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Environmental Law & Toxic Torts

Overview. Fraser Stryker has an active practice in the burgeoning and complex field of environmental law. We represent companies in several states in litigation and cleanups under federal and state law. We defend clients in federal and state enforcement actions and citizens' suits under the major environmental laws. We continually monitor federal, state, and local environmental legislation and regulations for our clients, and our practice includes the drafting and lobbying of relevant state and federal legislation.

Environmental Litigation and Enforcement Proceedings. Fraser Stryker lawyers have been actively involved in numerous facets of environmental litigation. For instance, we have defended citizens' suits under the federal Clean Water Act and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act seeking million of dollars in remediation costs and penalties. We have defended environmental class action cases involving potential exposure in the range of $1 billion. We regularly defend federal and state enforcement proceedings involving compliance with air, water, hazardous waste, asbestos control, and other regulatory schemes. We also have pursued litigation seeking money damages on behalf of a Nebraska municipality for petroleum contamination of a municipal well field. We have been involved in litigation in several states to remediate contaminated sites under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act. This work has involved the organization of cleanup steering committees, the hiring and management of environmental consultants and engineers, and litigation to allocate costs among dozens and sometimes hundreds of participating parties. We have been actively involved in closure and corrective action proceedings under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, relating to hazardous waste, and our past representation has allowed us to attain proficiency with the various risk assessment guidance documents and models that are utilized to determine the scope of environmental response actions. We maintain a database of qualified expert witnesses, consultants and environmental engineers to assist our clients in securing a timely and cost-effective solution for their environmental projects.

Environmental Compliance Practice. Our lawyers regularly counsel clients on compliance with the complex and ever-changing federal, state, and local environmental regulations. For example, following the adoption of the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments, Fraser Stryker assisted a large, industrial client in the preparation and filing of one of the very first air quality operating permits in the Midwest region. We have assisted utilities, industrial facilities, construction firms, and developers in obtaining Clean Water Act permits, including stormwater permits and Army Corps of Engineers permits for wetlands mitigation. Fraser Stryker has represented individuals, corporations, and governmental entities in handling day-to-day compliance with solid and hazardous waste management regulations. To ensure proactive compliance policies, we have conducted environmental audits for many of our clients. We were actively engaged in the drafting and adoption of Nebraska's environmental audit disclosure and privilege law. Our compliance counseling includes assistance with the complicated task of preparing reporting and disclosure forms, including filings required to comply with the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right To Know Act. We are one of the only firms in this region to deal regularly with the Toxic Substances Control Act, particularly in the area of PCP-contaminated electrical equipment.

Real Estate Issues. Fraser Stryker has developed unique expertise in all aspects of environmental due diligence for real estate transactions. Our environmental attorneys have assisted clients throughout the country in evaluating environmental risk issues arising from the purchase of industrial facilities and real estate. We have represented financial institutions in handling the environmental issues involved in the foreclosure of contaminated real estate. We also have an active practice in the development of former industrial facilities under federal and state "brownfield" redevelopment policies. Our attorneys also possess the expertise to address indoor air pollution issues. We have handled real estate matters involving asbestos-containing materials since before the enactment of Nebraska's Asbestos Control Act. We have developed a similar level of knowledge with respect to abatement of lead paint in older buildings. More recently, we have been called upon to counsel clients and defend lawsuits involving claims of exposure to mold, fungi, and other indoor air pollutants.

 

Practicing Attorneys