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MGKF has extensive experience in the broad array of federal, state, and local regulatory programs applicable to industrial, commercial, and municipal operations. Our attorneys and technical consultants provide services ranging from assisting clients with a single issue or agency inspection to developing comprehensive compliance programs or auditing across multi-facility organizations. In addition to compliance planning and implementation, we also advise clients responding to environmental emergencies. Whether a client has its own established response structure or is struggling to address a completely unanticipated emergency, we can provide strategic legal support and guidance. We also defend clients in civil and administrative enforcement actions by regulatory agencies.

Whether working with a Fortune 100 company or a sole proprietorship, MGKF gives particular attention to our clients' individual business needs and the practical impact of complex regulatory programs on day-to-day operations. We use this understanding as a foundation for working with clients to tailor compliance plans that meet their business objectives and applicable regulatory requirements.

In addition to regulatory programs covering the major environmental media of air, water, and waste, a number of other programs can impose substantial compliance obligations. Among others, our regulatory counseling and enforcement defense practice includes these significant programs:


 

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A few examples of the firm's experience in regulatory counseling and enforcement defense include these significant program areas:

  • Asbestos:  MGKF counseled a national retail chain on regulatory requirements applicable to building and facility owners for providing notice to housekeeping employees and others of the presence of asbestos-containing materials in stores pursuant the federal OSHA program and OSHA-approved state programs.

  • Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know (EPCRA):  During a multi-media voluntary environmental audit, we assisted a telecommunications company in determining whether Tier 2 reporting violations had occurred at hundreds of facilities nationwide. In certain instances, the evaluation involved complex legal questions, such as evaluating the reporting obligations of multiple companies located at the same facility. We worked with the client to return facilities to compliance for prior missing Tier 2 reports, assembled information for LEPC emergency planning submissions, and negotiated a significantly reduced penalty with EPA headquarters as part of a voluntary disclosure under the agency's audit policy. To prevent future noncompliance, MGKF prepared a comprehensive internal guidance document for the client on both general and state-specific EPCRA reporting obligations, and presented training sessions to client personnel.

  • Environmental Auditing:  MGKF participated in an environmental audit for a large telecommunications company involving several hundred facilities nationwide. The audit resulted in voluntary disclosures under EPA and several state audit policies, negotiation of a greatly reduced EPA civil penalty, and entry into an EPA consent assessment. Working with the client and an outside consultant, the firm was substantially involved in designing the audit protocol, evaluating findings to identify noncompliance, drafting the audit report, preparing compliance guidelines in a series of environmental regulatory areas, and performing compliance training for client personnel.

    In addition, the firm has counseled two Pennsylvania colleges during environmental audits performed under an agreement between EPA, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Pennsylvania. MGKF assisted the colleges by reviewing draft audit reports, evaluating potential noncompliance findings, and preparing disclosures under EPA's audit policy.

  • Indoor Air Quality:  The firm counseled the owner of a New Jersey corporate office center in investigating potential IAQ impacts to tenant spaces associated with vapor intrusion from soil and groundwater contamination beneath the property, which was under remediation by the former owner. MGKF assisted the client by preparing requests for proposal for a consulting firm to perform indoor air testing, evaluating test results, and reviewing the consultant's draft report for compliance with New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency vapor intrusion guidance documents.

  • Spill Planning:  MGKF worked with a client and its consultant to develop a comprehensive Intergrated Contingency Plan (ICP) for the client's refining and chemical manufacturing facility. The ICP consolidated several federal, state, and local spill and emergency response planning requirements into a unified document and streamlined the client's emergency response plan.

  • Storage Tanks:  MGKF counseled the owner of an abandoned bulk petroleum storage facility on tank registration, closure, and related regulatory requirements for several large aboveground storage tanks to facilitate transfer of the property for redevelopment. The firm's representation included extensive negotiation with city and state agencies, resulting in a consent order and settlement agreement allowing conveyance and redevelopment of the site.

  • Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA):  The firm counseled a petroleum refiner on the scope of TSCA's "excluded manufacturing process" exemption governing the manufacture or import of products containing PCBs generated as unintentional impurities. MGKF also advised the client on recordkeeping and EPA reporting requirements associated with this exemption.

    MGKF has also counseled a specialty chemical company on TSCA pre-manufacture notification issues and new chemical registration requirements in the United States and a variety of foreign markets, including the European Union, Canada and Asia.

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