What Is The Commercial Trade Waste Industry In New York?
In New York, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation governs the commercial trade waste industry. If the property is in the city, it is covered by the New York City Business Integrity Commission and the New York Department of Sanitation. When you buy a site that has a transfer operation, that’s a site where a construction company brings in all its ways from a demolition job, and it’s sorted out. Those are all regulated industries, and any transaction involved in one of those sites is subject to approval from those three entities if they are in New York City.
Outside of New York City, it’s the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation in itself and then sometimes any local regulation that may be involved. The contracts in those transactions have contingencies for approval by governmental entities. There are investigations done to make sure the purchasers are acceptable and able to operate the trade waste facilities. Those deals tend to take a long time, anywhere from 6 months to 18 months to complete, because of the needed regulatory approvals. There are other situations where a client comes in and buys a transfer station that went fallow because it was not run in compliance with rules and regulations.
You need an experienced attorney who can navigate through that process and advise the clients because frequently, you have to get environmental counsel involved in this industry, which can take a considerable amount of time. While I have a working knowledge of environmental laws and what’s required, sometimes you need to bring in the environmental counsel, and that’s a separate retainer. Sometimes because the application may have some peculiarities, you have to bring in somebody well versed and well known at the regulatory agencies.
How Do You As The Attorney Bring It All Together?
Ensuring that everybody is doing what they were supposed to do in each step and frequently, there are several conference calls while we are going over the action plan before finally getting to the next steps.
What Are Some Of The Common Problems That Hold These Deals Up?
Regulatory issues frequently pop up, whether the seller has regulatory compliance issues or a massive amount of fines if they have not run the facility correctly. The buyer also may have some sort of history that the regulatory agencies need to review. You may have to substitute a different buyer that would pass muster with the regulatory agencies, and you don’t know much until you get into the deal. Some of the pre-contract due diligence is that a couple of my colleagues that are well-known at the regulatory agencies will present hypotheticals. Often, you don’t get an answer. You’ve got to put the deal together, and then you find out the problems as they emerge.
It’s not only reputation, but financial wherewithal too. That is looked at by the regulatory agency to ensure that the company coming in can handle its obligations in owning and managing a transfer station. Many components go into these cases, and that’s why it takes a long time.
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