Printer Friendly

ENVIRONMENTAL ATTORNEY OFFERS CORPORATE 'RECIPE' FOR SURVIVING '90S REGULATORY CLIMATE

 ENVIRONMENTAL ATTORNEY OFFERS CORPORATE
 'RECIPE' FOR SURVIVING '90S REGULATORY CLIMATE
 LOS ANGELES, March 24 /PRNewswire/ -- The old days of flushing environmental problems down the drain are gone. Environmental regulations at the local, state and federal levels have mushroomed thirtyfold since 1972.
 With more than 60,000 environmental laws on the books today and more in the offing, Charles Alpert, an environmental lawyer, has put together a list of five tips which he feels can help companies turn environmental compliance into a competitive advantage.
 "Many of the newer laws have real teeth and can adversely affect corporate balance sheets. Congress has upgraded certain federal environmental laws to include felony convictions with corporate fines up to $1 million per violation," noted Alpert, who has 20 years of environmental law experience. "Guilty executives can receive penalties up to $250,000 per violation, and prison terms up to 15 years."
 Being in full compliance is not always enough, said Alpert, who became as assistant attorney general assigned to environmental enforcement with the State of Michigan after finishing law school. Correcting the problem on-site will not automatically protect a company from lawsuits resulting from claims brought by employees or neighbors exposed to toxic wastes. Even business acquisitions can have environment-related legal consequences.
 Alpert cites the example of an S&L that failed to disclose the existence of asbestos prior to the sale of a building on which it claimed a $20 million profit on its financial reports. The building's buyer later sued and won a judgment in excess of $9.5 million from the S&L to clean up the asbestos. Shareholders sued the S&L, claiming that the bank managed to look profitable when it really was not.
 To avoid these and other liabilities, Alpert strongly recommends that corporation practice what he calls "enviro-business," the management of both business and environment interests to produce a profitable result. Alpert, now serving as corporate counsel for The Earth Technology Corp. -- a Long Beach, Calif.-based environmental consulting firm specializing in hazardous waste management, has put together a list of five tips which he feels can help companies turn environmental compliance into competitive advantage.
 Alpert's recipe for surviving environmental liabilities includes:
 1) Constant audits of plants and processes to determine compliance before being cited. Be prepared in advance to correct any problems. Use a team of individuals from many disciplines, including a process engineer, safety expert and environmental lawyer. Audits pay for themselves because they invariably uncover waste and potentially damaging risks;
 2) Never acquire any real property without a transactional audit or preliminary site assessment. A recent survey of eight national financial institutions by the Bureau of National Affairs discovered 210 of 300 multimillion dollar property transactions involved pollution. Surveying or sampling before purchasing is much less costly than paying for hazardous waste cleanup;
 3) Never trust anyone who disposes of or transports wastes, either in the United States or abroad. Audit them regularly and secure and retain accurate disposal records. Disposal certificates are essential;
 4) Move down the chemical chain rather than up. Recycle valuable waste products. Minimize storage of toxics and consider non-toxic substitutes. Two giants in the chemical industry, DuPont and 3M, have outstanding records for reducing hazardous materials in the workplace; and
 5) Develop a succinct, understandable corporate policy on environmental compliance and promote compliance through employee training. Maintain a reliable emergency response plan with the capability to enact it immediately. Adjust budgets to realistically reflect the costs of such policies, and move decision making responsibility for waste management up to senior levels of management.
 "Its smart business to treat environmental and safety considerations like any other changing business factor. Change always offers opportunity. Those who anticipate rather than react to regulatory change will become leaders in environmental controls, and will profit in the long run. It's basically sound risk management practice," concluded Alpert.
 -0- 3/24/92
 /NOTE: Alpert is available for interviews./
 /CONTACT: Denise Pierangeli of Earth Technology, 310-495-4449, or Ann Bailey of Business Communications, 310-559-7652, for Earth Technology/ CO: The Earth Technology Corp. ST: California IN: SU:


SM -- NYEFNS3 -- 0838 03/24/92 06:53 EST
COPYRIGHT 1992 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 24, 1992
Words:687
Previous Article:HOW NORTH TEXAS SCIENTISTS BATTLE ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS IN THE AIR, ON LAND, IN THE WATER
Next Article:PSH MASTER L.P. I ANNOUNCES LOAN RESTRUCTURE AGREEMENT AND 1991 RESULTS
Topics:


Related Articles
Dr. Robert Ghirelli Joins McLaren/Hart
Report: Top Greenhouse Gas Emitters in Oil, Utility and Auto Industries Not Disclosing, Acting on Financial Risks of Climate Change; Study Finds...
Michigan Chamber Applauds Attorney General Mike Cox For Leading a 10-State Effort to Protect Manufacturing Jobs.
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman Launches Climate Change and Sustainability Practice Team.
Climate Change and Renewable Energy Practice Group Formed at International Law Firm of Thompson & Knight LLP.
Legal Issues Surrounding Climate Change Topic of New LexisNexis Info Center.
Chadbourne & Parke Launches Climate Change Practice.
The Bureau of National Affairs (BNA; Arlington, VA) has released "climapedia," a collection of reference materials, free and publicly available on...

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters