Conducting business, living or owning property that is contaminated or nearby a contaminated site can have detrimental impacts on your health, your business, and your property value. Initiating or vigorously defending environmental litigation may be the only way to protect your interest and assert your rights.
What’s more, simply owning a contaminated property or running your business on it could be enough to deem you potentially responsible in the regulators’ eyes, and even mere allegations of environmental contamination can prove costly and detrimental to you, your business, and your property. As a result, retaining an environmental attorney with knowledge and experience in environmental litigation is of the utmost importance when facing such a possibility.
Countless sites throughout California are contaminated, and many are due to the fact that commonly used chemicals have been deemed hazardous to human health and damaging to the environment.
Regulatory agencies have begun ordering investigation and cleanup of many “sites” (aka businesses and properties) suspected to be contaminated with PCE or related chemicals. If governmental regulators deem a property contaminated, they order an investigation to determine the scope of the plume.
This initial burden falls on the current owner and/or operator.
Investigations are expensive and involve strict deadlines as well as fines and penalties for noncompliance. Litigation oftentimes runs parallel to the investigation, using the data gathered to bring claims against all potentially responsible parties to apportion liability among them. Investigatory and remediation costs can skyrocket and you may also have difficulty selling your property until the contamination is abated.
Fortunately, a diligent investigation will put you in a position to defend yourself an and hold others responsible for contamination. Various strategies can be implemented based on your needs, such as a diligent pre-acquisition investigation, cooperating with regulators, and finding past owners and operators only a few examples.
However, holding others accountable for their contribution and forcing them to pay their share is a process you do not want to undertake along. Benner & Boon’s environmental lawyers are well-versed in the pertinent law to accomplish this, including the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (“CERCLA”), the Resource Conservation Recovery Act (“RCRA”), California’s Hazardous Substance Account act (“HSAA”), and the California Water Act, among others.
The seasoned environmental attorneys at Benner & Boon will work with regulators, insurance carriers, and others on your behalf to investigate the source and extent of the contamination, litigate your interests with the full force of the law, and achieve the best possible result.