The scale and complexity of many commercial projects and transactions demand sophisticated permitting and regulatory support to inform critical decision-making and to track significant milestones. During underwriting, bidding and contracting, and in later stages of due diligence, closing and contract performance, the professionals in Robinson+Cole’s Environmental, Energy and Telecommunications Practice Group proudly help clients with varying interests close these complex deals and demanding projects, including: institutional lenders; private investors; municipal and other public authorities; engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contractors; and other developers and project owners.
Our members are most effective analyzing applicable permit requirements, assessing commercial contingencies, and anticipating administrative obstacles by applying their prior experiences working in government agencies and training in engineering, economics, geology and other fields of science. We develop and deliver the services needed to support teams comprised of our clients’ principals and in-house representatives, financial advisors, brokers/agents, engineers, and other consultants.
The following reflects the wide range of transactional and project services provided by our Environmental, Energy and Telecommunications Practice Group:
• Providing due diligence and planning support, including analysis of consultant reports, permits, and other environment, health and safety (EH&S) records
• Assisting with the maintenance and distribution of such records through electronic data rooms and other means
• Identifying critical path permits and authorizations and preparing/updating status and action items required to investigate and satisfy those regulatory requirements
• Supporting clients’ identification of material EH&S and other project risks, including liability for recognized environmental conditions (RECs) on project properties such as:
o oil and chemical spills;
o releases of emerging contaminants like per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS including PFOA and PFOS), perchlorate and 1,4-dioxane; and
o paints, caulk, and other building materials containing asbestos, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and other toxic compounds
• Determining the applicability of property and business transfer laws, such as the Connecticut Property Transfer Act and the New Jersey Industrial Site Recovery Act
• negotiating representations and warranties, covenants, insurance, indemnity and other contract terms and instruments as required to:
o define and allocate the parties’ responsibilities for material liabilities such as potentially responsible party (PRP) obligations arising under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and similar remedial programs
o establish the terms and conditions necessary for the parties to coordinate and timely satisfy the project objectives and any other planned remediation, abatement and EH&S compliance work, including easements and other rights necessary to establish property use restrictions and other institutional controls, to install remedial systems, and to operate, maintain and monitor such controls and systems
Robinson+Cole clients also benefit from the industry and interdisciplinary approach we take to delivering legal and government relation services. The focused legal teams we form to support our clients’ financing, construction, business transaction, and real estate projects include counsel from those practice groups plus any additional support needed from our governmental relations professionals and lawyers working in land use, tax, and other administrative and regulatory fields.
By drawing on the firm’s resources in this manner, we are able to support our client’s projects and deals in an efficient and effective manner. In addition to the energy and EH&S services outlined above, Robinson+Cole’s transactional and project services are often tailored to our clients’ projects and business transactions by:
• Fitting our due diligence and planning support, our analysis of critical path permits and authorizations, and our tracking of project tasks to cover concerns arising under zoning and other land use regulations, traffic and environmental impact assessments, endangered and threatened species evaluations, and related governmental financial assistance programs
• Drawing on the firm’s Sustainability Group, established to cross-train our attorneys and help our clients plan and pursue sustainable projects, including those designed to: repair or harden aging water, wastewater and coastal infrastructure; develop clean and renewable sources of energy and water; complete other climate change adaptations and mitigation initiatives; and certify construction under Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and other green-building standards
• Locating and accessing state and federal funding sources and permit assistance for:
o expansion and repair of water, wastewater, and other aging infrastructure
o brownfield and distressed property investigations, site clearing and demolition, building material abatements, and spill cleanups