Environmental and Sustainability
Environmental law is a rapidly changing field, where governing authorities are highly technical and risks can be difficult to assess. Our environmental and sustainability practice group assists clients in navigating the complex maze of environmental laws and proactively seeking ways to improve business practices. Our practice covers many areas, including:
We have a broad and varied environmental litigation practice and have assisted clients with litigation involving issues such as common law nuisance and trespass suits, cost recovery litigation under CERCLA, water use disputes, endangered species takings cases, insurance coverage disputes, and waste management litigation.
Due Diligence in Corporate Transactions
We assist clients in evaluating potential environmental risks and carefully drafting and reviewing contracts, leases, acquisition agreements, and related documents in order to reduce the risks of environmental liability associated with corporate transactions, including mergers and acquisitions.
Natural Resources Conservation
The firm’s lawyers have a long-standing commitment to environmental conservation efforts. Working closely with conservation organizations and community partners, we have assisted clients to protect large tracts of ecologically sensitive land with conservation easement agreements and grants.
Regulatory Compliance, Enforcement, and Permitting
We monitor evolving regulatory requirements, advise clients in agency enforcement actions, and assist clients in navigating the process of applying for and securing environmental permits for various industrial and residential activities, such as mining, waterfront development, and water use.
Real Estate Development & Rehabilitation
We assist clients in assessing risks of environmental liability in real estate transactions, rehabilitating contaminated sites through the brownfields program and pursuing sustainable development practices, including LEED certification and green leasing principles. We also advise clients on complying with relevant federal, state and local environmental laws that impact property development, including those applicable to threatened animal and plant species and wetlands.
Renewable Energy and Clean Technology Development
We assist clients in developing renewable energy and clean technology projects, such as biomass conversion facilities. Additionally, our lawyers monitor federal and state renewable energy incentives in the emerging renewable energy field.
Lawyers in the firm’s environmental & sustainability practice group are widely recognized for their success in the area. Tommy Wyche was the first recipient of the American Bar Association’s Award for Excellence in Environmental and Resources Stewardship. Greg English is a contributing author to Environmental Law in South Carolina, and Rita Bolt Barker serves as adjunct faculty at Furman University, where she teaches Environmental Law. Additionally, members of the practice group are active in the American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy and Resources, the South Carolina Bar Association Environmental Section, Urban Land Institute, US Green Building Council, the City of Greenville’s Green Ribbon Advisory Council and Brownfields Task Force, and the Greenville Chamber of Commerce’s Environmental Issues Committee.