The corporate world faces all types of legal issues on a regular basis, from employment law to mergers and acquisitions. A business law attorney customarily assists with any of these issues, depending on their area of expertise.
Oftentimes, however, environmental issues arise in the corporate context that are different from typical corporate legal considerations. Hiring an environmental business law attorney is a must in these scenarios. The knee-jerk reaction might be to look for a “business law attorney near me,” but physical location is not always the best parameter to search for. If you are a company owner or decision-maker, you should, at a minimum, consult with an attorney specializing in environmental law.
A company’s real estate transactions are the most common arena in which environmental implications arise. For example, a corporate entity may be aware of an environmental risk or liability that needs to be addressed as part of the sale of its real property. Those risks and liabilities need to be dealt with appropriately, depending on who the business law attorney represents. Another situation in which corporate environmental issues arise are those where the company is not aware of any issues – these can be the most dangerous. When a corporate sale is complete, the new owner can inherit the environmental problems of its predecessor. There are methods to protect the parties that only an environmental attorney can adequately handle.
The scope of work provided by an environmental business law attorney includes an initial assessment of the current and outstanding environmental orders and penalties issued by state and federal government. This scope of work reveals the most pressing issues that need to be addressed. Government-issued orders and penalties always carry a deadline and timeframe for compliance, which, if not appealed, are enforceable in the various courts of competent jurisdiction.
Hiring a business law attorney with experience in environmental matters is an excellent investment because the attorney can uncover issues that the parties are not aware of. In a corporate setting, the state and federal statutes apply differently than application to individuals. Liability under a federal statute such as CERCLA does not expire upon the sale of the corporate assets. Working with an environmental business law attorney when CERCLA applies can save a company hundreds of thousands of dollars in the course of a corporate sale.
Even a small business can face environmental legal challenges. Manufacturing companies of any size likely use chemicals in their daily operations that are stored on-site. The usage and storage of certain chemicals can trigger environmental liability, even where the owner is not aware of it. Small businesses can benefit from working with a business law attorney that has experience in environmental regulation.
The environmental implications associated with corporate transactions are serious and can be expensive if not treated correctly. Desautel Law has the team of attorneys you need to advise your business.
To learn more about Desautel Law and how its attorneys can help you, call us at 401.477.0023 today.