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Overview

We tackle the legal and business issues associated with the environmental and ecological impacts of contamination to soils, ground and surface waters and related habitat.

We prosecute, defend and resolve claims arising under a variety of federal, state, and common law authorities, involving the clean up, restoration, and compensation for the impacts of industrial and commercial activities.

We help clients respond to, manage and resolve government and private-party clean up claims.  Our experience runs the gamut – from site investigations and remediation to litigating and negotiating responsibility for the costs of such efforts (and allocating those costs among responsible parties).  We help clients with contracting and implementing the required work as well as assist with meeting financial reporting and accounting obligations.

We handle claims under the federal "Superfund" statue (CERCLA), RCRA, and the Endangered Species Act, as well as the panoply of California clean up oriented laws, including the HSAA (California's Superfund equivalent), the Porter-Cologne Act, the Clean Water Act, and the California Hazardous Waste Control Law.  We also regularly defend and manage claims asserted by trustee agencies for liability for natural resource damages (NRD).

We have an excellent track record in assisting both public and private sector clients in dealing with groundwater contamination, underground storage tanks, and well field contamination.  We help clients avoid legal, financial, and operational problems resulting from the impairment of drinking water supplies.

CHROMIUM 6

We are one of the few law firms skilled in handling major perchlorate and hexavalent chromium ("Chromium 6") contamination and remediation cases in California.  We have an enviable record of success, steering two of Southern California's largest perchlorate cases towards more than $600 million in contamination settlements in favor of our clients.  Our extensive litigation and special counsel experience concerning Chromium 6 has prevented the waste of valuable water supply in the San Fernando Valley.

Assisting public and private entities in resolving environmental disputes and related insurance coverage issues is one of our core service offerings.  To date, we have recovered well into the hundreds of millions of dollars in insurance coverage for clients.  Our experience with contamination matters is valuable in dealing with potentially responsible parties, seeking third party insurance coverage and tapping clients' own insurance to defray all or a portion of the costs of litigation efforts.  We also routinely assist clients with the acquisition, sale, and remediation of contaminated property.

We apply an interdisciplinary approach when pursuing funds for contamination clean-up efforts.  We utilize multiple avenues to pressure potentially responsible parties to concede responsibility and provide financial support for clean-up efforts, including:

  • Filing lawsuits seeking relief through CERCLA, HSAA, RCRA, the Clean Water Act, and other environmental regulations.
  • Working with state and federal regulatory agencies to develop contamination studies and potential avenues for financial clean-up support.
  • Leveraging our political relationships to accentuate contamination issues and advance litigation and clean-up efforts.
  • Negotiating settlement agreements to avoid lengthy litigation process.
  • Covering litigation and clean-up costs through past and present insurance policies.

We have a wealth of experience counseling clients on controlling the impact of water quality on water rights, water transfers, and on the formation of groundwater storage programs and water banks.  We also perform environmental due diligence respecting the purchase and sale of contaminated properties.

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