Over the years, the greater Lehigh Valley has steadily grown and now has a population of over 820,000. While at one time manufacturing enterprises such as Bethlehem Steel, Mack Trucks, and cement and pigment industries were major employers, the employment landscape has transformed dramatically, with service industries having become major employers. With this growth has come an increased need for medical, financial, and legal services, as particularly evidenced by the growth of major hospital networks that have become the two largest employers in the region. One area of the law that perhaps has not received as much publicity as others is the environmental area. Just drive along any major road in the Lehigh Valley and try to recall when you last saw a billboard or heard a radio advertisement for any environmental attorney. The reality is that very few attorneys in the Lehigh Valley practice environmental law, but the need for it is perhaps greater than ever. Whether you own a small business, operate a car repair service facility or a medical facility, or own a home built before 1978, you are likely dealing with regulated substances, some of which may be hazardous. And if you plan to sell or buy property that may have been contaminated, such as a former gas station, or desire to lend or borrow money for the purchase, you’ll definitely be dealing with contamination.
The volume of environmental laws is greater than ever, and trying to deal with them alone is dangerous. Further, violations of environmental laws are taken very seriously by governmental agencies and can potentially lead to civil and even criminal liability. Even being a non-profit or civic enterprise does not matter to regulators.
And really there’s no reason to go it alone. Environmental legal counsel is available right here in the Lehigh Valley at Norris McLaughlin. For years, we have assisted, and remain ready to assist, owners and managers of small businesses, realtors, lenders, owners of brownfield properties, waste haulers, purchasers, lenders, and others who live and/or work in the Lehigh Valley and beyond, including New Jersey. We invite you to visit this blog periodically for up-to-date information that will help to prevent problems before they arise.