Site Remediation and Superfund
We work with clients to remediate properties through the state voluntary cleanup program, which in Illinois is the Site Remediation Program (SRP) and the applicable risk-based Tiered Approach to Corrective Action Objectives (TACO) standards. We retain technical consultants and oversee the site investigation, development of remediation objectives, and selection of a remedy with the goal of obtaining a No Further Remediation Letter. We negotiate both access agreements for any off-site properties and consent agreements with environmental agencies overseeing the project. Our experience includes the designation of Groundwater Management Zones as a tool to address groundwater impacts. On a federal level, we ensure that our clients understand and maintain the benefits of defenses to liability available through the 2002 amendments to CERCLA (the “Brownfields Law”), including the Bona Fide Prospective Purchaser and Contiguous Property defenses. Where a site release is involved, we make recommendations for reporting, hire environmental experts, and investigate potential insurance coverage, all to minimize client exposure.
Our site remediation experience includes the following recent matters.
We represented a client with the cleanup of a site it once owned which was recently acquired by the City due to tax delinquency. We retained the remediation consultant, negotiated with the City, prepared access agreements for neighboring sites, and worked with neighborhood organizations so the site would sustain a community garden after the cleanup was complete.
Nijman•Franzetti LLP assists a large corporate client with the voluntary remediation of several formerly owned sites that historically housed gas production facilities. Our work includes negotiating with municipalities and current site owners, preparing access and remediation agreements, working with public relations, and retaining experts to oversee the work.
We represent the owner of a former drum facility to remediate impacts from volatile organic compounds as well as polychlorinated biphenyl’s from a neighboring Superfund site. Because Illinois does not have authority to address PCB cleanups, both state and federal environmental agencies are involved.
We have represented many property owners with the remediation of former dry cleaning operations and underground storage tanks, including the process of obtaining reimbursement from the state dry cleaning fund and/or leaking underground storage tank fund.
The firm has represented potentially responsible parties in well over 100 federal and state Superfund sites across the United States, including almost every EPA region. The firm’s Superfund work includes acting as counsel to both groups of companies and individual clients, and involves negotiating consent orders and decrees for remedial investigation/feasibility studies, removal actions, and remedial design/remedial actions. Based on our extensive work in this area, we have built collaborative relationships with EPA attorneys and remedial project managers that help to move settlements and remediation projects through the CERCLA process with more efficiently and at less cost. On behalf of our individual clients, we focus on those issues which will reap the greatest cost savings, such as the PRP cost allocation process, the selection of and contractual agreements with remediation contractors and the pursuit of additional PRPs to spread the costs of site cleanups more fairly. When we participate in PRP groups, we actively work to influence group strategy and direction to maximize the impact of our clients’ contributions and minimize their dollar contributions. With respect to proposed de minimis PRP settlements, we have extensive experience in negotiating settlement terms and in advising our clients on the benefits and detriments of such proposals so that they can make appropriate business decisions.