through effective communications with lead investigative agencies, government organizations, potential claimants, employees, and the media, facilitating a comprehensive plan to reduce the client’s litigation exposure. The group’s lawyers are strongly credentialed in applicable specialized fields, possessing degrees in geology, public health, and environmental law. Our group also contains professional engineers and a certified industrial hygienist.
Connell Foley’s environmental law team enjoys a deep engagement with clients involved in numerous industries:
||Commercial energy, producers, marketers, and utilities
||Contractors, architects, and engineers
|Directors and Officers
|Mining and Milling
||Oil and gas producers and refiners
||Power project developers
||Property / land owners
||Terminals and Warehousing
Our Spectrum of Services
The group is fluent in all federal, state and local environmental regimes, including the Clean Air Act, Industrial Site Recovery Act (ISRA), Brownfields and Contaminated Site Remediation Act, Hazardous Discharge Site Remediation Act (HDSRA), and the federal Superfund law (CERCLA). Our lawyers routinely appear before – and negotiate with – major governmental agencies, including OSHA, USEPA, USDOJ, USDOT, NJDEP, and NYDEC.
Our interdisciplinary team of environmental specialists offers expertise in a wide array of services, including:
- Environmental crisis management
- Regulatory compliance/permitting
Connell Foley attorneys strive to provide clients with cost-effective litigation strategies that achieve their business goals. We have significant experience with both state and federal environmental litigation ranging from wetlands and coastal permit appeals to private disputes addressing cleanup responsibility. With well-respected expertise in allied areas of litigation – including Mass and Toxic Tort, Class Actions, Transportation, and Product Liability – our Environmental Law team is able to address each facet of litigation with exacting precision and cutting-edge legal knowledge. Our litigators are adept at creating strategies that can attend to multiple disputes – in multiple venues and jurisdictions – with an eye toward crafting comprehensive solutions that achieve results.
Environmental Crisis Management
Beyond day-to-day legal advice, our team provides counsel in mass toxic tort cases for large and small companies and for individuals and has done so for decades. Our lawyers provide customized solutions in enforcement actions brought by federal, state, and local governments, and are skilled at handling the multiple actions that often arise from high-profile environmental crises resulting from accidents and/or allegations of mishandling or negligence.
Catastrophic events can be dramatic and emotional for company officers and directors, as well as the individuals impacted by a crisis. Connell Foley provides a sure hand and sound judgment from the critical initial stages of a crisis – such as the discovery of contamination – through to resolution, including spill and release reporting, public relations, and litigation, when necessary.
We manage the entire process of environmental activity impacted by special laws concerning wetlands, coastal or waterfront areas, flood plains, and environmentally impaired property, among others. Our team arranges permit applications and sorts out the complex maze of statutes and regulations impacting your operations or your community. Our compliance and permitting practice is experienced in handling matters related to:
- Solid waste, hazardous waste and hazardous substance generation, transportation, disposal, and remediation activities
- Permits for air emissions and effluent discharges
- Operations, safety, handling, and materials transportation review
- Identification, evaluation, and allocation of environmental costs, rights, and obligations with infill development, historic structures, Greenfields, Greyfields, and Brownfields
- Negotiations and settlements in environmental litigation, lawsuits, and directives
Connell Foley counsels clients at the operations stage by consulting in connection with pollution control equipment, air emissions direction and industrial wastewater discharge, and storage and disposal of retired equipment or process waste. When faced with alleged violations or seeking remedies in connection with emerging state law chemicals regulations, our team is equipped to navigate clients through the investigatory and litigation process.
Connell Foley attorneys are assiduous in staying current with the latest rulings related to every environmental issue that could hinder our clients’ operations. Indeed, our team is often asked to participate in the policy process, providing advice on proposed regulations and insights about the consequences of an approach. Our expertise covers most environmental concerns that regional businesses might have, including:
- We have addressed the Clean Air Act, Industrial Site Recovery Act (ISRA), Brownfields and Contaminated Site Remediation Act, and Hazardous Discharge Site Remediation Act (HDSRA)
- We are fluent in the federal Superfund law and its state counterparts, such as the New Jersey Spill Act, and thousands of other rules and regulations. We have significant experience addressing multi-party CERCLA sediment and site cleanup matters
- We have addressed compliance matters relating to air emissions and New Jersey Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NJPDES) effluent discharges, solid and hazardous wastes, hazardous substance generation, transportation, disposal, and remediation
- We address issues relating to wetlands, coastal, and waterfront areas, as well as stormwater and flood hazard area permitting
- We have significant experience and regularly work with the EPA, the Department of Transportation (DOT), OSHA, and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) to address environmental issues dealing with hazardous materials and worker health and safety, including Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasures (SPCC); Discharge Prevention, Containment, and Countermeasure (DPCC); Chemical Right-To-Know Strategy (CRTKS), Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA); Title III Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA); Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) requirements; underground storage tanks (USTs); asbestos; and lead abatement
- We advise clients on site investigation remediation and cleanups under the Site Remediation Reform Act (SRRA) and the Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) process. We were integrally involved in drafting and enactment of the SRRA in 2009 and subsequent NJDEP regulations, including establishment of LSRPs and SRRA’s new “affirmative duty to conduct remediation” according to NJDEP
- We routinely advise clients on site investigation, remediation, and cleanups, including reporting obligations with respect to spills, sampling results showing the exceeding of remediation standards, and other information
Clients turn to Connell Foley for a variety of transactional advice when environmental issues are key to successfully achieving business goals. The Environmental Law group is involved in performing M&A due diligence for both buyers and sellers, assisting clients in identifying potential risks and insurance issues. The group also advises clients seeking financing for brownfield and other environmental projects covered by the New Jersey Hazardous Discharge Site Remediation Fund and through the Environmental Infrastructure Trust/Financing Program.
We regularly propose, prepare, and plan company regulatory compliance procedures and activities. We provide support for contract and transactions by advising, drafting, and commenting on transactional documents. We arrange for submission of necessary documentation to federal, state, and local environmental agencies, and we assist in the deal-making stage of a transaction by helping clients to identify and avoid potential risks and insurance issues and to find and obtain public and private funding.