Regulatory agency and municipal government actions materially affect our clients’ business goals. Stradley Ronon’s environmental lawyers effectively represent our clients before regulatory agencies and municipal governments to ensure the fair application of the law and to advocate for changes in the law to reflect our clients’ needs. We press for equitable permit conditions in air, water and solid waste permits and ensure the seamless incorporation of permit conditions into other project approvals. We also frequently appear before municipal environmental advisory committees, planning commissions and zoning hearing boards, as environmental issues frequently emerge in development projects and can be subject to arbitrary treatment under local political pressure. We also advise clients on eminent domain and ensure the appropriate handling of environmental claims and issues.
Effective liability prevention requires our environmental lawyers to thoroughly understand a client’s business so that legal counseling and planning can have immediate practical relevance to a client. We strive to know our clients’ businesses and understand their facilities. We work closely with them to develop workable solutions to issues and develop comprehensive and pragmatic policies and procedures to allow clients to effectively manage recurring environmental compliance issues. Our overriding goal is to demonstrate that our proposed compliance programs enhance our clients’ overall financial performance.
Transaction & Remediation Management
Our lawyers perform the thorough due diligence necessary to identify environmental liability issues; structure transactions to manage and allocate any such liabilities; and ensure that our clients’ protections are underwritten by a combination of strong indemnity funds, insurance products and liability transfer agreements. We routinely seek liability protections from federal and state authorities and use these as the foundation for our redevelopment and brownfield transactions. We know that clients frequently benefit from the reuse of strategically located blighted land, and we maximize tax benefits, grants and low-interest loan availability to suit our clients’ preferences. We have substantial experience in strategizing remediation approaches when a new discharge occurs or when an ongoing remediation seems to be languishing. Understanding the technical aspect of remediations, as well as the legal issues, allows us to bring practical guidance to clients dealing with inconvenient problems.
We regularly represent clients in cases deciding environmental liability, whether in the enforcement context or between private parties. Our experience includes aggressive and complex enforcement defense under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and many state and local laws. We also bring actions for contribution under a variety of environmental programs, including the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), to ensure that clients are not burdened with unwarranted or inequitable liabilities. Moreover, we represent major companies on mass exposure cases acting not only as trial attorneys, but also frequently as appellate and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) counsel.
Alternative Energy & Sustainability Projects
Our attorneys are well versed in the evolving area of alternative energy and sustainability concepts and have worked on the planning, permitting and implementation of projects involving solar installations and power purchase agreements; offshore wind, CNG facilities, combined heat and power projects; and, in conjunction with our energy practice group, sophisticated petroleum site conversions, expansions and permitting.