We are at the forefront of a wide range of environmental litigation areas and have developed special skills in each of these areas, to provide full service to our clients. Our environmental litigation matters run the gamut from underground storage tank (UST) / property damage cases to the investigation and identification of responsible parties. Although our litigated matters vary in complexity and size, each of our clients are equally important and will receive the personal attention they deserve.
We represent various clients in the private sector including individual home and property owners, proprietors of small businesses, oil delivery companies, oil tank removal companies, gas stations, auto body and auto repair shops, non-profit organizations, and dry cleaners. We have handled an array of complex environmental matters for these clients, based in equity and non-equity, and predicated upon concepts of general negligence and strict liability within the context and purview of both Federal and State laws and regulations including the following:
- Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA)
- Clean Air Act (CAA)
- Clean Water Act (CWA)
- Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA)
- Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)
- Spill Compensation & Control Act
- Industrial Site Recovery Act (ISRA)
- Underground Storage Tank Act
We also represent insureds and insurers in insurance coverage actions related to a multitude of environmental litigation matters. In counseling our clients, we have provided our opinion and expertise in the interpretation and application of numerous insurance policy clauses including the Sudden and Accidental Pollution Exclusion, the Total or Absolute Pollution Exclusion and the Owned Property Exclusion, among others.
Our work in the environmental arena is not limited to the private sector, and we routinely represent public sector clients and serve as Special Environmental Counsel to public bodies and their affiliates. In that role, we have coordinated the cleanup of massive sites contaminated by various chemicals and hazardous substances such as trichloroethylene (TCE), perchloroethylene (PCE), tetrachloroethane (TCA), perchloric acid (PERC), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), volatile organic compounds (VOC), and heavy metals. We have successfully assisted our clients in obtaining the cooperation and requisite oversight of the state regulatory authorities and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. We have further assisted in the preparation and submission of the appropriate legal agreements with these entities such as Memoranda of Agreement (MOA) and Administrative Consent Orders (ACO). We work closely with our clients’ experts when it comes to the drafting of Remedial Investigation Workplans (RIW) and Remedial Action Workplans (RAWP) and aggressively pursue cleanup oversight until the proper No Further Action (NFA) letters have been issued. We have defended clients from Natural Resource Damages (NRD) asserted by the State. Once cleanup is underway, we conduct a thorough legal investigation to determine the identities of any potentially responsible parties in an effort to seek just contribution and recoup our clients’ remediation costs and expenses.
Within the realm of compliance and enforcement, we have defended clients from certain penal measures taken by state and local regulatory authorities. Specifically, we represent our clients’ interests at settlement conferences and administrative hearings in connection with the prosecution of Notices of Violation (NOV) and Administrative Orders and Notices of Civil Administrative Penalty Assessments (AONOCAPA). We have successfully defended many different types of clients in this regard including small businesses such as gas stations, auto body and repair shops, dry cleaners and large regulated businesses such as solid waste management and Class B recycling facilities.
- Ayers v. Township of Jackson
- Rhodes v. Universal Supply
- Ross v. State Farm Fire & Casualty
- NJDEP v. Dimant