With deep expertise on environmental issues across industries and across the country, Dickinson Wright lawyers regularly assist clients with transactional, compliance, crisis response, litigation and other environmental needs, all with sensitivity to both public and government-relations concerns. Combining legal expertise, technical knowledge, and courtroom skill, we guide our clients through myriad regulatory requirements, providing transactional advice, devising risk-avoidance strategies, and litigating disputes when necessary.
Our diverse team draws upon backgrounds that range from environmental and chemical engineering to urban planning, business, and communications. This breadth of experience gives us insights into the technical and business aspects of our clients’ projects. As a result, we can be true partners in developing strategic plans to mitigate environmental impact efficiently and cost effectively.
Real Estate & Business Transactions
Environmental implications can complicate a variety of real estate transactions, including purchases, sales, leases, development, and financing, and can bring corporate mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures to a halt. We guide clients around these obstacles by helping them to identify and address risk and avoid potential liability.
Dickinson Wright attorneys navigate and negotiate environmental terms and conditions in a wide variety of contracts and agreements. Working closely with consultants and experts, we review reports and assess environmental impact, not only resolving critical issues but also educating clients about available federal protections such as defenses for innocent landowners, bona fide prospective purchasers, and contiguous property owners. We also draft post-closing agreements to address due care and cleanup obligations, and we employ strategies involving escrow, insurance, prospective purchaser agreements and other creative approaches.
Brownfield & Greenfield Development
Development is a core competency of Dickinson Wright’s environmental practice. Our attorneys regularly evaluate available tax credits, grants, and other financial incentives that may equalize or, in some cases, reduce the cost of Brownfield redevelopment and land redevelopment and land revitalization over new development. For Greenfield projects, we work with our developer clients to identify and secure necessary approvals and permits.
Our vast development experience encompasses zoning, wetlands, floodplains, river and lake bottom land, endangered species, storm water, soil erosion and sedimentation, well drilling, water use, and sewer systems.
Dickinson Wright’s environmental attorneys are leaders in facilitating effective remediation of former industrial sites under both federal and state law. We have oversight responsibility for a number of the largest remediation sites in Michigan, and we are involved in several multi-million-dollar clean-up efforts at sites located throughout the United States. Given our depth of experience, we can both recommend the most appropriate remedial actions and deftly handle the tactical aspects of the project. Our remediation services include the following:
• Negotiating with governmental agencies and other responsible parties
• Sourcing, recommending, and managing consultants and contractors
• Reviewing insurance policies
• Advising on the selection of appropriate remedial actions
• Coordinating implementation and reporting responsibilities
• Analyzing reports and work plans
• Obtaining site access
• Implementing institutional controls
Regulatory & Statutory Compliance
Environmental compliance can be a complicated challenge for many businesses, and our clients regularly look to us for practical advice regarding the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, and other state and federal statutes and regulations. We regularly prepare environmental impact assessments, and we have helped clients to achieve countless favorable outcomes in projects involving wind energy, wetland-water interface, registered historic structures, relocation of port facilities, and recreational development.
When collaboration and negotiation are no longer viable options, our attorneys regularly defend clients in actions and investigations initiated by federal, state, and local environmental agencies. Both in court and in administrative proceedings, we have successfully represented clients in alleged violations relating to landfills, industrial solvents, dry cleaners, underground storage tanks, and surface spills brought under RCRA, CERCLA, CAA, CWA, and other laws. In each case, we are committed to achieving the best possible outcomes consistent with our clients’ business objectives and budget concerns.