Nothing stalls and disrupts the installation of a new manufacturing process or a construction project faster than the failure to obtain, modify, or renew an environmental permit. Clients often rush into new projects without looking to see whether permits are necessary. For example, one of the Firm’s clients, which already had an existing Title V air quality permit for the air emissions from all of its existing printing operations, began to expand those operations. It purchased and began to install an expensive new rotogravure printing press without first applying for a construction permit for a new “stationary source”. The state Department of Environmental Protection not only held up completion of the installation of this press until an air quality construction permit application was submitted and approved, but also sought imposition of civil penalties for the violation. At Michelman & Bricker, P.C., we are well-versed in the federal and state environmental regulations which require air quality, water quality, and other permits. Avoid costly delays and legal action by seeking the counsel of our qualified Philadelphia environmental permit lawyers today.

Permits are needed for a wide variety of projects. In Pennsylvania, home to a burgeoning hydraulic fracking industry, oil and gas companies must obtain a detailed permit before drilling. Not only must all water supply owners within 1,000 feet of the planned site be notified by certified mail, but drillers must specify the planned well depth and location, the proximity of the drill to groundwater and local water supplies and the type of rock formations that will be disturbed. To safeguard against any unplanned environmental hazards created by drilling, oil and gas companies are also required to submit a deposit or bond to the state.

Failure to Renew Permits Can Create Liability

Permit holders need to keep track of the expiration date for their permits, and to promptly renew them. For example, developers and builders need to obtain NPDES storm water discharge permits to control soil erosion and sedimentation from storm water runoff from their construction projects. However, economic conditions and construction delays may unexpectedly lengthen the life of the construction project, so that it runs beyond the length of the permit. Federal and state requirements require submission of a permit renewal application within six months of the expiration date. If that deadline is missed, regulators may be inflexible, and refuse to renew the permit, and (1) stop the project; (2) require the developer or contractor to incur the delay and expense of submitting an entirely new permit application for the remaining portion of the construction; and (3) impose civil penalties for the violation.

Failure to Document Compliance with Permits Can Be Costly

Companies engaged in activities that involve the treatment, storage and disposal of hazardous wastes must not only obtain permit under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) [42 U.S.C. §6901 et seq.] and applicable state hazardous waste management laws, but must also make sure that their ongoing activities to make sure that they are in compliance with that permit.   Federal and state regulations may require that the Company prepare and maintain an up-to-date spill and emergency plan, provide employee training in safely handling hazardous wastes, properly label vessels and containers containing hazardous wastes, and document the nature and constituents of those hazardous wastes.   Substantial fines and civil penalties can be imposed for violations of those permit operating requirements, even if such violations are “paperwork” violations that have not resulted in spills or improper disposal of hazardous wastes. When a client is faced with a civil penalties action, the Philadelphia environmental permit lawyers at Michelman & Bricker, P.C. can help to reduce such fines and penalties by helping document that the Company was in substantial compliance with permitting and regulatory requirements, of by developing “Supplemental Environmental Projects” (SEPs) to offset the amounts of such penalties.

Philadelphia Environmental Permit Lawyers at Michelman & Bricker, P.C. Understand the Permitting Process

By working in tandem with state and federal regulators and staying abreast of all developments at the EPA and DEP, Philadelphia environmental permit lawyers at Michelman & Bricker, P.C. can help clients move seamlessly from the planning stage to project completion. We understand the complexities of the environmental permitting process and the penalties for non-compliance.

Get Michelman & Bricker, P.C. on Your Side

Whether you need assistance with an environmental law, health care law, construction litigation, white collar crime, business law, employment law or family law, we can help. Call the civil & criminal defense lawyers at Michelman & Bricker, P.C. at 215.557.9440 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.