The Gibbons Environmental Department is recognized among the region’s top-tier environmental practices, with talented attorneys who have decades of environmental experience in both the public and private sectors, some of whom are former environmental scientists and engineers possessing strong working ties to regulatory agencies. Department members handle all areas of environmental law, most recently playing leading roles in various multi-party remediation matters that have arisen in large and complex sediment remediation sites in New Jersey and New York. Department members also work closely with environmental consultants to assist clients in identifying and managing environmental risk in real estate and corporate transactions to limit potential exposure. Our sophisticated client base has repeatedly turned to our attorneys in multifaceted environmental litigation, in which we have served in various capacities, including common counsel or lead counsel in developing strategy for groups of potentially responsible parties (PRPs). This level of experience also serves our clients well in individual representations.
Areas of Focus
The Gibbons Environmental Department has represented potentially responsible parties in Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), Clean Water Act (CWA), Clean Air Act (CAA), and Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) litigated matters. Indeed, the firm has represented PRPs in many of the significant landfill and sediment cases in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, among other states. Gibbons also represents clients in both administrative proceedings and court proceedings involving private party environmental actions and toxic tort litigation.
Gibbons prosecutes and defends matters involving statutory and common law theories of liability in a variety of cases, including property damage due to environmental contamination. The Environmental Department also has extensive experience working with clients to minimize Natural Resource Damage (NRD) claims and related litigation in both federal and state matters. Numerous clients have retained the firm to handle all aspects of environmental insurance coverage, not only actions involving CERCLA and private cost recovery issues, including personal injury and toxic tort claims, but also those concerned with securing appropriate coverages from issuing carriers.
Our clients include Fortune 500 companies, regional mid-market companies, and closely held businesses that operate in all sectors of the economy.
Regulatory Compliance and Permitting Matters
The Department’s regulatory experience before administrative boards and agencies is remarkable in its breadth. We handle both federal and state administrative hearings on air, hazardous waste, water, and noise pollution matters and assist our clients in air, water, and waste permitting matters. We have represented developers and owners in advancing matters concerning coastal zones, wetlands, stream encroachments, and waterfront development permits. We have helped clients resolve wetland issues with federal and state agencies, including establishing Wetlands Mitigation Banks.
In addition, clients call on us to provide guidance and assistance with a wide array of general regulatory compliance questions, including issues relating to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Clean Air Act (CAA), Clean Water Act (CWA), and Community Right to Know Laws. Our due diligence attorneys are adept in asbestos regulations and supervise site audits and compliance evaluations. We regularly work with our clients in the preparation of compliance manuals and provide assistance in connection with internal audits.
We have been involved in many Industrial Site Recovery Act (ISRA) matters since enactment of its predecessor statute, the Environmental Cleanup and Responsibility Act (ECRA), in 1983. We have also worked with numerous Licensed Site Remediation Professionals to obtain, on behalf of our clients, response action outcomes under the more recent Site Remediation Reform Act (SRRA) of 2009. Under both regulatory schemes, our Department has been involved in extensive negotiations with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) in connection with the investigation, remediation, and transfer of New Jersey properties. We have also assisted numerous clients undertaking site investigations and remediations in other states, including New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, working with their respective state environmental agencies.
Redevelopment, Including Brownfields Projects
The attorneys in the Gibbons Environmental Department are practical problem solvers who represent developers, investors, and responsible parties in various redevelopment projects, including the redevelopment of Brownfields. We have assisted in obtaining Brownfield redevelopment permits and grants under New Jersey’s Brownfield Site Remediation Act; Certificates of Completion and tax credits under New York’s Brownfield Cleanup Act; and Brownfield grants from NJDEP and the New York City Mayor’s Office of Environmental Remediation. We regularly counsel clients regarding compliance with and approvals under the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act. Frequently, we are called on to bring together various disciplines in locating facilities in the region, work that includes approaching various regulators to obtain insight into the approval process.
Real Estate and Corporate Transactions
We also provide support for a wide array of transactions involving both voluntary and involuntary transfers of property and businesses, counseling on such issues as lender liability, environmental implications of stock transfers, and initial placement offers, as well as drafting environmental provisions in contracts and lease agreements. We assist in all phases of environmental due diligence to manage environmental risks in business and real estate transactions. We are actively engaged in representing our clients on complex environmental issues that arise in bankruptcy matters. We assist clients in addressing the environmental aspects of plant and facilities construction, renovation, relocation, and dismantling, as well as land, plant, and facilities purchases, sales, and leasing. We assist with due diligence being conducted as part of corporate stock and/or asset purchases and provide strategic advice related to potential legacy liability resulting from corporate transactions.