Environmental Services The Stark & Stark Environmental Services practice group works with corporations, developers, and top environmental consultants to help regulated industries, landowners, lenders, and other businesses best understand and operate within the complex real estate, zoning, and land use environmental regulatory framework. Environmental Practice Services At Stark & Stark, we understand that doing business in today’s world requires organizations to navigate a labyrinth of federal, state, and municipal regulations, assisting clients in the proper assessment and allocation of environmental risks and liabilities. While billions of dollars have been spent on re-mediating hazardous waste sites and improving water and air pollution control technology, the impact of poor environmental stewardship is still felt, and environmental issues remain at the top of the regulatory agenda. For clients who commit resources to compliance, and recognize the public relations advantages of wise corporate stewardship of environmental assets, our team seeks to spur the growth by invoking Brownfield and “green” marketing programs that permit businesses to thrive in what were once blighted cities and neighborhoods. Our clients include environmental permitees, landowners, developers, businesses, and industries seeking guidance in ISRA compliance, wetlands and ground pollution, and air and water pollution, many of whom have concern or liability. We maintain a macro view of the many regulated legal disciplines that are required in the evaluation, analysis, and management of environmental issues affecting property transfer, such as environmental audits, Phase 1 & Phase 2 assessments, ISRA compliance, soil and ground water remediation. Leveraging the Stark & Stark Practice Group Network Stark & Stark provides clients with an integrated network of skilled attorneys with expertise in a range of related environmental areas including: Commercial, Retail and Industrial Real Estate – Stark & Stark maintains a team of attorneys to assist clients in evaluating business decisions by taking into account the potential environmental costs and liabilities, which could significantly impact the feasibility or financial advisability of acquisitions and other transactions. We also help our clients identify other parties, which may be responsible for a particular environmental concern, and assist in cost recovery actions against those parties. Insurance policies also play a role as a source of additional coverage for the cleanup of contaminated soils and water. Beer & Spirits – when establishing a brewery, brew pub, or distillery, clients need to comply with state and municipal land use and zoning regulations, including Federal and state environmental protection laws. Our knowledge of state, county, and municipal land use and zoning regulations is critical when guiding you through land use and zoning approvals. As one of the largest real estate practices in New Jersey, our attorneys regularly appear before planning and zoning boards throughout the state and are well prepared to advise and advocate for our clients related to any land use, zoning, and environmental issues, energy and water consumption, waste water, solid waste, and air emissions are some of the many environmental challenges faced by industry businesses. Banking & Financial – Stark & Stark actively pursues and applies effective legal strategies that make business sense, representing national, regional, and local banks, commercial finance companies, and insurance and bonding companies in commercial lending, litigation, workouts, and other transactions. Our financial services team assists clients in matters relating to commercial lending and workouts, often working with the cooperation and assistance of other environmental lawyers in the firm who bring relevant and critical knowledge of related disciplines, such as real estate, environmental, securities, tax, corporate, and commercial litigation. Commercial Lending – representation of our clients in commercial and real estate lending transactions includes examination and counseling in many diverse areas, such as environmental matters, real estate land use approvals, and avoidance of lender liability pitfalls. In most instances, Stark & Stark provides commercial lending clients with pre-quoted fixed fees at the outset of a new loan transaction. This enables the lender and its borrower to arrive at an “up front” understanding of the cost of the intended transaction. Bankruptcy and Workouts – workout and bankruptcy matters include those in which our lender clients are secured by real estate or personally, or, in some instances, are unsecured. Many of these matters and a great deal of related litigation involve issues pertaining to real estate. Often our clients must consider land use, planning, and zoning issues in determining the value of their collateral and the potential legal problems they might encounter in maximizing that value. Just as frequently, even when collateral is other than real estate, environmental liabilities and risks must be carefully considered before a strategy can be conceived and implemented. And inevitably, there are corporate, securities, and tax issues related to most bankruptcy issues. Bankruptcy & Creditors’ Rights – work-outs often present an opportunity to minimize legal costs while maximizing recoveries through the restructuring of debt outside of court supervision. The Bankruptcy and Creditor’s Rights Group has substantial experience in representing real estate and commercial lenders in working out troubled loans. Recent Experience Represented a national industry with multiple facilities in New Jersey in challenging and resolving requirements of wastewater discharge permits; also settled significant fines and penalties for violation of permit requirements. Represented a national corporation in action to establish liability for environmental contamination and costs of cleanup, resolving issues through entry into a settlement agreement and consent order for judgment in the amount of $3,000,000. Represented numerous industries in defending suits and actions stemming from NJPDES and wastewater discharge permit violations. Represented numerous entities pursuant to claims for clean up and removal cost pursuant to the New Jersey Spill Act. Defended solid waste entities (recycling facilities, haulers, A-90N licensees) in conjunction with enforcement actions brought by the NJDEP. Successfully represented a large national corporation in achieving resolution of significant financial contribution claim for clean up and removal of hazardous substances.