The western United States is dotted with active, inactive and abandoned mining sites that present a vexing array of environmental impacts regulated under a complex structure of federal, state and local laws. Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell lawyers are experienced in advising clients interested in buying, selling and redeveloping these sites, and with respect to regulatory compliance and cleanup requirements under mine reclamation and environmental statutes and regulations.
The firm represented California state agency defendants in connection with complex state environmental litigation concerning remediation of the Leviathan Mine Superfund Site, an inactive sulphur mine discharging acid mine drainage into surface waters. Our work included prevailing on key motions and successful settlement of the case on the third day of a scheduled five-week jury trial (Atlantic Richfield v. State of California, et al., Case No. BC380474, Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles). Kaplan Kirsch also advised these clients regarding two remedial investigations, feasibility studies and other compliance with the national contingency plan, among other issues.
Our team advised a reservoir operator regarding whether and what reservoir maintenance activities would trigger mine permitting requirements in Colorado.
We represented the owner in due diligence and acquisition of the Schwarzwalder Mine Site in Golden, Colorado, as well as negotiation of the associated terms and conditions of the transfer of permits, bonding and orders governing closure and cleanup. Work also included representation of the owner with respect to the ongoing reclamation and disposition of this site.
Kaplan Kirsch represented the owner in due diligence and acquisition of a former gravel quarry in Cañon City, Colorado, including the transfer of bonds and land use, mining and Colorado Discharge Permit System permits for the site. We subsequently counseled the owner with respect to completing reclamation and terminating the mining permit and discharge permit to allow long term recreational use.
Our lawyers represented a Utah municipality in negotiation of a settlement agreement and order on consent for engineering evaluation/cost analysis and removal action related to discharges from drainage infrastructure constructed within historical mine tailings. Subsequently, we represented the client in implementation of the agreement and order, as well as cleanup and development related matters associated with historical mining operations in and around the city.
We assisted a private responsible party in implementation of a comprehensive package of zoning, development guidelines and public amenities intended to contribute to a more cost-effective remediation of a large Superfund mining site in Montana. This representation also included the preparation of extensive public comments and analyses of “applicable or relevant and appropriate requirements.”
Our firm represented a former mining town in Colorado in negotiations with the state regulatory agency and private party to implement and fund an innovative town-wide soil remediation program directed at reducing risks from elevated lead in soil, pursuant to the state voluntary cleanup program.