Energy & Environmental
Cohen & Grigsby’s Energy & Environmental Practice Group brings a multi-disciplinary approach to the development of energy projects and resolution of complex environmental issues through our broad experience in the private and governmental sectors. We help our clients achieve compliance with applicable laws and regulations and reach desired business outcomes, and we defend them against private party litigation and governmental enforcement actions. Throughout this work, we counsel clients on managing these risks in a strategic and cost-effective manner.
The Energy & Environmental Practice Group provides businesses with ongoing compliance counseling on environmental regulations at the local, state and federal levels. We help clients develop comprehensive compliance programs that proactively address legal, governmental and reputational risks inherent in their business, and we represent clients in private party and governmental enforcement actions.
We have represented a variety of industrial, commercial and municipal clients in regulatory, permitting and compliance issues related to air emissions, wastewater management, waste management and disposal, contamination, underground and aboveground storage tanks, wetlands, stream crossings and stormwater management, as well as various aspects of land development and construction activities, including erosion and sedimentation control and sewage facilities planning.
The Energy & Environmental Practice Group has significant experience regarding compliance with and liability under the complex framework of federal environmental laws such as the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the Toxic Substances Control Act, the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act and state laws such as the Air Pollution Control Act, Clean Streams Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, Storage Tank and Spill Prevention Act, Storm Water Management Act, Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act, Land Recycling and Environmental Remediation Standards Act, Oil and Gas Act and the Solid Waste Management Act as well as similar state laws in other states including the New Jersey Spill Compensation and Control Act and the Industrial Site Recovery Act.
A myriad of state and federal government programs require responsible parties to conduct remediation of contaminated sites and also provide for the voluntary cleanup by owners and operators. The Energy & Environmental Practice Group helps our clients navigate these complex remediation programs when proactively addressing environmental concerns or when responding to demands by private party or government entities for remediation and cost recovery.
Our practice includes business counseling aimed at avoiding environmental liabilities and, where necessary, litigation defense aimed at defeating such liabilities. With experience as government regulators, general counsel, and external counsel assisting responsible parties, Energy & Environmental Practice Group members are skilled at assessing your liability exposure, quantifying risks, and determining the best course of action. Previous work has included managing due diligence investigations, participating in PRP allocation proceedings, negotiating consent orders, establishing innocent purchaser defenses and litigating contribution and cost recovery actions.
Energy & Environmental Practice Group attorneys are frequently involved in environmental investigations and site assessments, removal and remedial actions, corrective actions, and site environmental closures under state and federal voluntary statutes like Pennsylvania’s Land Recycling Program, known as Act 2, and the New Jersey Spill Compensation & Control Act. We work on behalf of manufacturers, institutional lenders, venture capital investors, private equity funds, national and local developers to conduct due diligence in transactional matters; evaluate environmental risk exposure in real property transactions; and manage liability, indemnification, and risk transference arising from environmental risk exposures under state and federal laws, including the investigation and remediation obligations of buyers and sellers of contaminated property under New Jersey’s Industrial Site Recovery Act, Connecticut’s Transfer Act and similar remediation programs.
The Environmental Litigation group represents clients in mediation, arbitration, litigation and allocation proceedings arising from environmental claims across the spectrum of local, state and federal dispute resolution forums including agency regulatory enforcement claims, public and private nuisance claims, contamination claims, cost recovery and contribution actions, and injunctive and declaratory relief.
Cohen & Grigsby lawyers have sizable depth of experience and expertise as litigators, general counsel and former regulators in helping clients defend against all types of governmental enforcement actions at the federal, state and local levels. These range from the simplest Consent Assessments of Civil Penalty for minor alleged permit exceedances to complex multi-party Superfund-like orders. The Energy & Environmental Practice Group is closely involved at all stages of the proceedings, providing the client with strategic and cost-sensitive advice and services analyzing litigation risk, performing formal and informal discovery, negotiating with the agency and other parties involved, attempting to reach favorable settlement terms, and if necessary, litigating the claim.
C&G lawyers have appeared before numerous Federal District Courts and Circuit Courts of Appeal; Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, New York, California, and other state trial and appellate courts; the Environmental Appeals Board (final actions of USEPA); the Environmental Hearing Board (final actions of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection); the Pennsylvania Underground Storage Tank Indemnification Board (final actions of the Underground Storage Tank Indemnification Fund); and comparable forums in other states.
Cohen & Grigsby counsels clients on environmental issues in connection with mergers and acquisitions, property sales, joint ventures, leveraged buyouts and other restructuring, privatizations and financings of projects, leases, and real estate. Our attorneys work with clients to investigate and manage the short- and long-term risk exposure arising from environmental conditions. We also work with environmental consultants conducting environmental audits and assessments, and analyze the findings to help determine and minimize potential liability exposure. We have substantial experience with private equity and investment concerns in these transactions and experience in drafting environmental provisions to safeguard our clients from environmental liabilities. We also advise on lender liability, fiduciary liability, and officer and director liability.
Cohen & Grigsby has counseled manufacturers, institutional lenders, venture capital investors, private equity funds, national and local developers, and other clients on a full range of these issues, including due diligence in transactional matters; environmental risk exposure in real property transactions; issues affecting real estate acquisitions, dispositions, sale-leasebacks, foreclosures, and liquidation proceedings; liability, indemnification, and risk transference in sales contracts, leases, and other transaction instruments; compliance with deed notification and restriction requirements under state and federal laws; and investigation and remediation obligations of buyers and sellers of contaminated property, including substantial experience with New Jersey’s Industrial Site Recovery Act and Connecticut’s Transfer Act.
We counsel in zoning, site plan and subdivision matters as well as related litigation before municipal and county boards and agencies. We effectively secure government authorization for various projects, conduct diligence investigations and analyses, prescribe programs for compliance, shepherd projects through the regulatory process and anticipate and respond to a host of environmental considerations.
After a workplace or operational accident involving damage to people, property or the environment, the immediate call goes to the first responders. Not long after that step, legal departments face significant legal and practical issues. The Cohen & Grigsby Energy and Environmental Practice Group has the experience and expertise to serve as your Legal First Responder Team when your company has a crisis, such as a workplace fatality or significant injury, an environmental release, or a significant product failure. Our lawyers provide guidance with the many facets of an emergency response, including conducting internal company investigations, working with government agencies with oversight of your operations and the incident itself, ensuring compliance with environmental permits and regulations, and preparing for potential third party private actions. We assist with conducting witness interviews and internal root cause investigations, managing internal employee involvement, supervising document preservation and collection, working with experts, and preserving attorney-client privilege and work product protections. Once the emergency is resolved, we can provide assistance to the law department in developing lessons learned and revising company procedures, policies, and protocols.
We provide assistance beginning with the early concept stage to the drawing board, through financing, permitting and construction and the commencement of operations for large and small scale industry and infrastructure projects. The Energy and Environmental Practice Group is part of a multi-disciplinary team within Cohen & Grigsby that brings a holistic strategy to project development to not only identify potential risks and challenges but also find practical business solutions to complex issues.
The Energy and Environmental Practice Group brings a multi-disciplinary approach to the technical, political, financial and regulatory framework involved in harnessing renewable energy resources. We assist our clients in addressing the complex transactional and legal issues of renewable energy from project development through the construction and implementation phases and into commercialization. We have experience with solar, wind and landfill gas-to-energy projects and the regulatory process of project approval, net metering and connecting to the utility grid to move your renewable energy projects from concept to completion.
No matter the energy source, Cohen & Grigsby’s Government Affairs Group can provide strategies to navigate today’s political climate at any level. Our team has over 30 years of combined experience in federal, state, and local government affairs. We have worked on everything from routine issues to the most difficult challenges a company can face.
We recognize that energy projects and environmental issues often involve public and private stakeholders and require a multi-faceted approach to solving problems. Whether through community outreach or developing a regulatory or legislative solution, a government affairs strategy can help your company mitigate potential legal risks and reach favorable outcomes when dealing with these complex issues.
Energy & Environmental
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Energy & Environmental
- Client Alert – Environmental & Energy – New U.S. EPA e-Manifesting System Took Effect June 30th
- Energy Alert – New Pennsylvania Natural Gas Operations Air Permitting Program: What Operators Need to Know
- Client Alert – New Amendments to California’s Proposition 65 Warning Requirements Effective August 30, 2018
- Energy Bulletin – Pennsylvania’s New Oil and Gas Regulations for Unconventional Wells – Part II
- Energy Bulletin – Pennsylvania’s New Oil and Gas Regulations for Unconventional Wells – Part I
- Energy Bulletin – Uncertainty Rises for Energy Sector Bankruptcies
- Energy Bulletin – PA’s New Strategy for Methane Reduction