Environmental Compliance Program Development:
After working with a client to develop a comprehensive understanding of what regulations may be applicable to its operations, the firm can assist the client in the development of an Environmental Compliance Program to help monitor its compliance on an ongoing basis. An Environmental Compliance Program can help clients reduce waste and costs, maintain updated recordkeeping, and reduce environmental legacy liabilities.
Clean Water Act Permitting and Reporting:
Many of the firm’s clients are required to maintain a wastewater discharge permit in accordance with the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (Clean Water Act) due to their classification as Significant Industrial Users of systems served by Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTWs). The firm can counsel client’s throughout the process of obtaining such permits, monitoring compliance in accordance with the terms and conditions of the permit, and respond to issues of non-compliance and/or enforcement that may arise.
Environmental Counseling Services:
The firm provides counsel to business clients on various environmental compliance issues, including solid and hazardous waste generation (RCRA/HSWA), liquid industrial waste, reduction of legacy waste liability (CERCLA/NREPA), universal waste exemptions, the storage and use of hazardous or toxic materials (EPCRA), release specific reporting requirements, “owner/operator” liabilities, and pollution prevention planning.
The firm offers counsel to employers whose workplace environment is regulated by the applicable Occupational Safety and Health Act standards (MIOSHA), including guidance on how to handle on-site inspections and responses to any alleged violations. Often times, a periodic review of the most often cited violations and effective management of inspections can dramatically reduce fines and penalties issued to an employer.
Environmental Site Assessment:
The firm provides counsel to clients prior to and throughout any real estate acquisition to help them understand the available strategies for reducing potential future liability stemming from the past, current, and future intended use of a target property. The firm’s clients benefit from its substantial experience in conducting Phase I Environmental Site Assessments that comply with the most current definition of All Appropriate Inquiries (AAI) and an assessment of whether any of the statutory exemptions from potential future liability may be applicable to a given client’s fact and circumstances. The firm also helps its client, as the potential purchaser, understand what, if any, ongoing due diligence may be necessary to preserve the exemption from future liability while preventing any unacceptable risk of exposure or exacerbation of existing conditions. Such due diligence obligations would be addressed during the development of an Environmental Compliance Program.
Remedial Investigations, Response Activities and Due Diligence:
If a client discovers contamination on property that they own or operate, the firm offers clients counsel throughout the process from remedial investigation to site closure. These situations are often discovered due to facility expansion/upgrade or during the due diligence period leading up to the potential sale of a property and may have existed unbeknownst to the property owner for years.