Environmental Law

Drawing from over 30 years of practice in the public and private sectors, we blend a comprehensive understanding of environmental law with creative and cost–effective solutions to the environmental challenges confronted by our clients. We represent clients, both large and small, and provide sound, practical advice to assist these clients in addressing the complex array of environmental issues that impact their operations.

Clients

Our clients include municipal, commercial and industrial entities, as well as some individuals, involved in a multitude of activities in real property management and development, textile manufacturing, mining, power generation, chemical manufacturing, rubber products manufacturing, petroleum distribution, landfill operation, pesticide manufacturing and many other sectors.

 Regulatory Compliance And Permitting Consultation

We understand that the best way to manage the potentially significant costs, in both time and money, of environmental regulation is to anticipate and proactively address these issues. Working cooperatively with or by supervising technical consultants, we provide guidance and develop strategies to determine applicability of and to ensure compliance with federal and state environmental regulations; to obtain necessary permits; to submit appropriate reports; to audit compliance status; and to anticipate and prevent non–compliance, including:

  • Incidental Take Permits under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)
  • Air emission construction and operation permits under the Clean Air Act (CAA)
  • Notices of Intent and wastewater discharge permits under the Clean Water Act (CWA)
  • Wetland and stream discharge permits under the CWA
  • State stream buffer variances
  • Erosion and sedimentation control requirements
  • Dam safety requirements
  • Groundwater discharge permits
  • Stormwater management requirements
  • National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review and Environmental Impact Statement preparation
  • Coastal zone consistency determinations and permits under the Coastal Zone Management Act
  • Solid and hazardous waste characterization, management and disposal under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)
  • Waste removal and remediation actions, including actions for contribution and cost recovery under Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA)
  • Pesticide product and device guidance and registrations under Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA)
  • Underground storage tank management
  • Toxic substance management under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)
  • Spill release and reporting requirements under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know (EPCRA) reporting requirements 

Transactions And Due Diligence

We handle environmental components of commercial transactions including the sale and purchase of real estate and businesses and business mergers and acquisitions. Our skilled counsel seek to protect the interests of the client through comprehensive identification of and strategic planning for environmental issues in the transaction of real property including:

  • Environmental assessment review
  • Secured creditor/financing issues
  • Purchase and sale contract preparation and review
  • Environmental indemnification and release provisions
  • Environmental insurance procurement
  • Building demolition issues
  • Brownfield property acquisitions and redevelopment
  • Conservation easements
  • Environmental insurance coverage
  • Liability allocations
  • Voluntary site remediation 

Litigation

While we assist clients in seeking amicable resolutions to environmental disputes, when such measures are exhausted, we aggressively represent the interests of our clients in litigation. We have represented a wide variety of clients in both administrative and judicial proceedings in matters including:

  • EPA and state civil penalty and criminal actions under CAA, CWA, TSCA, FIFRA, RCRA, EPCRA
  • EPA and state actions for injunctive relief under CAA, CWA, TSCA, FIFRA, RCRA
  • Citizen suits under CWA, CAA, ESA, RCRA, CERCLA, NEPA
  • CERCLA cost recovery/contribution claims
  • Alternative dispute resolution 

Legislative And Regulatory Considerations

Since new and revised environmental laws and regulations are continually being proposed and implemented, we monitor legislative and regulatory developments and advise clients of these changes. We also provide updated information regarding relevant judicial decisions in the environmental area that may affect our clients. Further, we provide guidance to clients in other areas including:

  • National/International standards for environmental management
  • Pollution Prevention
  • Product Stewardship
  • Recycling

 

Whether our client is the neighborhood dry cleaner or a multi–national conglomerate, Sweetnam & Schwartz will always provide professional and competitively-priced environmental representation.

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