Environmental and Natural Resources

The firm provides advice to clients in the areas of compliance with environmental regulations, the preparation of prospective purchaser agreements, and the sale and purchase of environmentally contaminated property.  SBEMP counsels clients regarding federal, state and local environmental laws and regulations and advises how such laws and regulations impact ownership, operation and development.

Transactional Practice

We assist in the environmental aspects of real property and business transactions and financing, environmental site assessment, negotiated allocation of environmental risk, prospective purchaser agreements with governmental agencies, and response to environmental conditions that impair real estate (such as underground storage tanks, asbestos in buildings, soil and groundwater contamination). We have experience in matters ranging from heavy industrial properties, to commercial and undeveloped properties with no known environmental problems at the outset of a transaction.

Environmental Compliance

We provide regulatory compliance counseling on the many complex environmental laws and regulations governing business operations. Our advice covers environmental audit of facility operations, environmental permit requirements, remedial action, hazard communication programs and requirements, regulation of hazardous substance emissions, hazardous waste generation, transportation and disposal, emergency response to hazardous materials incidents, and environmental disclosures and reporting.

Environmental Claims and Enforcement

We handle the defense of governmental investigations, notices, orders, enforcement and penalty actions under environmental laws and regulations. We represent clients in the prosecution, defense and resolution of environmental claims for cost recovery or property damage due to hazardous substance contamination.

In particular, the firm provides:

  • Guidance on compliance with federal, state, and local air, water, solid waste, hazardous waste and hazardous substances requirements
  • Prosecuting and defending property and groundwater contamination claims at the state and federal level, including CERCLA Superfund actions, RCRA enforcement actions, and related state claims
  • Guidance on Clean Water Act compliance and related state laws, including federal, state, and local waste discharge and storm water compliance and litigation
  • Guidance on Clean Air Act requirements and related state laws, including representation before state and local air agencies
  • Counseling on the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, including public outreach, formation of groundwater sustainability agencies, formation of Joint Powers Authority, administrative hearing process, and compliance with the constitutional fee provisions of Propositions 218 and 26.
  • Counseling on the purchase and sale of environmentally impaired properties
  • Counseling on asbestos abatement procedures and defense of claimed violations
  • Endangered Species Act compliance and defense
  • Proposition 65 compliance and defense
  • Counseling on property acquisition, development and disposition, including NEPA, CEQA, land use, planning, zoning, and historic preservation
  • Assistance with water rights
  • Solid waste franchising