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Remediation and Sale of Contaminated Industrial Site at Substantially Reduced Cost

Lindabury assisted an international industrial commodities supplier in all phases of the closure, cleanup and eventual sale of their environmentally contaminated Northern New Jersey industrial property. The property which was first devoted to industrial use in early 1930s, had been in heavy continual use for over 70 years until its closure in 2006.

Just prior to the plant’s closure our client was served with a Proposed Administrative Consent Order regarding its obligation to investigate and remediate environmental conditions at the property at an anticipated cost of approximately $15-20,000,000. The property’s soil and ground water were contaminated and the existence of buried containers and potential off-site contamination were determined to exist.

Due to the harsh stipulated penalties of the Proposed Administrative Consent Order our clients did not sign the Order. Instead, we partnered with our client and assisted them in working with leading environmental consultants and later an LSRP to investigate and remediate the site. The site remediation involved unique investigation and cleanup requirements which we helped manage in conjunction with an environmental consultant. We negotiated and prepared contracts with specialized remediation contractors, including a group expert in asbestos remediation and saw the cleanup to conclusion.

We successfully responded to local municipal orders regarding the presence of unsafe structures and prepared contracts for and assisted in the coordinated demolition and removal of existing on-site structures and the importation of clean fill for the site’s cap. In addition we negotiated a settlement agreement with a neighboring property owner for claims of off-site contamination and worked closely with a fate and transport expert to develop the strategy, presentation and arguments needed to negotiate an initial multi-million dollar demand to a low six-figure settlement. We also negotiated a separate settlement agreement with the predecessor in ownership which apportioned liabilities for environmental conditions.

Finally we screened potential purchasers and assisted in selection of the eventual referred purchaser and concluded in negotiating and preparing the final contract of sale and acquisition of riparian rights from the State of New Jersey to satisfy a condition of the sale.

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