Environmental & Land Use General Overview
Environmental regulations have an impact on all aspects of property ownership and development. New Jersey is considered one of the most demanding jurisdictions in environmental regulatory controls. Brach Eichler’s Environmental & Land Use Group advises clients on all aspects of environmental law, assisting companies across a wide range of industries with challenging environmental, land use and natural resource concerns as well as in civil and criminal prosecution. Our attorneys have experience in virtually all aspects of environmental practice, including all transactional and litigation services, so we can help our clients navigate federal, state and local regulations and resolve disputes, in order to allow them to pursue their business objectives. We help assess – and then minimize – environmental risks in acquiring properties, maintaining operations and also provide solutions for cost effective site remediation.
Environmental Compliance Site Remediation
Environmental regulations are constantly changing. We at Brach Eichler counsel our clients to be proactive in managing environmental issues as part of their business strategies. This includes:
- Advising clients on state and federal environmental laws and regulations
- Addressing day-to-day business decisions to resolve environmental concerns and improve operations
- Assisting clients with environmental permitting; project development, natural resources issues and air pollution control; solid and hazardous waste, minimization, handling and disposal; vapor intrusion; and water issues
- Serving as common counsel to national Superfund trusts that successfully resolve lawsuits and identify responsible parties
- Facilitating clients' compliance with directives and administrative consent, working closely with the United States Environmental Protection Agency
- Overseeing environmental consultants and engineers in the conduct of remedial activities and interaction with the public
- Counseling on compliance with site remediation requirements under CERCLA, NJ Spill Act, ISRA and other regulatory programs
- Representing parties seeking to purchase property and conducting environmental due diligence
- Counseling on Underground Storage Tank (UST) compliance and closure programs
Litigation, Civil & Criminal Enforcement and Toxic Tort Law
Our attorneys have trial and appellate experience in state and federal courts, and before administrative agencies, including:
- Representing clients in civil and administrative enforcement actions, as well as private lawsuits
- Representing clients in administrative appeals
- Litigating suits involving current and former owners, tenants and operators over cleanup responsibility, cost recovery, contribution, and related costs and damages
- Negotiating with state environmental agencies and the United States Environmental Protection Agency to lower penalties and resolve enforcement actions involving environmental compliance issues for air, water, stormwater, hazardous and solid waste, and spill prevention
- Defending potentially responsible parties in government cost recovery and liability actions
- Representing defendants in major complex toxic tort litigation involving numerous plaintiffs and defendants
- Assisting individuals, developers and large corporations with environmental issues involved in real estate transactions
- Working with real estate counsel to draft environmental provisions benefiting clients in purchase and sale agreements and other loan documents and overcoming lender hesitancy and reservation where environmentally challenged properties serve as loan collateral
- Advising clients on the selection, retention and supervision of environmental consultants and engineers
- Identifying issues and finding solutions to avoid future environmental problems associated with transactions
Land Development, Planning and Zoning
Our land use attorneys represent owners and developers of real estate in all phases of the approval and entitlement process, including securing zoning changes; obtaining site plan, subdivision and variance approvals; and resolving land use, code and regulatory compliance issues. We provide counsel on affordable housing and land preservation matters.
- Defending the property owner and property manager of buildings surrounding Ground Zero arising from the World Trade Center terrorist attacks.
- Serving as common counsel for PRP Groups at Superfund sites in Fairfield, NJ and Puerto Rico.
- Defending the property owner of a former school against vapor intrusion toxic tort claim
- Litigating to establish the liability of a prior site operator that had contaminated a client’s property over 40 years earlier.
- Handling EPA enforcement action for UST compliance issues.
- Handling negotiations to resolve a Title V Air Permitting enforcement action against an oil company.
- Defending a former tenant, which historically conducted manufacturing operations at the landlord’s property, to defeat the former landlord’s efforts to secure an NJDEP re-opener of a No Further Action determination in order to assert New Jersey Spill Act claims.
A New York City Brownfield Project Worked on by Brach Eichler's Environmental Department Receives a Big Apple Brownfield Award