Practice Areas

Environmental Issues & Compliance

Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, EPA Compliance, Permits, Hazardous Materials, Underground Storage Tanks, Wash Out Recovery, Retention Basins

The EPA and individual state agencies monitor the environment in accordance with environmental laws to assure that the environment is protected from harm caused by both public and private entities.  For the business owner, this comes down to a couple words – compliance and liability.

There are many environmental laws that control certain aspects of various industries.  There are also environmental laws which may impose liabilities upon a business for non-compliance.  Does your business produce potentially hazardous materials along with your products?  We can help you to determine if your business is in compliance with local, state and federal guidelines concerning run-off, chemical storage, underground storage tanks or asbestos or other regulated materials.

One important way to avoid liabilities for environmental problems is to do your research ahead of time.  When purchasing any property, it is a good idea to have an environmental study done first.  The same is true when purchasing an existing business, particularly if you intend to use the same facility.  The best way to manage environmental risk is to know what you are buying and understand the risk ahead of time.  We have worked with clients to manage this risk and negotiate certain concessions from governmental agencies before you buy.  We have even negotiated the re-use of environmentally contaminated property (called a "brownfield") by working with the state and federal agencies.  This was the first consent decree ever done to re-use a former metal finishing facility.

Any and all of the above situations must be evaluated.  Failure to do so leaves your business open to substantial liabilities.  Even working with authorities to may not mitigate the penalties assessed.  You will want an attorney to help you work with authorities.  We have worked with the state agencies in Missouri and Illinois, as well as the federal government to minimize fines, reach compliance and develop better working relationships.

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