Superfund & Hazardous Sites

Innovative Legal & Economic Solutions

KMCL has deep experience addressing hazardous substance, hazardous waste, and petroleum contamination at sites nationwide at the state and federal levels.

We have successfully prosecuted and defended cases arising under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), analogous state statutes and common law tort claims collectively involving hundreds of millions of dollars of potential liabilities.

We have also worked on complex RCRA sites to address corrective action requirements, and we have defended RCRA enforcement actions and citizen suits.

Please contact any KMCL attorney for more information on this area of practice.

Advocacy

KMCL has represented an industrial advocacy organization in passage of the ground-breaking Georgia Voluntary Remediation Program Act of 2009 (VRP), which for the first time brought expedited risk based corrective action to hazardous site cleanups in Georgia. Our attorneys led the legislative drafting effort and were key players in agency and stakeholder negotiations.

We were also instrumental in getting the VRP effectively opened for business in April 2010 by the adoption of a new and revised application process.

Representative Matters

  • Acting as environmental counsel for developer of a $2 billion mixed‐use project involving legacy environmental issues. Providing comprehensive support services from start to finish, and overseeing the post-closing remediation effort to obtain final regulatory closure.
  • Defending a shopping center owner against claim by U.S. EPA in NPL site where former dry cleaners at shopping center had allegedly contaminated a major southern city’s drinking water wells.
  • Leading the enforcement negotiations and private party litigation defense simultaneously for a major manufacturer at a site involving up to $500 million in remedial costs.  Finalizing what was termed the most complex agreement ever entered by U.S. EPA Region 4 that provided for the investigation and cleanup of up to 12,000 residential parcels, and litigated issues concerning the contribution protection effects of that agreement. Obtaining a very favorable settlement of ongoing consent order obligations with a cash-out agreement.
  • Litigating as primary counsel more than 20 toxic tort claims involving hazardous waste or solid waste disposal sites wherein surrounding residents were alleging property damage and personal injury from materials disposed at the sites, where defense groups consisted of as few as four and as many as two hundred other parties. Attending, taking, and defending numerous depositions of expert and lay witnesses, negotiating with plaintiff’s attorneys, and successfully resolving hundreds of claims favorably for clients
  • Negotiating a cleanup plan at a site named by the Director of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division as the state’s “Number One Superfund Site.” The negotiation resulted in a first-of-its-kind delisting of hazardous waste at the site, saving at least $15 million.  Obtaining a unique agreement for the Georgia EPD to fund a portion of the work out of the state trust fund, saving our clients an additional several-million dollars.
  • Negotiating a complex RI/FS CERCLA Consent Order with U.S. EPA at one of North America’s largest paper mills. Our approach saved our client tens and possibly hundreds of millions of dollars.
  • Obtaining a favorable resolution for the most significant defendant in multi-party CERCLA litigation over an alleged landfill on plaintiff’s property.
  • Obtaining a favorable resolution in a multi-party CERCLA litigation in separate cases in New Jersey and Georgia for a Fortune 50 diversified chemical company.
  • Obtaining the dismissal of multi-million dollar CERCLA litigation brought by a potentially responsible party group for a Fortune 500 financial institution. The case involved the attempted imputation of officer liability to the institution as well as complex federal jurisdictional issues.
  • Participating on behalf of client with three other PRPs in claim brought by the State of Michigan and the United States involving the remediation of 57 miles of the Kalamazoo River in Michigan from alleged PCB contamination from discharges from pulp and paper mills. Developing and implementing a strategy for defending property damage and personal injury claims.
  • Providing ongoing representation to client in the acquisition and resale of several 100-year-old closed industrial brownfields sites in Canada and the U.S., including oversight of Phase I and II assessments, structuring and oversight of pre- and post-closing remediation plans, and obtaining pollution liability and cost cap environmental insurance.
  • Representing a municipality in a case seeking contribution for costs associated with a manufactured gas plant against successors to companies dating back to 1850. A two week trial resulted in a finding of liability, after which the matter was settled with the creation of multimillion dollar escrow fund for cleanup of impacts to river sediments. Assisted the municipality in the negotiations of a consent decree governing the cleanup and continues to represent them in connection with implementing the remedy.
  • Serving as Common Counsel defending 32 PRPs in U.S. EPA cost recovery action.  U.S. EPA absorbed 40% of the response costs in the settlement, and partially recovered group costs through a private cost-recovery action.
  • Serving as Common Counsel for PRP Groups in lead battery, waste oil, waste solvent and oil, and numerous other NPL or State superfund type sites.

Eight members of KMCL were recognized by Best Lawyers in 2019 for their excellence in Environmental Law.

OUR OFFICES

1230 Peachtree Street, N.E., Suite 900
Atlanta, GA 30309

Phone: 404-812-0839

1914 4th Avenue North, Suite 400
Birmingham, AL 35203

Phone: 205-777-7972

One PPG Place, Suite 3100
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Phone: 404-333-0752