On February 17, Maraziti Falcon’s Andrew Brewer, Joseph Maraziti and Joanne Vos will present “Identifying and Solving Environmental Problems for Municipalities,” a half-day webinar designed to provide municipal, legal and technical attendees with an understanding of environmental law and how it applies to municipalities. The program is presented by Continuing Professional Educational Services, LLC. Click here for registration information.

It will first cover the most cited, and most often misunderstood, state and federal environmental laws: the New Jersey Spill Compensation & Control Act and CERCLA. Each segment of this first section of the course will address the joint and several, and strict, liability provided for under each law; immunities that may be available to municipalities to such liabilities; causes of action for contribution against responsible parties; and damages – what they may comprise and how to prove them, and when and by whom they must be incurred before a contribution action can be sustained against other parties that may be responsible for the contamination.

The second section of the course will pertain to public remediation projects, focusing on various aspects such as what to do in the event that contamination is discovered, and when it must be done; whether a municipality is subject to the same rules and regulations as a private entity under the Site Remediation Reform Act (SRRA) and the brand new SRRA 2.0, and if not, what relief a municipality can reasonably expect to avail itself of; and whether an abbreviated remediation may be conducted in the limited circumstances under which the NJDEP’s Linear Guidance applies; as well as, most importantly, the many ways in which public remediation projects can be funded. These funding methods may include insurance proceeds (including a discussion on how municipalities might locate decades old policies), Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILOTs), public grants, and even litigation.

The third section of this course will delve into an area that is unique to municipalities: condemnation. This discussion will cover the process of condemnation and the ways in which contamination of a given property becomes relevant in the intricate condemnation process. For example, must an appraisal of contaminated property take the contamination into consideration? Must the municipality pay for the remediation? If not, how are the cleanup funds secured and for how long?