Environmental issues can affect businesses, regardless of their size, in a variety of ways. Issues may arise in daily operations, during the sale or purchase of a business, or as a result of an accidental release of hazardous substances. A business may not encounter environmental issues on a regular basis, but Tucker Arensberg’s environmental practice counsels clients about such problems every day.
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, they can negotiate suitable contract terms.
The main focus of environmental due diligence is to uncover liabilities under:
- Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA)
- 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 perform all appropriate inquiry, 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 traditionally 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 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, energy companies and property owners. A sampling of our services includes:
- Jury trial concerning oil & gas operations
- Responding to EPA information requests under CERCLA
- Negotiating consent decrees with Pennsylvania DEP over alleged violations
- Defending against 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. Tucker Arensberg’s environmental group is ready to assist you.