Legal Services

Environmental Law

ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL LAW

Environmental attorneys from Archer’s Environmental Law and Land Use and Environmental Permitting Groups handle all facets of New Jersey environmental practice including legal advice and counseling, environmental permitting activities, due diligence, litigation of enforcement actions and Federal and state statutory and common law claims for cost recovery, site remediation counseling and assistance in environmental, health and safety audits.

Each lawyer in the firm’s Environmental Law practice has been in the forefront of environmental laws that affect New Jersey’s businesses and its citizens. Environmental Law attorneys also serve as regional counsel to a major petroleum company, handling claims and environmental litigation involving underground storage tanks and other petroleum-related releases. Firm attorneys have handled National Resource Damage claims, including one of the first Natural Resource Damage claims for a retail service station. Finally, the Firm has a substantial practice involving environmental insurance coverage – a lawyer from our Environmental Group represented the plaintiff in New Jersey’s leading Supreme Court environmental insurance case.

Attorneys also represent clients on environmental permitting, Industrial Site Recovery Act, air and water pollution, wetlands, solid and hazardous wastes, contract documentation and remediation of environmental sites, compliance counseling, industrial pretreatment, lender liability, oversight of environmental assessments in land sales, and project land use approvals and appeals.

PERMITTING AND REGULATORY COMPLIANCE

Archer has been a leader in environmental permitting since the inception of that area of the law. As government has expanded its legislation and regulation of the field, we have developed and maintained the capability to handle not only basic local subdivision, site plan, zoning, and planning issues, but also the permitting that county, regional, state, multi-state, and federal law can impose upon virtually any development or construction project.

Clients come to us seeking wetland permit attorneys, as well as environmental law lawyers to handle many other areas of permitting and compliance, namely: New Jersey’s Industrial Site Recovery Act, air and water pollution, wetlands, solid and hazardous wastes, contract documentation and litigation involving the remediation of environmental sites, regulatory compliance counseling, industrial pretreatment, lender liability, oversight of environmental assessments in land sales, and land use approvals. As part of our regulatory negotiations and litigation defense efforts, we are accustomed to working and coordinating in the most cost-effective manner with a team of experts, consultants, project managers, engineers and technical advisors to achieve results.

Each environmental lawyer at our firm has had extensive experience in obtaining permits, approvals and certifications from local and county boards, regional and state agencies such as the New Jersey Pinelands Commission, the Delaware River Basin Commission, the Delaware and Raritan Canal Commission, the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission, the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and Federal agencies such as the United States Army Corp of Engineers, the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the United States Fish & Wildlife Service.

Our environmental attorneys have demonstrated a solid ability to come up with innovative approaches to the securing of permits and the negotiation and litigation of permit conditions and variances from permitting requirements. These include variances from the requirements for wastewater discharges to surface water and for emissions to the air; use variances for the transportation by rail of hazardous waste and the development of solid waste treatment and disposal facilities; and the development of special management zones as part of municipal master plans.

We handle virtually all types of land development and redevelopment projects, ranging from residential site plans and subdivisions, commercial and industrial parks and shopping centers, to specialized heavy industrial facilities, electrical generation and cogeneration facilities, mining and resource extraction operations, and Brownfield sites.

We specialize in coordinating and working as a team with other professionals – the architects, planners, engineers, environmental consultants, traffic engineers, sound impact experts, hydrogeologists, geologists and economists – whose work is essential to so many projects these days.  We have often been called upon to lead teams of specialists to develop extensive comments on proposed environmental regulations.

We also have significant experience with compliance counseling in the environmental regulatory arena, as well as contesting notices of violation issued by the regulatory authorities for violations of the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

ENVIRONMENTAL LITIGATION

We have substantial experience litigating toxic tort and product liability claims in the environmental context. We routinely represent multiple industrial clients in the defense of proposed class actions seeking property damages and/or personal injuries as a result of exposure to contamination or hazardous products (asbestos, PCB’s, etc.). As a result of this work, we have become well versed in such areas of environmental litigation as toxicology, epidemiology, hydrogeology, and we have developed substantial information on many plaintiff and defense experts.

Experience

EXPERIENCED NEW JERSEY ENVIRONMENTAL LAWYER

A small sample of transactions and development projects the Group has handled includes:

  • Served as lead counsel with respect to environmental claims against a petrochemical company at over 150 sites in 10 states which involves a complex hydrogeologic issues, including hydrocarbon fingerprinting and aging analysis, as well as multiple legal issues under the applicable cost recovery statutes and common law.
  • Served as trial counsel in the defense of underground storage tank environmental contamination cases in various matters throughout the Middle Atlantic states which typically involve claims for personal injury, property damage and Natural Resource Damages related to groundwater contamination.
  • Served as lead trial counsel for 12 industrial companies in a class-action seeking property damages and personal injury arising out of exposure to a landfill.
  • Acted as co-liaison counsel for 40 generator defendants who successfully negotiated a settlement with 800 plaintiffs in a proposed class-action seeking property damages to homes surrounding a landfill.
  • Acted as joint trial counsel for three corporations sued by a Fortune 100 Company and others seeking contribution under CERCLA and the Spill Act for $150 million in clean-up costs associated with a landfill, which was formerly listed by the EPA as the nation’s worst Superfund Site.  After a 30-day trial, the Court ruled that our clients were not liable for any remedial costs at the landfill.

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