Environmental regulations are constantly evolving as the impacts of human development are better understood. New federal and state laws are frequently adopted that affect public and private industries. Recent climate change initiatives are a good example. Our lawyers stay informed about recent developments in order to help our clients anticipate changes that will affect their businesses and to help them comply with new regulations. Our experience is not limited to new regulations. We work extensively on numerous and varied environmental issues, including the following:
Our comprehensive knowledge of environmental regulations allows us to provide valuable input and guidance on many types of environmental studies, plans, and permits, such as:
Our environmental clients consist of national and regional utility companies, manufacturers, real estate developers, mining companies, banks, timber companies and commercial businesses, including:
Environmental issues are an important consideration in many business transactions, including the purchase and sale of property or business assets, leases and foreclosures, and lender financing. Our attorneys regularly review real estate agreements, loan documents, and asset purchase agreements to address environmental liabilities that could arise from those transactions. We can also help you conduct due diligence and environmental audits.
Landlords and tenants of new buildings and buildings that have been renovated to maximize energy conservation might benefit from specifically tailored lease provisions.
When a client conducts an environmental investigation or remediation, we often draft and negotiate contracts with consulting firms, remediation contractors, and other firms that provide environmental services. Although many of these firms are well established and carry adequate insurance, their standard service agreements may need to be revised to protect your interests.
For more information about our business practice, see Business.
No one should start an environmental investigation or remediation without a clear strategy and a thorough consideration of end goals. Necessary environmental work can often be performed in a way that does not interfere with current uses of the property or future development plans. We provide clients with guidance concerning the nature and scope of remediation that is necessary or desirable, and help develop remedial action objectives that are cost-effective.
We represent clients that have been named as potentially liable persons at federal and state hazardous waste sites throughout Washington and Oregon. We can help you negotiate an agreed order or consent decree that contains an acceptable scope of remedial work and protects your right to recover future remedial action costs from other liable parties.
In response to climate change, we foresee an ever-stronger push for higher urban density and redevelopment, which brings with it common environmental challenges such as demolition of structures containing asbestos and lead paint, remediation of contaminated media and treatment of stormwater. Because of our comprehensive experience in real estate development we are uniquely qualified to deal with these challenges.
Conflicts over environmental problems can be protracted and expensive. Whenever possible, we work to solve conflicts through negotiation and mediation. We reserve litigation for those situations when negotiation or mediation is no longer useful or litigation is the only practical means of protecting the interests of our clients. If litigation is necessary, we have the legal and technical expertise to handle environmental cases skillfully and cost-effectively.
We regularly represent clients before federal, state, and local regulatory agencies, including the Department of Ecology, Environmental Protection Agency, Army Corps of Engineers, and Department of Fish & Wildlife. We also represent clients on environmental matters before the Pollution Controls Hearings Board and the Shorelines Hearings Board.
We represent clients in complex environmental litigation, including toxic tort cases, citizen suits, cost recovery lawsuits, insurance coverage and litigation arising under specific federal and state environmental programs such as CERCLA, CWA, MTCA, NEPA, and SEPA.