Tucker Arensberg’s environmental practice focuses on transactions and litigation.
Environmental Issues in Transactions
Mergers, acquisitions and real estate transactions require environmental due diligence. If the parties understand the known environmental risks or can assign the risk of unknown environmental risks, contracts can be drafted to protect them.
The main focus of environmental due diligence is to uncover liabilities under:
- Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA)
- Pennsylvania’s Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act
- Storage Tank Act
- Clean Streams Law
- Other state and federal laws pertinent to a particular business
In conducting due diligence, we work with leading environmental consultants to identify “recognized environmental concerns” and quantify the likely costs of corrective action.
Because parties to a transaction often have conflicting attitudes about post-closing environmental liabilities, we work with our clients to negotiate and draft representations, warranties and indemnities sufficient to help protect their interests.
Protecting lenders against environmental liabilities has been a special focus of our environmental practice. We help our lender clients decide whether:
- Environmental conditions on a property are satisfactory to support financing
- Environmental contamination on collateral property militates against foreclosure
We have worked with banks in dozens of environmental due diligence projects in relation to loans and foreclosures.
Pennsylvania’s Act 2 of 1995 allows flexible cleanup strategies for commercial sites. We have worked with our clients in the context of real estate and other transactions to use Act 2 to restore the value of contaminated brownfield properties.
We represent clients in a wide array of environmental litigation. Our clients have included manufacturers, utilities, financial institutions and property owners. A sampling of our services include:
- Jury trials concerning oil & gas operations
- Responding to EPA information requests under CERCLA
- Negotiating consent decrees with Pennsylvania’s DEP over alleged violations
- Defending EPA cost recovery actions
- Litigating private party cost recovery actions
- Defending toxic tort cases alleging hazardous exposure to pesticides, solvents, metals and other materials
- Representing landowners in connection with wind energy projects
- Seeking recovery under Pennsylvania’s Underground Storage Tank Indemnification Fund
As environmental laws and regulations multiply in scope and number, businesses need experienced environmental counsel to help them avoid costly pitfalls.