Lawrence W. Diamond practices in the areas of environmental law and litigation, including internal corporate investigations. His substantively and geographically diverse environmental practice, which extends over 35 years and across many states and federal districts, has encompassed the defense of numerous enforcement proceedings and ongoing advice to clients as to their rights and obligations relating to compliance and permitting issues as well as business transactions.
Mr. Diamond generates solutions to complex environmental problems utilizing strategies that are practical, keyed to the client's business goals and designed to achieve a resolution as cost-effectively as possible. His clients often face multimillion-dollar exposures under one or more of the environmental statutes, such as the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and CERCLA as well as their state equivalents.
As chairman of the firm's Puerto Rico Business Group, Mr. Diamond is admitted in the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico and has more than 30 years' experience representing clients on federal matters in Puerto Rico. He is also chair of the firm's Cuba Business Group, providing assistance to companies seeking to participate in that emerging market.
Mr. Diamond served in the Region II Office of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) for eight years. He completed his tenure at USEPA as Chief of the New York/Caribbean Superfund Branch.
Mr. Diamond is a former chair of the Environmental Law Section of the New Jersey Bar Association and is a member of the American Bar Association's Section of Environment, Energy and Resources, the New Jersey State and New York State bar associations and the New York County Lawyers Association. He has lectured and written on such topics as surviving government inspections, Clean Water Act permitting and enforcement, modifying Superfund remedies and compliance with EPA regulations covering ozone-depleting compounds. He is listed in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, 2007-2019 editions.
Admitted to practice in New Jersey and New York, Mr. Diamond graduated from Brooklyn Law School and Colgate University.
- Represented a leading North American manufacturer of chemicals found in plastics, pharmaceuticals and water treatments, in the negotiation of a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to proceed with the engineering design for the remediation of eight miles of the Passaic River Superfund Site in northern New Jersey.
- Represented Fortune 5 company in the defense and favorable resolution of federal Clean Water Act investigations and enforcement actions at six different facilities in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands involving allegations of hundreds of permit conditions, stormwater violations and unpermitted discharges. Settlements were reached in all six matters.
- Retained by a Fortune 10 company to supplement the efforts of its in-house and outside counsel to settle a New Jersey air toxic emissions case in which EPA and DOJ had refused to reduce their penalty demand after over two years of negotiation. Led the legal team in one meeting with the government, following which the case settled with a $600,000 penalty reduction.
- Represented former owner of a Massachusetts landfill in a dispute over whether the purchaser provided appropriate notice of environmental contamination to the seller under the agreement of sale so as to trigger an obligation by the seller to share in the cost of cleanup. After more than a decade of litigation, culminating in a five-week trial, the court found in favor of our client and also awarded attorney fees, for a total savings of between $25 and $30 million.
- Counsel to Puerto Rico energy company in resolving parallel proceedings in the aftermath of the release of 275,000 gallons of highly acidic wastewater into a wetlands, causing environmental damage. Three individual plant managers and the company were targets of the federal criminal investigation. Following grand jury testimony, an internal investigation and DOJ/EPA/FBI interviews of approximately 30 company and expert witnesses conducted cooperatively and in the presence of counsel, the company pled to a single misdemeanor and no charges were levied against any of the individuals.
- Negotiated rescission of an EPA CERCLA Record of Decision that would have utilized innovative technology to treat mercury-contaminated soil that the client, a Fortune 5 company, believed was unlikely to succeed and which would have required the use of a significant portion of the world-wide supply of iodine. A substitute remedy reduced the cost from $13.5 million to $3 million. The site was then delisted.
- Conducted an internal investigation precipitated by a whistleblower complaint that the company was releasing methylene chloride in excess of air permit limitations. Subsequent actions defused the whistleblower's concerns and put this Fortune 200 pharmaceutical company on a compliance path. No charges were brought.
- Represented Fortune 500 pharmaceutical company in response to the EPA issuance of a draft hazardous waste (RCRA) permit containing overly stringent terms that would have required a large investment on the company's part and would have created overlapping and inconsistent responsibilities to EPA and NJDEP. Prepared comprehensive comments setting forth legal and technical arguments for retraction or modification of the terms of the draft permit. EPA never issued the permit, and the client proceeded to conduct the necessary cleanup solely under state authority.
- Environmental counsel to a foreign energy services company and its U.S. subsidiary pertaining to the establishment of a $50 million secured revolving credit facility.
- Successful defense of multinational oil company alleged to have breached its lease by failing to prevent underground storage tank releases that contaminated former gas station property in Florida, and by delaying cleanup, thereby preventing re-development; legal fees were awarded.
- Conducted an extensive internal investigation for an international pharmaceutical company in connection with a "hot line" report that the company had intentionally released refrigerants containing ozone-depleting compounds (freon) in violation of EPA regulations, and had altered related records. EPA and DOJ initiated civil and criminal investigations. The government terminated both investigations without bringing any criminal charges or assessing any civil or administrative penalties.
- Represented client in probation-revocation proceeding resulting from Clean Air Act opacity excursions. Assisted client in the design of a rigorous monitoring and compliance program. The program, which was negotiated with DOJ, EPA and the state environmental agency, was incorporated into new requirements of probation. The client complied with the program, and our motion for termination of probation was granted.
- Represented European water company that was sued, along with the government of the U.S. Virgin Islands, by a citizens group alleging that the discharge from a wastewater treatment plant being built by the company would damage a coral reef. Negotiated a settlement whereby the company was dismissed from the case, with the Virgin Islands government assuming sole responsibility for implementing alternatives to assuage the plaintiffs' concerns.
- Persuaded state agency to rescind an enforcement Directive issued to the former owner of a Brownfields site, ending a dispute over responsibility for site cleanup.
- Negotiated non-prosecution agreement for a Northeastern U.S. pipe manufacturer and government contractor that was raided by federal and state agents on the basis of whistleblower allegations that it had illegally disposed of hazardous waste.
- Compliance counsel to aggregate and building materials company on air and water compliance issues at its quarries in Pennsylvania, Kentucky and New Jersey.
- Directed several internal investigations for an energy company with regard to reported excursions under the Clean Air Act involving opacity and emissions of hazardous air pollutants.
- Counseled a specialty chemicals company regarding air toxics emissions and permitting issues following industrial accidents at its facilities in Ohio and New Jersey, one of which resulted in a fatality. Assisted the company to make extensive operational and personnel changes.
- Counseled a concrete manufacturer to achieve compliance with Pennsylvania stormwater and solid waste regulations.
- Common counsel to a PRP group at a Pennsylvania Superfund site. Led negotiations that yielded total elimination of EPA's proposed $7.5 million groundwater remedy.
- Represented California university in purchase of contaminated property from international beverage manufacturer.
- Counsel to international industrial gases company in litigation seeking cleanup costs and natural resource damages involving hundreds of companies alleged to have released hazardous substances into a river basin.
- Represented Fortune 5 company in connection with cleanup issues at several legacy Pennsylvania facilities.
- Represented Fortune 10 electronics parts manufacturer to resolve hazardous waste disposal and cleanup issues in Puerto Rico, including on the island of Vieques.
- Settled Superfund case for Puerto Rico pharmaceutical company alleged to have discharged pesticides into a waterway.
- Counseled energy company in connection with negotiation with EPA to resolve allegations of excessive waste water releases from underwater pipeline in Gulf of Mexico.
- Representation of landowner in dispute with lessee, a Fortune 5 company, over PCB cleanup responsibility in Rhode Island, resulting in satisfactory settlement.
- Representation of financial institution in negotiations to fund a portion of a multibillion-dollar cleanup in New York.
- Represented Fortune 500 company in Superfund landfill cleanup case in Ohio. After a nine-month investigation, reduced client's allocated share of responsibility from 12 percent to under one percent, saving the client many millions of dollars.
- Representation of Fortune 5 company that was inadvertently operating a desalination plant without a permit. Self-reported the violation and EPA determined not to pursue enforcement.
- Defended Indiana battery manufacturer in defense of allegations of excessive lead in storm water discharges.
- Represented developer in resolution of lead contamination issues with New York City DEP, enabling sale of property.
- Counseled one of the nation's largest electronics recycling companies in defense of state and federal allegations of hazardous waste violations in Virginia and New Jersey.
- Represented Fortune 200 consumer products company in New Jersey and Puerto Rico, settling government enforcement actions alleging thousands of violations of the Clean Water Act. In each instance, penalty assessments were reduced from tens of millions to less than $500,000.
- Represented oil refinery in regard to federal toxics reporting obligations that had been overlooked. We self-reported the violations to EPA, and no penalties were incurred.
- Counsel for many industrial clients in the conduct of environmental compliance audits.
- Support numerous business and real estate transactions.
- Investigations and enforcement actions during eight years at EPA in the Region 2 Enforcement Division.
- New York
- New Jersey
- U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico
- U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
- Supreme Court of New Jersey
- Supreme Court of New York
- Brooklyn Law School, J.D., 1978
- Colgate University, B.A., 1971
- Duane Morris LLP, Newark, New Jersey
- Partner, 1999-present
- Hannoch Weisman P.C., Roseland, New Jersey
- Partner, 1989-1999
- Associate, 1986-1989
- United States Environmental Protection Agency
- Chief, New York/Caribbean Superfund Branch, 1984-1986
- Assistant Regional Counsel, Enforcement Division, 1978-1984
Honors and Awards
Listed in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, 2007-2020 editions
Listed in The Best Lawyers in America, 2009-2021
Listed in New Jersey Super Lawyers, 2008-2019
No aspect of these rankings has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey. Further information on methodologies is available via these links.
Quoted, "3 Takeaways From Trump's Cuba Restrictions," Law 360, November 9, 2017