If, in the course of environmental due diligence or through notification from a regulatory agency, you discover that your company has caused soil or groundwater contamination, you have a legal obligation to mitigate the damage as quickly as possible. It’s best to deal with it head on.
The first thing you should do is comply fully with any requests for information made by regulatory agencies. They have jurisdiction over your business and ignoring that fact will only cause further legal issues.
The second step is to contact an experienced environmental lawyer who can both advise you on the best course of action and litigate your case at the state and federal level. You need someone who can initiate remediation measures with the agencies involved, to show full and willing compliance.
The third step is for your lawyer to explore the source of the contamination to see if any other parties bear fault. They can then ensure that those parties pay their share of the price. Remediation is expensive, and, if your company does not bear full responsibility, your company should not bear the full cost.
The fourth step may involve a hearing at the state or federal level, where your chosen lawyer can represent your case. The goal of this litigation is to adhere to the requirements of compliance while protecting the reputation of your business.
Any number of things can cause soil or groundwater contamination. Storage tanks. Septic systems. Uncontrolled hazardous waste. Landfills. Chemicals and road salts. Atmospheric contaminants. Your company likely meant no harm. But if it caused harm, you have a responsibility to fix it. An environmental lawyer can help you along the road to remediation.