An important part of our practice consist of advising our energy clients on the environmental issues associated with lending transactions and in acquiring or disposing of businesses and property. This work has included advising on and participating in due diligence reviews and environmental audits, negotiating purchase price and escrow terms in light of risks discovered or presumed, and drafting contract language to accommodate environmental contingencies.
Our attorneys have obtained environmental evaluations for many types of transactions and with respect to a wide variety of facilities, structuring the scope of investigations to reflect the particular role of our client and the projected allocation of environmental responsibility among the parties. Complementing their review of ongoing operations, our lawyers analyze the impact of upcoming legislative and regulatory proposals in order to predict the projected costs of future compliance.
With the foundation of our investigative findings, our team of corporate and environmental attorneys can effectively advise its selling, purchasing and financial institution clients as to how best to assign responsibility for environmental matters in each transaction. This advice includes drafting the necessary corporate documents, developing plans for the continuation of ongoing cleanup activities at the facility after closing, creating holdback and other security arrangements, and negotiating with the EPA and state agencies to work out pending enforcement matters.
The firm has a thriving practice based on preventive counseling and general advice on compliance with state and federal requirements. We regularly advise individual companies and trade associations in the myriad questions arising under the complicated and ever-changing environmental laws and regulations. We routinely work with both the United States Environmental Protection Agency and counterpart state agencies to resolve issues that arise from inspections and review of monitoring reports. Our goal is to correct potential compliance problems before they rise to a level where formal enforcement proceedings are initiated.
Our permitting work has included siting and permitting new facilities, procuring required construction and operating permits, planning for compliance with Title V of the Clean Air Act and its regulations relating to prevention of significant deterioration and new source performance, and compliance with the Clean Water Act's effluent guidelines and water quality regulations. In addition, we have handled the defense of contested permits.
In addition to obtaining and defending permits, we have been successful in contesting proposed limitations on individual National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (Clean Water Act) permits, air emission permits, and solid waste disposal permits. We have extensive experience in defending against proposed fines for alleged violations of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Hazardous Waste laws, and have successfully defended against, or won reductions of, proposed penalties before both state and federal administrative law judges, as well as in the federal courts. We also offer special knowledge in dealing with enforcement actions against energy companies accused of violating the various federal mobile sources laws and regulations.
Assisting our clients in avoiding exposure to Superfund liability also is an important component of our environmental practice. We review our clients' operations and waste management practices with an eye toward advising them how to avoid liability as a generator of hazardous waste at off-site disposal areas that may become subject to Superfund cleanup actions. In the same vein, we counsel companies about the potential liability under the Superfund laws of their individual officers, directors, shareholders and affiliates.
© 2013 Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP