Overview

Burns represents businesses and individuals in all areas of environmental law. We prosecute, defend, and mediate hazardous waste cases under the federal Superfund law and its Massachusetts counterpart, Chapter 21E, the Clean Air Act, and several other environmental statutes. We negotiate agreements and settlements with the EPA, state and local environmental authorities under hazardous waste, clean water, clean air acts and wetlands laws. We apply for, and seek transfer of, environmental permits for property owners, manufacturing operations and waste disposal firms. We provide advice on compliance with environmental laws and strategic planning for minimizing exposure to liabilities.

Our team counsels several major participants in federal Superfund cases at sites throughout New England and in other parts of the country. We negotiate settlements and agreements with the EPA, draft complex documents to implement the settlements, and mediate disputes between responsible parties.

We are often called upon to evaluate and develop strategies concerning the environmental risks faced by buyers, sellers, borrowers, lenders, landlords, and tenants in real estate, corporate and financing transactions.

We bring and defend hazardous waste cleanup cases by and against private parties. We also appear before, and negotiate with, numerous state and local environmental authorities.

Our brownfields redevelopment practice combines the skills of its environmental and real estate attorneys to address the specialized needs of clients who acquire, develop, or finance contaminated real estate. We help clients minimize risk and maximize return in this highly regulated area. Our team combines their knowledge and experience in federal and state cleanup requirements and other environmental laws with their experience in legal issues related to acquiring, developing, and financing real estate.

Real estate developers, investors, and lenders turn to us when acquiring, developing, and financing projects such as office buildings, industrial parks, manufacturing sites, research and development space, shopping malls, retail store sites, apartment buildings, condominiums and residential subdivisions. We provide our clients with the full spectrum of services necessary to bring these projects to fruition, from negotiations with regulators, zoning, permitting, and acquisition, through financing, construction, leasing, and disposition.

Whether your legal need involves the courtroom or evaluating legal risks, let us put our tactical, dependable and diligent environmental team to work for you.

Experience
  • Represented a major state-wide business organization in two cases challenging the regulations proposed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency under the Clean Air Act. The cases are pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. Their outcomes are likely to significantly affect the requirements that apply to businesses in New England under the Clean Air Act.
  • Represent a major petroleum company in all of its environmental litigation in Massachusetts.
  • Represented a major financial institution in its expansion of a regional shopping mall. Resolving environmental issues was critical to the success of this expansion and our team assisted in the overall strategic plan for the expansion.
  • Environmental counsel to a large regional bank and advise the bank on its decisions to foreclose on contaminated properties and assist in carrying out further assessments and cleanup activities on sites the bank owns and manages.
Professionals Resources