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Environmental Law and Sustainability

Poyner Spruill's environmental attorneys have a collective 80+ years of experience in the complex field of environmental law. Glenn Dunn, Environmental Law Practice Group Leader, was formerly counsel to the North Carolina Office of Coastal Management and to the Governor's Waste Management Board, and Director of the Office of Legal Affairs of the North Carolina Department of Natural Resources and Community Development (now North Carolina Department of Environmental and Natural Resources). In 2004, Glenn was recognized as the best attorney in the environmental field in Business North Carolina magazine. Several of our attorneys have been recognized among the "Legal Elite" in the environmental field by that magazine, and have practiced with federal and state agencies prior to joining the firm. Credibility with environmental regulators is crucial. Our environmental attorneys pride themselves on having good working relationships with the environmental regulators in North Carolina, while vigorously representing their clients' interests.

The Environmental Law Practice Group routinely assists clients with:

Permit Disputes, Citizen Suits, and Other Environmental Litigation

Our attorneys regularly represent parties whose applications for various environmental permits have been denied, before the Office of Administrative Hearings. They also have extensive trial experience in federal and State courts, which includes representing parties in environmental citizens' suits.

Transfers of Contaminated Property

Our attorneys utilize a variety of means to assist parties in addressing environmental liabilities in contracts. They approach such transactions with a general view that the existence of contamination can be adequately addressed by contract, and usually should not prevent a sale. They have extensive experience representing both buyers and sellers of contaminated property.

Redevelopment of Contaminated Property

Our attorneys have assisted local governments and others in all aspects of redevelopment projects, including dealing with regulators, forming joint ventures among multiple parties allocating responsibilities, and hiring environmental consultants. They are familiar with federal and State brownfields programs. They take particular pride in their past roles in several downtown redevelopment projects in North Carolina cities.

Removal and Trust Fund Coverage for Underground Storage Tanks ("USTs")

Our attorneys regularly deal with the complicated laws regarding UST's, including liability determinations, corrective action and trust fund coverage issues.

Site Selection and Land Use Issues

Our attorneys assist clients with site selection, and obtaining and complying with the various permits needed for development projects, such as airports and waste treatment plants.


Our attorneys regularly assist clients seeking to develop property where wetlands are present, and represent people cited for alleged violations of wetlands protection laws.

Coastal Area Management Act ("CAMA")

Glenn Dunn was involved in the formation of North Carolina's CAMA program. Our attorneys assist clients with a wide range of issues regarding CAMA's application, including setbacks and erosion protection.

Clean Air Act Compliance

Rick Kane, practicing in both our Charlotte and Raleigh offices, assists clients with Clean Air Act compliance and planning issues, and with air permitting issues involving both State and federal regulatory agencies and third-party challenges to air permits.

Environmental Insurance

Our attorneys are familiar with environmental insurance, and have assisted clients in procuring such insurance to help manage environmental risks.

For a fuller description of our Zoning & Land Use and Real Estate practices and the attorneys who practice in each area, click on the following links.

Zoning and Land Use

Real Estate Law

Sustainability and Renewable Energy

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