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Practice Area

Hazardous Substances Remediation

We help clients navigate all aspects of solid and hazardous waste management and remediation, including related litigation.  Our attorneys bring to any such matter their recognized expertise in the complex federal, state, and local regulations; rich experience with real estate, construction, tax, and insurance issues; and amassed collective knowledge of historical industrial and manufacturing operations in the New York City metro area.  To enhance the Firm’s ability to evaluate risks and problem solve, we work with a refined network of specialized engineers, scientists, and other consultants.

We understand the challenges, risks, and costs associated with managing solid and hazardous wastes as an aspect of property development and construction.  We advise clients on the applicable legal requirements and best practices, discuss opportunities for environmental insurance, negotiate responses to enforcement actions, and handle litigation.

Property owners and developers routinely come to us for advice on and assistance with applying to the New York State Brownfield Cleanup Program (“BCP”), which provides financial incentives for the voluntary remediation and redevelopment of historically contaminated properties.  The Firm advises clients as to the BCP eligibility criteria and works closely with consultants to ensure that application materials maximize clients’ likelihood of acceptance.  Our attorneys then oversee the remediation to ensure compliance with all aspects of the BCP.  Finally, we guide clients through the complicated closure process, negotiating easements and other associated agreements required to obtain a Certificate of Completion and provide advice on the availability of tax credits.  The Firm’s experience includes negotiating real estate transactions involving the transfer of BCP tax credits.

Contamination can lead to litigation in a variety of ways, which we have the expertise to manage.  Since the adoption of the federal Superfund statute (“CERCLA”) in 1980, our attorneys have prosecuted and defended many significant cost recovery actions seeking to recover the costs of cleaning up hazardous substances.  We also maintain an active practice representing both plaintiffs and defendants in actions brought under similar state laws.  We have defended potentially responsible parties (“PRPs”) in many government-initiated actions. Our attorneys have a record of obtaining favorable settlements in these types of cases, often raising money from third-parties to fund cleanups or achieving cost-saving remedy modifications.

“Limits on CERCLA Recovery for Legacy Sites: Emerging Statute of Limitations Issues”

For: The Practical Real Estate Lawyer

September 2023

“Demonstrating Divisibility at Sediment Megasites: Building a Case against Joint and Several Liability in Superfund Waterways,” Co-Author

For: Environmental Law in New York; Co-Author(s): Priya Murthy

August 2015

“Plan View: Survey of Current Environmental Enforcement and Real Estate Development Regulation in New York,” Presenter

For: New York State Bar Association

May 20, 2015