Environmental Assessments, Due Diligence & Audits
Clark Hill attorneys and other professionals have decades of experience assisting clients in handling legal issues related to environmental assessments and impact statements under the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”) and during the conduct of environmental and natural resources due diligence during corporate mergers and acquisitions. Our attorneys have handled NEPA and due diligence issues for sites and facilities in all 50 states. Several of our attorneys previously held key environmental posts in the federal and state regulatory agencies responsible for developing and implementing NEPA programs.
NEPA assessments and/or impact statements are triggered for major federal actions that significantly affect the environment, including federal funding of projects and granting of permits or approval. Opponents of projects often use NEPA’s provisions in an attempt to delay or halt development projects or critical infrastructure programs in transportation, energy, and other sectors of the economy. Our attorneys have the collective expertise to assist clients with the preparation of NEPA documentation and during agency negotiations to minimize such delays. Recent activities include the successful defense of a regional tri-modal transportation park, nuclear license transfers, energy distribution systems, gas pipelines, and mine reclamation activities challenged by environmental interest groups or the government.
Working closely with corporate and financial experts within the firm, our EENR team conducts environmental and natural resource due diligence for a broad range of transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, and prepares indemnification agreements to protect against future environmental risk. Throughout their careers, our attorneys have handled due diligence on major nuclear and hydropower acquisitions, mergers of waste management companies, and similar corporate, manufacturing, commercial, and real estate transactions. Working with the client’s technical and engineering consultants, our team has also performed comprehensive legal audits of facilities and operations to assist clients who seek to correct environmental issues and natural resources before the client is faced with enforcement actions or citizen suits.
In those cases where a reasonable solution to issues raised in assessments and audits can’t be resolved with governmental entities or other parties, our experienced team is prepared to represent clients in court to secure their rights (see EENR litigation).