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Environmental Law

Over the past three decades, KDDK has built the strongest and most diverse environmental practice in the region. Today, our environmental group offers effective, knowledgeable, and experienced representation for a broad spectrum of industrial, commercial, and financial matters relating to environmental law.

We work daily with businesses, individuals and governmental entities to prevent and solve environmental issues. Our environmental law team understands the difficulties businesses face in complying with the continuously changing regulations imposed by federal, state and local environmental agencies. We bring an in-depth understanding of these ever-changing regulations providing practical solutions for environmental problems.

Cost Recovery and Brownfield Redevelopment

Industrial or commercial brownfield properties that are abandoned, inactive or underutilized and available for redevelopment can be substantially undervalued assets for our clients.  Redevelopment of brownfield areas can be complicated, however, by actual or perceived environmental contamination.

The success of a brownfield redevelopment project often depends on effective negotiation and pursuit of environmental cost reimbursement and recovery from a variety of sources.  These can include third-party contract claims, federal and state grants for investigation, remediation, demolition and other activities, statutory and common law cost recovery against current and past owners and operators, insurance coverage for investigation and cleanup costs, and compliance with release reporting, waste handling and disposal requirements.

Our environmental law team has extensive experience, not only in utilizing these various recovery sources, but also in reducing the overall financial impact of unfavorable environmental assessments by understanding how to navigate lawful cost recovery mechanisms.

Enforcement Dispute Resolution and Defense

Defending you or your business in an administrative action brought by local, state or federal regulators can be complex and challenging. The public relations issues alone can have a devastating effect on a company’s reputation and bottom line.

In addition, when facing environmental enforcement orders, businesses must take care to ensure that settlement of the environmental enforcement does not give rise to private civil claims.

Whether the environmental issue arises under the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, EPCRA, RCRA, CERCLA or state law, our firm has found that a well thought-out strategy from the moment a government inspector arrives, until a final resolution is achieved, promotes win-win solutions for both governmental agencies and our clients. Our environmental law attorneys are well-versed in both up-front consultations to ensure compliance, as well in representing clients in the enforcement process. From administrative agency actions, to negotiation, mediation, arbitration or litigation, and even voluntary remediation methods, our experienced and knowledgeable environmental law team is prepared to guide you and your business through the complicated dispute resolution process.

Regulatory Compliance and Permitting

Our environmental law team helps reduce your future compliance costs by working with clients to develop well-defined environmental policies and counseling them on interpretation and compliance with federal, state and local environmental statutes and regulations.

Our experience in this field includes:

  • Review of spill prevention plans and emergency response plans,
  • Business development,
  • Environmental compliance audit education,
  • Identifying potential problems or issues and applying creative solutions to existing enforcement concerns, and
  • Preparing and negotiating permit applications, including amendments, modifications or revisions under the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, RCRA or other regulatory structures

Pre-Purchase, Due Diligence, Risk Assessment and Prevention

Environmental contamination often is discovered in the process or buying or selling property. Kahn, Dees, Donovan & Kahn attorneys routinely advise owners, sellers, buyers, landlords, tenants, brokers, lenders and property trustees in the planning and design of environmental due diligence assessments and audits to protect against potential environmental liability in real estate, construction, and other business transactions, providing them with sound business and legal advice to identify risks, assess future liabilities, retain environmental consultants to perform assessments or remediation, and negotiate favorable contracts to limit liability. We work in tandem with our clients to develop cost effective, environmentally productive solutions in real estate and business matters, helping them to negotiate their way through legal, regulatory and general environmental barriers to close on their transaction.

Underground Storage Tanks

Over the years, KDDK attorneys have successfully represented hundreds of clients in the pursuit of reimbursement funds from Indiana’s Excess Liability Trust Fund (ELF) for the management of leaking underground storage tanks (USTs).

We have concentrated experience in assisting individuals and business owners in UST investigation, eligibility, compliance, liability, clean-up, remediation and reimbursement from ELF and other potential recovery sources such as insurance and prior oil company owners and operators.

Environmental Litigation

Environmental law is one of the fastest growing practice areas in Indiana. Our firm has one of the leading environmental law practice groups in the region. When environmental issues must be tried or appealed, our litigators have the knowledge and experience to successfully advocate our clients’ interests.