The very mention of the word litigation can understandably cause feelings of stress. Many of us associate the term with drawn-out legal proceedings, tension-inducing conflicts, and mounting expenses.
The best remedy for any concerns you may harbor around litigation is knowledge -- not only understanding how to avoid liabilities and missteps that can place you in a litigatory situation, but also knowing what to do if you find yourself or your business in one.
Environmental litigation looms large in the field of EHS and beyond, with high-profile cases capturing national headlines on a regular basis. For businesses of all kinds, it is important to have an environmental litigation support plan in place that works to prevent liabilities, prepare for the event of a legal dispute, and protect your organization and its interests should one arise.
What Is Environmental Litigation?
“The scope of what qualifies as environmental litigation is huge, covering a complex array of federal and state statutes, hundreds of common-law rules, and thousands of pages of regulations,” according to the American Bar Association. There is an array of state and federal laws and regulations defining the environmental litigation playing field at a high level, and many are in flux in the U.S. under the current administration.
Through the lens of more than 30 years worth of experience and expertise supporting businesses in these scenarios, matters of environmental litigation usually pertain to contamination events and ensuing considerations such as:
- Release mechanisms
- Migration and transport concerns
- Cost allocation
- Natural resource damages
Why Is Environmental Litigation Support Valuable?
The environmental regulatory landscape is vast, complex, and -- as we alluded earlier -- hardly static over time. When a company finds itself in an environmental litigation scenario, the support of a knowledgeable and confident partner is indispensable, especially given the stakes in terms of reputation and resources.
An environmental litigation support consultant can provide many useful services, bringing clarity and stability during potentially turbulent times. Not only can these expert services help get your organization into the best possible position for an eventual trial by reviewing documents, preparing reports, performing historical site analyses, and assisting you in developing strategies, but they can also assist during the proceeding themselves with expert testimony, affidavit submittals, depositions and other services. One of the most critical support needs is development of supporting graphics and communication tools to make what are often highly complex and technically detailed subjects understandable to the interpreters of law or non-technical “finders of fact.”
The bottom line is that legal issues are always thorny and, in this arena, all the more so. These cases often involve large quantities of data and information to be assimilated, reviewed, and analyzed. And given the way costs can spiral out of control when dealing with any legal matter, proactively managing and minimizing expenses wherever possible is of the essence.
A seasoned consulting firm that thoroughly understands the many specifics and intricacies of both environmental regulation and litigation can make a transformative difference in these situations.
A critical added advantage during our current times is that environmental litigation support resources such as Antea Group can offer these comprehensive services remotely using technology without the need for multiple or repetitive in-person meetings and extensive travel.
When Is Environmental Support Needed?
What might prompt a company to seek environmental litigation support? Here are a few triggers that may initiate a conversation:
- Threats of legal action over contamination issues
- Questions of liability with neighboring properties
- Questions of compliance with existing, evolving, or emerging regulations
- Grounds for legal action on your part against another property or company
- Expert point of contact needed between company and legal reps
- Mergers & acquisitions
- Acquiring or moving to a new facility/site
- Planning resources and budget for foreseeable litigation issues
To exemplify what environmental litigation support looks like in practice, check out our case studies on providing expert testimony for PFAS fate and transfer, or Superfund litigation and allocation support for a midstream oil and gas client.
If any of the above scenarios sound familiar, or you’re simply interested in learning more about environmental litigation support and how it might come into play for your organization, we invite you to learn more about our services or reach out to our in-house expert with questions.
With multiple locations across the USA and globally, Antea Group can provide local resources to seamlessly support any environmental litigation needs you may have. Any litigation situation, even one that’s being filed on your part, can be intimidating. But much less so when you aren’t going it alone.
Contact us today to learn more about our Environmental Litigation Support Services.
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