Epstein Becker Green's Environmental Law Group represents real estate clients in all aspects of environmental due diligence and counsels clients on development permitting and compliance obligations, in transactions involving a wide variety of assets, including apartment and condominium projects, hospitals and health care facilities, hotels, landfills, manufacturing and industrial facilities, office complexes, planned communities, power plants, resorts, and timberlands. We also regularly serve as environmental due diligence counsel for investment banks, real estate investments trusts (REITs), and other financial institutions, as well as for builders, manufacturers, and purchasers in project finance-related matters.

Environmental Due Diligence. In our capacity as environmental due diligence counsel, we regularly work with clients and consultants to:

  • Evaluate the qualifications of, select, and negotiate engagement agreements with, engineering and technical consulting firms to be retained in connection with the performance of environmental site assessments, Phase II investigations, endangered species and historical/cultural assessments, asbestos and lead-based paint surveys, compliance assessments, and other due diligence services
  • Define a project's scope of work and coordinate with consultants on the execution of the scope of work, including the preparation and dissemination of any written reports so as to preserve all applicable legal privileges
  • Provide advice concerning their rights and obligations under state environmental property transfer and disclosure laws relating to asbestos, hazardous waste generation, hazardous substance releases, lead-based paint, radon gas, and underground storage tanks, as well as design and manage any associated investigations
  • Negotiate the environmental provisions in transactional documents, including site access, investigation and remediation agreements; confidentiality provisions; representation and warranty provisions; indemnification provisions; and liability allocation provisions

Development Permitting and Compliance. Our environmental attorneys counsel clients with respect to the federal, state, and local environmental permitting and compliance obligations associated with every type of real estate development. Our experience includes:

  • Brownfield redevelopment and financing
  • Conservation easements, and acquiring, banking, and transferring development rights under state and local Transferable Development Rights programs
  • Permitting and development of private water and wastewater systems
  • Environmental permitting associated with wetland disturbance and mitigation, stormwater and wastewater discharge, water supply, erosion and sedimentation control, coastal zone management, and structures in navigable waters
  • Resolution of endangered species and historic structure preservation impediments
  • Wetlands mitigation and banking

Environmental Issues Associated with Project Financing. Our Environmental Law Group regularly serves as environmental counsel to banks, investment firms, and other lenders, as well as to builders, manufacturers, and purchasers, in connection with transactional due diligence. In addition, our project finance-related environmental services include:

  • Working with state and federal regulatory agencies to secure environmental clearance or transaction "comfort" letters, as well as limitations of liability
  • Negotiating appropriate environmental insurance coverage to facilitate the closing of a transaction
  • Negotiating environmental provisions in lending documents
  • Assisting in post-closing environmental audits, and counseling on compliance matters

Additional Services

To assist our environmental clients in achieving the successful completion of their projects, attorneys at Epstein Becker Green also provide services relating to:

  • Brownfield Redevelopment
  • Clean Air Act
  • Clean Water Act
  • Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act
  • Environmental Audits and Compliance Assessments
  • Environmental Litigation
  • Health Care Environmental Compliance
  • National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
  • Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA)
  • Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)
  • Sustainability

Representative Matters

  • Performed due diligence and assisted with the drafting of environmental provisions in transactional documents for a Fortune 500 chemical company in connection with acquisitions and divestitures
  • Served as lead environmental counsel in the performance of due diligence and the drafting of environmental provisions in transactional documents for the acquisition of power plants, health care facilities, and a broad range of military, industrial, and manufacturing clients
  • Performed due diligence and drafted environmental provisions in transactional documents for hundreds of commercial and residential developers
  • Performed due diligence and assisted with the drafting of environmental provisions in transactional documents for the acquisition of a multinational belting manufacturer by an international conglomerate

Industry Focus