Environmental Due Diligence
We have significant experience in performing environmental due diligence for a wide variety of client projects in hundreds of property and business acquisitions identifying and mitigating potential environmental risks. Our environmental attorneys work seamlessly with other Godfrey & Kahn Practice Groups to provide support of our clients’ business transactions. The breadth of experience and in-depth knowledge of our practice group allows us to provide experienced legal advice in virtually all facets of environmental law at both the state and federal level.
A key goal of our Environmental Strategies Practice Group is the reduction of our clients’ exposure to environmental risk through the application of experienced due diligence and innovative techniques to allocating liability. From supporting corporate transactions to the cleanup of contaminated properties, our attorneys use a variety of innovative tools to reduce client exposure, including insurance, fixed-price contracting, audits and environmental management systems.
Contaminated Property Remediation Strategies, Fixed Price Contracting and Insurance
Godfrey & Kahn has assisted many clients in closing contaminated properties and reducing the business risk associated with these properties. On less complex sites, cleanup is often achieved through conventional approaches and financing. In more complex cases, Godfrey & Kahn has used turnkey fixed-price contracting and environmental insurance to transfer risk away from our clients.
Either alone or in combination with fixed-price cleanup contracts, Godfrey & Kahn has successfully used environmental insurance to transfer risk of increased cleanup scope, contractor cost overruns and toxic tort claims. We work closely with some of the top consulting firms and insurance brokers to negotiate cleanup projects that provide our clients with cost certainty and minimized risk.
We have substantial experience in assisting clients reduce the risk of environmental noncompliance through implementation of environmental audits and environmental management systems. Godfrey & Kahn provides assistance throughout the entire environmental auditing process, from audit design to working with environmental consultants to interpret the results. Godfrey & Kahn has also developed particular knowledge on effectively using state and federal voluntary self-disclosure policies to help clients avoid enforcement penalties when noncompliance issues have been identified.
Wisconsin’s Green Tier Program
Godfrey & Kahn is familiar with all aspects of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ Green Tier Program, and our attorneys are represented on the Advisory Committee. Green Tier provides an opportunity for our clients in Wisconsin to gain regulatory and enforcement flexibility in their dealings with the Department of Natural Resources, which can offer a considerable business advantage.
Environmental Transactions and Due Diligence
While Godfrey & Kahn has provided environmental due diligence counsel to both buyers and sellers on hundreds of projects, the following are some of the more notable endeavors we have worked on:
Godfrey & Kahn served as counsel for all state-related due diligence for an investor-owned, regulated utility in the proposed purchase of a hydroelectric facility.
Point Beach Nuclear Power Plant
Godfrey & Kahn provided all state-related due diligence, including regulatory, real estate, environmental and employment matters, for a final round bidder in connection with the sale of the Point Beach Nuclear Power Plant.
Power Plant Acquisition
Godfrey & Kahn provided all state-related due diligence for a final round bidder for proposed acquisition of a 500MW, gas-fired power plant in Wisconsin.
Turnkey Support for a Major Financial Institution
Godfrey & Kahn provided turnkey transactional due diligence for a major financial institution to minimize our client’s risk derived from direct or indirect investment in potentially contaminated properties.
Serve as lead outside counsel in the environmental evaluation of distressed properties across the country. We provide the Bank with strategic advice regarding the environmental condition and corresponding liabilities stemming from distressed properties as part of the Bank’s foreclosure-related decision-making and serve as a single point of contact for the Bank to ensure consistency in the standards, approach, and scope of the evaluation and to improve the quality of the Bank’s decision making. We were able to allow client to make informed decisions regarding the disposition of potentially contaminated properties with considerable potential value (and potential liability).
Godfrey & Kahn provided general legal advice on hazardous waste closure issues for legacy facilities and environmental due diligence on acquisition.