Environmental, Health & Safety

Just as the environment encompasses many climates, landscapes and species, the practice of environmental, health and safety law involves numerous disciplines. The activities of clients cut across product development, industrial operations, workplace practices and consumer education, as well as natural resource use, occupational safety, pollution control and waste management. The relevant legal issues may involve biology, chemistry, engineering, geology, meteorology, toxicology and other specialties. Because ecosystems and technologies continually evolve, so do the laws. Because populations and public priorities change, conflicts arise frequently regarding the costs and benefits of environmental, health and safety regulation. The goal of our Environmental, Health & Safety Group is to bring harmony and simplicity to the dynamic and complex world of environmental, health and safety affairs. Our attorneys guide businesses through the full range of governmental relations, regulatory compliance, corrective action, agency enforcement and litigation issues.

To service our clients better, our attorneys have an extensive reference collection and access to numerous commercial and governmental databases. When necessary, we can identify and contract with the appropriate consultants, engineers and expert witnesses to provide technical support, such as for compliance audits and permit applications.

If you have any questions or would like further information about Masuda Funai's Environmental, Health & Safety practice, please contact Timothy J. Hammersmith, at 312.245.7500 or via e-mail at thammersmith@masudafunai.com.

The Environmental, Health & Safety Group is familiar with the specific risks and concerns of most industries, including the automotive parts, chemical, energy, machining, medical device, pharmaceutical, printing and waste disposal sectors. The attorneys of the Environmental, Health & Safety Group have handled matters concerning:

  1. The siting, permitting and development of industrial and environmentally sensitive facilities
  2. The defense of governmental enforcement proceedings
  3. The assessment and negotiation of merger, acquisition and real estate transaction risks
  4. The investigation and remediation of contaminated properties pursuant to the Superfund and voluntary cleanup programs
  5. The issuance of permits and maintenance of compliance pursuant to the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, Resource Recovery and Conservation Act, Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act and similar statutes
  6. The litigation of claims regarding response costs, personal injuries, property damages or insurance rights

  • Represented a chemical company at public hearings to obtain local zoning and land use approvals for a new manufacturing facility, which approvals were contingent upon demonstrating compliance with applicable environmental, health and safety requirements.

  • Represented a large auto parts manufacturer in the defense of Environmental Protection Agency proceedings involving its cross-border, maquiladora facilities to investigate and prosecute alleged violations of hazardous waste management regulations.

  • Represented a large food products company in the investigation of and response to the alleged presence of asbestos materials at a candy production plant.

  • Represented a real estate developer in numerous acquisitions of contaminated properties for redevelopment, including one of the first successful instances of obtaining a "No Further Action" letter through the State of Illinois brownfields program for a residential property where substances of concern are managed on-site.

  • Represented engine manufacturers in their defenses of California Air Resources Board proceedings to investigate and prosecute alleged violations of applicable pollutant emissions regulations.

  • Represented various manufacturers and distributors in defenses to private lawsuits pursuant to California Proposition 65 regarding alleged failures to provide adequate warnings of exposures to certain carcinogens.