Practice/Industry Group Overview
We handle issues related to environmental regulations, compliance and permitting across a wide range of industries and businesses uses. Those services include:
- Siting, permitting and operating industrial, manufacturing, service, public, and research and development facilities
- Purchase of and lending for industrial properties
- Environmental insurance coverage litigation
- Compliance advice
- Enforcement defense
Guiding you through site selection and evaluation
Property buyers and lenders can significantly reduce future business risks and costs by being smart when they select and evaluate real estate. A Transaction Screen or Phase I Environmental Site Assessment of the site and adjoining areas is a must to minimize potential environmental liability for prospective purchasers and lenders.
In addition to the environmental assessment, a wetlands delineation of the purchased property is mandatory if federal permits are needed for dredging and filling wetlands. Also, endangered species and historic preservation issues, often regulated by the federal government, may need to be addressed.
Managing property remediation challenges
Companies, government agencies, lenders and others often face complex challenges when dealing with sites where petroleum products or other hazardous materials, such as solvents, may be present. Our lawyers are adept at advising our clients through the process of assessing the site, evaluating remedial options, negotiating with government agencies and third parties, and marketing the property.
Navigating complex regulations and litigation
There are a variety of regulatory issues that property owners, facility operators or lenders may face when using a site for certain uses. Nexsen Pruet’s environmental law attorneys have the skills and experience to successfully guide you through these matters. Nexsen Pruet represents clients in litigation involving environmental insurance coverage. These include companies attempting to invoke coverage, as well as insurers who have denied coverage. Several of our attorneys have extensive experience with all aspects of environmental insurance issues.
We handle matters related to:
COASTAL AND WETLAND PERMITTING
State and Federal permits for construction impacting tidal waters must be obtained for projects including docks, piers, marinas, impoundments, dredging, and erosion control. In addition, state certifications, including coastal zone consistency certifications and 401 water quality certifications must be obtained prior to issuance of any federal permits.
Almost any manufacturing facility is likely to result in air emissions that required permits. These would include activities such as the installation of boilers emitting particulates and steam, dust collectors controlling particulates, or process equipment emitting volatile organic compounds.
Unless otherwise exempt, a construction permit is required prior to starting any site activities. Certain facilities may also be subject to the federal/state Title V operating permit program.
WASTEWATER AND STORMWATER PERMITTING
New industrial or publicly owned facilities will require permits, before construction, for wastewater treatment and pretreatment facilities for process and sanitary wastewater. Also, a federal/state permit is required for a direct discharge into a waterway or an industrial user permit for a discharge to a publicly owned treatment system.
Stormwater discharge permits are required for construction activities that involve disturbances greater than two acres. A stormwater discharge permit may also be required for ongoing industrial activities.
SOLID AND HAZARDOUS WASTE
All industrial solid waste must be characterized to determine proper management requirements. Government regulations strictly control the transportation, treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous wastes. Land disposal facilities for non-hazardous waste, including industrial sludge, are also regulated. Solid waste management facilities, such as compactors, transfer stations, recycling or recovered materials processing facilities, may also require permits.
On-site drinking water systems for employees may require pre-construction permits and operating permits. Your drinking water system may also have additional regulatory requirements.
Underground storage tanks (for petroleum and hazardous substances) are regulated, and financial responsibility requirements apply to petroleum USTs. Government regulations require periodic filing of inventory reports and emission reports for certain chemicals. These requirements may vary considerably depending on the activity at the site.