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Business Transactions and Compliance

Addressing environmental issues before they become problems is always easier and cheaper than trying to fix them after they ripen into liabilities. This is an important consideration in running a business as well as selling or purchasing a business. And since investing in real estate often means running the business of leasing out space, the consideration of environmental issues in real estate purchases should go beyond the usual pre-purchase due diligence.

Peter Niemiec’s wide range of experiences in both the government and private sectors makes him well qualified to advise businesses on ongoing compliance issues and in pre-acquisition due diligence in business transactions. His six years of government enforcement work gave him insight into the difficulties of achieving compliance with environmental laws and regulations that are often complex and sometimes even seemingly contradictory. His role in the Environmental Auditing Forum gave him the opportunity to work with technical experts in many industries. His experience drafting regulations and legislation, both while in government and in private practice, have honed his skills in navigating labyrinthine environmental regulatory provisions.

This experience has enabled Peter to guide environmental due diligence in corporate acquisitions and to advise acquiring entities about the steps necessary to address potential environmental issues that will need to be faced post-acquisition. He has also negotiated and drafted risk allocation provisions in these deals. Peter has provided advice to businesses undertaking new ventures on environmental compliance issues that will affect the proposed business and on structuring entities and transactions to facilitate permitting or reduce liability exposure.

In the context of ongoing businesses, Peter has provided advice regarding compliance to a wide diversity of businesses. Some examples of his work in this area include:

  • Assisting clients in complying with the warning provisions of California’s Proposition 65. He played a leading role in the development of his former employer’s company-wide Proposition 65 warning program shortly after this law was passed in the 1980s.
  • Guiding owners of apartment complexes in establishing the necessary disclosure and management plans regarding asbestos containing building materials commonly found in buildings constructed before 1980.
  • Providing the legal framework for making determinations of the hazardous waste status of materials under both the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and California’s Hazardous Waste Control Act (HWCA).
  • Working with technical consultants to get small business owners into compliance with local storm water run-off rules.