Heather A. (Austin) Richardson
Heather is a partner in Thompson Hine’s environmental and real estate practices. She focuses her practice on environmental risk allocation in business transactions, as well as advising clients on environmental, health and safety regulatory matters and compliance with environmental regulations.
Heather is business oriented and practical in her approach in resolving complicated environmental issues on behalf of her clients. She is known as a leading voice in managing complex environmental national and international issues in mergers and acquisitions, as well as real estate and brownfield redevelopment projects. Heather has successfully represented national and international corporations, private equity and venture capital funds on hundreds of deals in numerous industries and emerging markets on all environmental aspects of the purchase, sale and finance of businesses and business assets, including due diligence, management of environmental consultants, permit transfers, contract negotiations, property transfer obligations, procuring environmental insurance and post-closing indemnification issues.
Mergers and Acquisitions, Real Estate and Commercial Lending
- Representation of national and international corporations and private equity and venture funds on hundreds of deals in the chemical, telecommunication, pulp and paper, aluminum, powder metal, metal components, steel, plastic, coatings, aerospace and defense, healthcare products, food, recycling, shopping center, real estate, lawn and tree care, pharmaceutical, synthetic biology, energy and automotive industries on all environmental aspects of the purchase, sale and finance of businesses and business assets.
- Representation of numerous manufacturing clients in connection with sale and disposition of legacy facilities located throughout the United States.
- Representation of buyers and lessees on qualifying as bona fide purchasers under CERCLA or meeting innocent landowner and contiguous property owner defenses, and obtaining liability protection for buyers of contaminated property under various state programs.
- Lead envronmental counsel for private equity fund in connection with all environmental and NEPA and SHPO corporate, real estate and lending issues regarding various transactions in the business services, media and telecommunications industries including fund formation and numerous acquisitions and dispositions.
- Obtained closure under state numerous regulatory programs and resolving environmental issues in distressed M&A transactions, including representation of clients under various transfer acts, including the New Jersey’s Industrial Sites Recovery Act and Connecticut Property Transfer Act.
- Representation of Debtor in Pre-Packaged Plan of Reorganization in connection with transfer of environmental liabilities and consent orders.
- Representation of lenders in the energy and oil and gas sectors.
- Representation of buyer in Chapter 11 proceedings in connection with environmental matters relating to a former steel manufacturing facility, including resolving open enforcement issues with Ohio EPA, obtaining a Covenant Not to Sue under the Ohio VAP program and procuring a liability transfer agreement.
- Representation of a lending institution on environmental issues relating to the sale of more than 500 branch offices.
- Representation of clients in achieving closure and obtaining tax credits under voluntary action and brownfield sites, including the New York Voluntary Cleanup Program, the Ohio Voluntary Action Program, the Pennsylvania Act 2 Program and Michigan Part 201 Cleanup Program.
- Representation of real estate development company in connection with brownfield acquisitions involving retention of liability transfer company, negotiation of environmental liability transfer and escrow agreements and procurement of environmental insurance.
Compliance Counseling, Site Remediation and Enforcement Defense
- Representation of manufacturing clients in connection with potential PFAS liability in connection with ongoing remediation projects.
- Representation of manufacturing clients regarding permitting, compliance and voluntary disclosure issues under the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Toxic Substances Control Act and analogous state programs.
- Representation of industrial clients at Superfund sites throughout the US.
- Representation of a construction demolition debris and solid waste landfill client on all permitting, legislative and compliance issues.
- Representation of a clients in maritime, chemical and energy industries relating to SEC disclosure requirements.
- Representation of a chemical company in an eminent domain action regarding residential real estate development.
- Representation of a waste management company in a toxic tort suit regarding the land application of biosolids.
- Representation of a recycling company in obtaining variance agency from the classification of a hazardous waste from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.
- Representation of numerous clients regarding release reporting enforcement actions.
- “USEPA Withdraws Approval of ASTM 1527-21 Phase I Standard,” Thompson Hine Environmental Update, May 2022
- "ASTM Issues New Phase I Environmental Standard," LexisNexis Practical Guidance, December 2021
- "ASTM Issues New Phase I Environmental Standard," Thompson Hine Environmental Update, November 2021
- “Gov't Must Resolve Uncertainty Over 'Twilight' Cell Towers,” Law360, May 2021
- “What Developers Must Know About New Ohio Brownfield Law,” Law360, August 2020
- “New Ohio Law Provides Legal Protections to Brownfield Developers,” Thompson Hine Real Estate & Environmental Law Update, June 2020, republished by Lexology
- “PFAS: Due Diligence and Risk Assessment in Real Estate Transactions,” Thompson Hine Environmental Update, May 2020
- "EPA Recommends New ASTM Phase I Standard in Final AAI Rule Amendment," Thompson Hine Environmental Update
- Contributing author to the Ohio Section of the Chambers Global Practice Guide, USA Regional Real Estate
- "Climate Change Disclosures for Public Companies," Law 360, Environmental, Securities and Corporate Sections
- "USEPA Targets Companies for Untimely Release Reporting," Environmental Manager's Compliance Advisor, Business & Legal Reports, Inc.
- "Brownfield Remediation Alert: Tax Relief Incentive," Environmental Manager's Compliance Advisor, Business & Legal Reports, Inc.
- "New Standards for Environmental Due Diligence," Counsel to Counsel Environmental and Mass Tort Alert, LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell
- "Corporate Social Responsibility – New Pressures In A Sustainable Environment," Cleveland Bar Association
- Co-author (with Heidi Goldstein), "Complex Regs Keeping Many From Cleaning Up Brownfields," Crain's Cleveland Business
- "USEPA and Ohio Compromise on Audit Privilege Law," OSBA Corporate News
- "EPA to Clean Up Audit Privileges," Crain's Cleveland Business
- "Audit Law Amended to Suit U.S. EPA," Crain's Cleveland Business
- Panelist, "PFAS Liabilities Hidden Risks and Mitigation Strategies," Thompson Hine and ERM webinar, 2020
- "Managing Risk with Dry Cleaners, Auto Repair Shops and other ‘Toxic’ Tenants," ICSC Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan and Pennsylvania Retail Development and Law Symposium
- "Managing Contaminated Property in Commercial Real Estate Transactions” Ohio State Bar Association CLE (Multiple years)
- "EH&S Auditing Programs: A Company's Shield or the Government's Sword?," Safety Leadership Week
- "Staying on Top of Environmental Considerations: Land Development," National Business Institute, Cleveland, Ohio (Multiple years)
- "Environmental Issues - Contaminated Property Transactions," National Business Institute, Cleveland (Multiple years)
- "Environmental Transactional Issues in a Distressed Economy,” Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
- "Environmental Liability and Risk Issues in Lending Transactions," Lorman Education Services
- "The New Environmental Liability Protections," National Business Institute,
- "Ohio Brownfield Legal Liability Issues: Unleashing Value in Brownfields," International Council of Shopping Centers / International Economic Development Council
- "How to Make Green When Building Green," International Council of Shopping Centers Regional Symposium
- "Ohio and Maryland Brownfield Legal Liability Issues," Western Pennsylvania Engineer’s Society
- "Environmental Issues in Commercial Real Estate: Diligence and Insurance," Ohio State Bar Association
- "Indemnification Panel: Doing the Deal. Bridging the Gap with Environmental Insurance," Cleveland Bar Association
- "Buying and Selling a Business in Ohio: Bridging the Gap with Environmental Insurance," Ohio State Bar Association’s Environmental Law Seminar
- Planner and moderator, "Preparing for an Environmental Catastrophe," Columbus Bar Association CLE
Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2006 to 2022 for Environmental Law, and Litigation-Environmental
Community Activities and Boards
- Board Member, Lyme Youth Services Bureau, Old Lyme, Connecticut
- Board Member, Phoebe Noyes Public Library, Old Lyme, Connecticut
- Allegheny College Reunion Co-Chair
- First Congregational Church of Old Lyme Board of Education Member and Co-Chair
Phase I Site Assessments After EPA U-Turn On 2021 Standard - Phase I Site Assessments After EPA U-Turn On 2021 Standard
May 20, 2022
Thompson Hine Elects Six New Partners Thompson Hine LLP
January 13, 2022
ASTM Issues New Phase I Environmental StandardPractical Guidance
December 09, 2021
May 28, 2021
August 26, 2020