Pittsburgh Business Attorneys

Environmental Law

Environmental law has grown thick with overlapping and confusing federal, state, and local laws and regulations. CERCLA, RCRA, SARA, TSCA -- each legislative session brings forth more compliance burdens.

To combat this regulatory barrage, our attorneys are an experienced team of environmental problem solvers. They identify genuine environmental concerns and find sensible, economic ways of addressing them for clients in such environmentally intensive industries as steel and metals manufacturing, chemicals, construction, coal, oil, and gas.

We are determined to open the way for our clients to reach their goals and to overcome legal barriers. We counsel and assist our clients to achieve cost-effective compliance. Although we have negotiated favorable settlements for our clients, we are also aggressive advocates and have tried and won environmental cases at all levels of courts and in administrative proceedings.

Our representation of clients on environmental matters has included:


In the area of environmental litigation, we have tried complex cases involving scores of witnesses, millions of pages of documents, and huge potential liability, as well as smaller suits. We have represented industrial clients in litigation arising from alleged compliance violations, challenges to permit actions, challenges to proposed regulations, and have defended clients in "citizen suit" actions under various environmental statutes, Federal "overfilings" and multimedia investigations, and self-disclosure matters. Our environmental attorneys also have experience in defending cease and desist actions and actions for penalties and injunctive relief concerning "wetlands" violations under the Clean Water Act and the Rivers and Harbors Act. We have negotiated directly with governmental authorities over decisions to press suit, extent of liability, and settlement.

Some examples include:

Hazardous Waste Representations

Our attorneys have widespread expertise in hazardous waste matters. We have actively participated as counsel in more than twenty federal and state "Superfund" hazardous waste cleanup matters and have advised clients on the concepts of due diligence, cost recovery, and successor liability in transactional contexts. We have also brought claims and negotiated with insurers for coverage of hazardous waste liability.

Some examples:

We represented a steel company that used an industrial waste recycling facility that became the subject of a state Superfund cleanup. Participating in a steering committee of over 400 potentially responsible parties, we succeeded in reducing our client's liability by demonstrating that the volume of waste attributed to it was grossly exaggerated.
We represented a steel company that used an industrial waste recycling facility that A landfill owner/operator was compelled to respond to litigation from local, state, and federal authorities, adjoining homeowners, and a group of adverse generator and transporter potentially responsible parties. We succeeded in deferring adverse litigation while making a claim for the owner/operator against its insurers to muster additional resources.
Our client operates an industrial park on the former site of a steel mill. When a tenant of our client discovered contaminated soils on its leased premises, we persuaded the former site owner to undertake responsibility for all costs of site cleanup and remediation, with no contribution from our client.
We have acted as liaison counsel or common counsel for various defendant groups in Superfund cost recovery cases, have organized de minimis contributors, and worked out settlements and dismissals in multi-generator cases.

Industrial Redevelopment

The development of abandoned or former industrial properties has become a priority for both public and private sector entities. Accomplishing the goal of bringing new economic life to these properties, however, means confronting a legacy of environmental cleanup problems left over from the properties' former uses. We have worked with our clients to help them meet the cleanup standards for old properties by state and federal authorities primarily under Ohio's Voluntary Action program, Pennsylvania's Act 2 program, and Michigan's Act 201 Baseline Environmental Assessment program. Working with the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry and with NAIOP (the Association for Commercial Real Estate) our attorneys have taken lead roles in providing comments on proposed legislation to encourage reasoned cleanup standards and to provide liability protection for entities that undertake voluntary cleanups.

Other examples:


We have performed environmental audits and due diligence studies with regard to the purchase, lease, and financing of real estate and commercial transactions and have negotiated indemnification agreements and price adjustments pertaining to actual or potential environmental liabilities. We have provided environmental guidance with regard to numerous transactions in a wide range of industries, including steel, aluminum, and other metals, as well as in other manufacturing, transportation, and commercial areas.

Permitting and Compliance Counseling

We have negotiated air, water, waste treatment, storage and disposal, and other permits with state and federal agencies to achieve our clients expansion and production goals. We have guided municipal and residual waste permits through the agency maze. We routinely counsel clients on rules regarding underground storage tanks and other groundwater contamination problems. We continuously counsel clients on rules and proposed regulations issued under all major federal and state environmental laws ranging from wetlands to Superfund to the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments, including mobile source controls. We have successfully represented clients purchasing emission reduction credits, and are routinely instrumental in developing and implementing environmental management systems and strategic environmental plans.

Environmental Services Procurement

We routinely engage consultants and engineers to perform environmental services on behalf of our clients. These services have included Phase I, II, and III site assessments, compliance audits, needs assessments, asbestos remediation, hazardous waste remediation, contracts for the design, implementation, operation, and maintenance of pollution control and monitoring equipment and devices, air emissions modeling, and various privileged and non-privileged sampling programs and compliance reviews. In this capacity, we have solicited information from prospective bidders, prepared requests for proposal, evaluated bid proposals, negotiated extra work, and handled all aspects of project management for the activities secured.

Some examples: