Environmentally Contaminated Property Issues When Owners Face Insolvency

Complying with Remediation Requirements and Discharging Cleanup Obligations in Bankruptcy

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A


Conducted on Thursday, November 18, 2010

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926
Program Materials

This CLE webinar will provide counsel with guidance for dealing with environmental obligations when a company faces insolvency or a client buys property from a bankrupt or distressed entity. The panel will review relevant court decisions and outline best practices for evaluating remediation liabilities in bankruptcy.

Description

As the economy and real estate markets continue to struggle, more companies are considering bankruptcy, including those with contaminated property on their books. These companies cannot typically avoid environmental cleanup obligations through bankruptcy.

Potentially responsible parties often continue to have cleanup obligations even after emerging from bankruptcy. Entities considering buying an asset that has emerged from bankruptcy may be held responsible for cleanup obligations associated with potential acquisitions of pre-bankruptcy assets.

While there is uncertainty about the impact of bankruptcy on cleanup liabilities, it has no effect on regulatory compliance. All parties involved must understand the complex interplay between the bankruptcy code and the environmental laws.

Listen as our panel of environmental and bankruptcy attorneys examines how the courts have treated the issue of environmental cleanup of property in a bankruptcy proceeding, reviews the lessons learned from those decisions, discusses the process for evaluating environmental remediation liabilities in bankruptcy, and offers best practices for addressing those issues.

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Outline

  1. Bankruptcy law principles
    1. Different types of bankruptcy
    2. Description of the process
    3. Discharge
    4. What constitutes a “claim” or “debt”
  2. Conflicting goals of environmental law and bankruptcy law
    1. CERCLA
    2. RCRA
  3. Evaluating environmental liability in bankruptcy
    1. Which environmental liabilities are “claims”
    2. When and under what circumstances are environmental claims dischargeable in bankruptcy?
    3. When and under what circumstances are environmental claims not dischargeable in bankruptcy?
    4. How are environmental contribution claims among liable parties addressed in bankruptcy?
    5. Can a bankruptcy trustee be held liable for cleanup of environmentally contaminated property?
    6. Can property be sold in bankruptcy free and clear of successor liability claims related to clean up of environmentally contaminated property?
    7. Addressing practical issues that arise for environmental liabilities in bankruptcy?

Benefits

The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • When and under what circumstances are environmental claims dischargeable in bankruptcy?
  • How are environmental contribution claims among liable parties addressed in bankruptcy?
  • Can a bankruptcy trustee be held liable for cleanup of environmentally contaminated property?

Faculty

Tricia H. Foley
Tricia H. Foley

Partner
Day Pitney

She practices in the area of the business and regulatory aspects of environmental law. She has orchestrated the...  |  Read More

Joshua W. Cohen
Joshua W. Cohen

Partner
Day Pitney

He handles bankruptcy, creditors' rights, lender liability, commercial contract, fraud and business tort cases,...  |  Read More

Tracy Green
Tracy Green

Partner
Wendel Rosen Black & Dean

She represents clients in all aspects of their dealings with financially troubled companies. She represents debtors,...  |  Read More

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