by John M. Barkett
Environmental disputes can be effectively handled in an ADR process. The source of the dispute does not matter. Complex Superfund site response cost disputes are routinely addressed now by allocation neutrals. In simple property transfers or major mergers or acquisitions involving numerous properties, the allocation of environmental risks and the interpretation and application of environmental indemnities are often the subject of arbitration. A variety of environmental or statutory or common law claims are mediated or arbitrated. Environmental matters can be the subject of a wide variety of agreements involving the sales of energy credits, environmental assessments, remediation projects or development of wind or solar farms, and licensing of intellectual property to name just a few. Process agreements may utilize institutional arbitration rules for contract disputes involving environmental matters, or they can be developed ad hoc and in quite creative ways. Thoughtful litigants, arbitrants, or disputants may find that mediation, facilitated mediation, administered arbitration, ad hoc arbitration, or allocation process orders or agreements will allow them to reduce costs and increase speed to resolution without compromising a fair and just outcome.