Environmental Law with a Difference

larry-schnapf Schnapf LLCThe Schnapf LLC is a boutique environmental law firm with expertise in environmental issues associated with Corporate and Real Estate Transactions, Complex Commercial Financing, Environmental Due Diligence, and Brownfield Development.  We have extensive experience with environmental issues associated with acquisition, construction, development refinancing and sale of commercial, industrial, retail, hotel, health care, affordable housing, residential and multi-family properties.

We also assist clients with Environmental Compliance  issues as well as represent clients in state and federal administrative proceedings.

We offer clients big firm partner-level expertise and experience on a full range of environmental issues at small firm pricing- our standard billing rate is $675 per hour- and flexible billing practices.  We do not charge for office or travel  expenses.

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We are able to serve clients and transactions that  do not have access to the “Big Law” firms.  Because of our size, Schnapf LLC is able to meet our clients’ needs with agility and personalized attention. Our goal is to help clients minimize their environmental liability while maximizing the business opportunity.

We provide environmental due diligence assistance to law firms that do not have in-house environmental expertise and also provide plaintiff and defense litigation support to law firms representing clients in environmental litigation and cost recovery actions. We can assist law firms with environmental law or regulatory research and also provide expert testimony on environmental issues.

Our due diligence and transactional support services include:

  • Pre-Transactional Diligence- Strategic sellers are increasingly using pre-transactional diligence reviews to help flag issues that could complicate a transaction to maximize the value of the assets and expediate the closing of the transaction. We help clients identify existing and legacy liabilities associated with corporate assets and historic operations, resolve and develop pro-active strategies for those issues  to facilitate transactions.
  • Environmental Review– we help clients develop expeditious and cost-effective investigations that meet the needs of a fast-moving transaction and their particular risk tolerances; evaluate and confirm environmental issues identified in phase 1 reports or recommendations in phase 2 reports; provide clients with practical and reasonable estimates that allow clients to better value their transactions, and review or negotiate contracts with environmental consultants;
  • Structuring Strategic Solutions- We assist clients structure their transactions and design creative cost-sharing or allocating mechanisms to try to minimize their potential liability; develop exit strategies for the environmental liabilities identified during the environmental due diligence process;
  • Brownfield and Other Financial Assistance Mechanisms– we have particular expertise in identifying and obtaining financial assistance for defraying some or all of the cleanup costs arising out of a particular transaction;
  • Contract Drafting and Negotiation– we assist in drafting environmental provisions in a full range of agreements including due diligence requests, purchase and sale agreements, environmental covenants for loan and financing agreements, indemnities,  post-closing remediation and remediation agreements, access or license agreements to perform or implement investigations or remediation;
  • Post-Closing Services– We help clients implement, monitor and enforce post-closing obligations to investigate, remediate or monitor environmental issues. We also develop due care/appropriate care plans to support risk-based cleanups, comply with post-remedial obligations and maintain liability protections;

We also offer special due diligence flat rate and discount pricing programs for financial institutions. We have also developed a Preferred Environmental Consultant (PEC) Program for clients that use environmental consultants that have established track records and expertise with the NYSDEC remedial programs. We offer innovative fixed fee and discounted pricing for clients who use our PEC Partners.

NYSDEC Proposes Revisions to Commissioner’s Policy (CP)-51 Soil Cleanup Guidance

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (“NYSDEC”) has release proposed revisions to its CP-51 Soil Cleanup Guidance. This polcy which was first issued in 2010  describes  procedures for developing soil cleanup levels for contaminants  not otherwise listed in the seven sets of Soil Cleanup Objective (SCOs) set forth in 6 NYCRR Part 375.

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Court Finds Triable Issue If Purchaser Can Assert Innocent Landowner Defense Due To Flawed Phase 1

Some of the more interesting CERCLA cases involve lawsuits between current and former property owners. Usually, the current owner assumes it qualifies as bona fide prospective purchaser (BFPP) or for the Innocent Landowner (ILO) Defense and sues the defendant/former owner for cost recovery. The defendant/former owner invariably files counterclaims alleging the current owner/plaintiff is not

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Court Allows Breach of Contract Claim Against Environmental Consultant for Inadequate Records Search to Proceed

Much of the focus of the 2021 revisions to ASTM Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment Standard E-1527 was to clarify the custom and practice for performing historical investigations-particularly for adjoining properties. Unfortunately, for an architectural firm that dabbled in the phase 1 marketplace these clarifications came too late. In Hathaway Homes, Phase II Limited Partnership

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