Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. has been called upon in a variety of contexts to represent clients in the hospitality industry address environmental and land/water use issues associated with the services our clients provide. Among the Firm’s clients in this area are a leading passenger cruise line and several service providers in national parks and the trade association that represents these providers. Our representation for this industry has spanned a wide range of matters involving the potential environmental impacts of such businesses.
Although not traditionally the focus of environmental scrutiny by federal and state governments and nongovernmental organizations, the hospitality industry has recently found itself more and more in the eye of environmental and land use regulators and citizen watchdog groups. As the potential environmental impacts of the services provided by certain segments of this sector receive greater regulatory and enforcement attention, Beveridge & Diamond has been asked to represent various clients faced with the need of responding to such initiatives.
One prominent aspect of the Firm’s practice in this area has involved representation of a major passenger cruise line company on a wide variety of domestic and international environmental issues, both onship and ashore. This work has included advice on the applicability of international and U.S. federal and port state laws to operation of the fleet’s ships and the wastes they generate, representation in response to government enforcement actions and threatened citizen suits, and development of comprehensive environmental compliance plans. Our efforts have also included surveying and assisting in the response to government and citizen group efforts to increase regulatory controls over the cruise line industry.
The Firm has also represented a number of providers of services in national parks and the trade association which represents these businesses. Typically, private companies are granted concessions by the federal government to provide food, lodging, gift shops and other services to the public in national parks. They operate in a highly regulated environment under a special law created by Congress to govern this relationship.
The Firm has represented concessioners in Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Glen Canyon, Grand Teton National Park, Shenandoah, Mt. McKinley and a number of other parks. Among other things, our services involve negotiating contracts, resolving disputes and, in a number of instances, carrying out arbitrations to determine the appropriate fee which the concessioner should pay to the federal government. For instance, we have assisted one client on contractual bidding issues associated with development of certain transit systems in a major national park. In addition, the Firm has represented individual concessioners and their trade association in development of legislation and regulations governing the industry. For example, the Firm has represented a number of clients in a legal challenge brought to regulations implementing federal legislation in 1998 to amend substantially the law governing concessions in national parks.
Another prominent part of our practice involves representing clients in this sector in addressing environmental requirements to which planned new operations are subject and responding to claims that existing or past operations have contributed to environmental contamination that needs to be remediated. These efforts have included assisting clients through the maze of environmental impact reviews and permitting attendant to construction of large scale entertainment and other types of projects, and responding to claims that our clients are responsible for cleanup, or payment for cleanup, allegedly occasioned by their operations. For example, we have successfully steered the construction of sports arenas and other facilities through federal, state and local environmental reviews that threatened the timely and cost-effective development of these projects. As land use and “urban sprawl” considerations engender more and more controversy, sophisticated counseling in this area becomes more and more imperative.