We have extensive experience counseling clients about the various compliance, liability, cost recovery and technological options available to them upon the discovery of contamination at, or emanating from, their property. We have worked on cases where the property is commercial, industrial, residential and publicly-owned; and in cases involving leaking underground storage tanks, dumping, accidental spills, and “legacy” pollution, which is pollution caused by the disposal of contaminates prior to the enactment of modern environmental regulations. Thus we can provide sound advice regarding the legal issues raised by the necessity to proceed with a site remediation, and assist clients in orchestrating the process, which can be a daunting task.
Identify the source and the time of any discharge of pollution in order to effectively remediate contamination and seek contribution from potentially responsible parties and insurance carriers is very important. This determination often depends on scientific forensic analysis. We use expert evidence to support conclusions as to the timing of contaminated discharges, and their occurrence during applicable insured periods. In these efforts, and in the face of competing expert evidence, we undertake the most searching and delicate evidentiary analyses. We also work with environmental scientists including geologists, hydrogeologists, chemists, and metallurgists, as well as other experts, to develop the evidence necessary to defend or prosecute legal positions.
In some cases, discharges alleged to have occurred from certain property combines with contamination from another source or enters into a plume of existing groundwater contamination. In these instances, we work with an array of experts to differentiate contamination in order to protect our client’s interests.
We have well-established excellent relationships with numerous New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection employees, which allows us to communicate efficiently with the Department and facilitate compliance with a minimum of costly delays. We also work closely with environmental scientists and other experts to evaluate remedial alternatives and innovative technologies and to establish effective remediation objectives that will lead to the speediest possible issuance of No Further Action (NFA) letters, Response Action Outcome (RAO) determinations, or other final remediation documents.
In addition, as noted below, on behalf of clients needing financial assistance, we have applied for and obtained numerous State grants and loans from the Petroleum Underground Storage Tank Remediation, Upgrade and Closure Fund and the Hazardous Discharge Site Remediation Fund. As a result of this work, many remediations that would have otherwise been cost-prohibitive have been successfully remediated and our clients have been able to convert otherwise unmarketable property into a valuable asset.