RESHAPING AND SUSTAINING
Ball Janik LLP’s Environmental practice offers a multi-disciplinary array of services unique among Pacific Northwest law firms. What sets us apart is a versatile team of lawyers that can solve problems in environmental law and science, land use and real estate law, and litigation.
We have assisted clients with energy facility siting, water rights and environmental permitting. Our lawyers have helped clients acquire and develop numerous “brownfield” sites, reinvigorating the landscape of the Portland metropolitan region. We represent clients in environmental due diligence reviews that facilitate major real estate and corporate transactions. Our litigators have prosecuted and defended cleanup cases and have handled landmark environmental insurance coverage matters, recovering millions of dollars for our policyholder clients.
DEPTH & EXPERIENCE
Acquisitions and Redevelopment of Contaminated Property
Firm lawyers have counseled clients in the acquisition and development of numerous “brownfield” sites, including some of the most significant projects in the Portland metropolitan area. We advise clients with respect to cleanup under Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ’s) Independent Cleanup Pathway as well as compliance with Consent Decrees that govern cleanup and redevelopment of certain sites. We have represented high density mixed use projects in urban neighborhoods, residential subdivision developers, and developers of unique projects such as former lumber mills, former trucking facilities, metal foundries, and other commercial and residential properties.
Court Challenges to Administrative Decisions
The firm has represented trade organizations, conservation groups, and other associations in challenges to government regulations and has defended private landowners and timber companies in environmental litigation.
Environmental Due Diligence
The firm regularly represents clients in environmental due diligence reviews for real estate and corporate transactions. Our representation includes evaluation of environmental risks and the development of regulatory and transactional strategies to minimize, assign and quantify environmental risks in order to protect and enhance the value of real property and other assets. We have assisted an international high technology manufacturer with the sale of a large silicon wafer fabrication facility, including environmental permit compliance and permit transfers, wetlands permitting, and Level 1 and Level 2 environmental site investigations. We have also represented a large Northwest timber company in the due diligence review of hazardous substances cleanup, permitting and compliance, and water rights issues involved in sale and acquisition transactions. We have advised an investment firm regarding environmental compliance issues involved in the purchase of power plants being sold as part of bankruptcy proceedings.
The firm has represented clients in a number of insurance coverage matters, many of which have involved environmental matters. Ball Janik LLP attorneys have handled insurance coverage issues arising form underlying claims under CERCLA and its state law counterparts, RCRA, and the Clean Water Act, including claims for cleanup costs and for Natural Resource Damages. We have successfully pursued coverage for claims asserted by regulatory bodies and by private parties, and have recovered millions of dollars for our policyholder clients.
The firm has prosecuted and defended a variety of cleanup cases in the state and federal courts.
State and Federal Superfund Act Claims
The firm has represented a number of clients in environmental contribution cases in federal and state courts in Oregon and Washington, including claims involving hydrocarbon and solvent contamination. For example, the firm recently represented a Washington state manufacturer in federal court cleanup litigation and state regulatory proceedings regarding regional contamination of groundwater with chlorinated solvents, including the defense of claims seeking tens of millions of dollars.
The firm has addressed regulatory concerns arising from indoor air issues in industrial and residential structures.
The firm represented a developer in federal litigation against a railroad whose operations had led to significant hydrocarbon contamination, obtaining a unique summary judgment ruling in the developer’s favor.
We have successfully defended CERCLA claims by the EPA against a trucking company.
The firm has represented companies in cleanup disputes resolved in the bankruptcy courts, where the firm’s attorneys provided bankruptcy-related solutions to cleanup issues.
Clean Water Act and Natural Resource Damage Claims
The firm has represented a transportation company with regard to claims under the Clean Water Act, including a Natural Resource Damages claim.
Environmental Permitting Experience
The Environmental practice has broad experience assisting clients with environmental permitting. We represent clients in contested cases before state and federal agencies and in the federal courts.
The firm’s attorneys have represented developers in obtaining state and federal permits for alteration of wetlands and in negotiating resolutions of alleged violations of wetland permitting requirements. Our work has included successful defense of an administrative contested case before a hearings officer of the Oregon Department of State Lands and negotiations with the Army Corps of Engineers and Oregon Department of State Lands for wetlands mitigation in conjunction with “after the fact” permitting of wetland fill
We have represented numerous clients in the evaluation of water rights and the permitting, perfection and transfer of water rights, including successful defense of an administrative contested case before the Oregon Water Resources Commission.
Timber Mill Operations
The firm represented a large Pacific Northwest timber company on environmental issues related to the operation of its mill facilities, including Clean Air Act and National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit issues. Our work also included the successful defense, in U.S. District Court and the Ninth Circuit, of several federal timber sales.
Ski Area Permitting
The firm has represented a major Northwest ski area in the development of new facilities and the approval and defense of a new ski area master plan. Our representation has included successful defense of National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documents in administrative appeals and before the federal courts.