Aerospace, Satellites and Defense Systems Sectors
Aerospace, satellite and defense systems companies play a critical role in our nation’s economy. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. aerospace industry contributed over $118 billion in export sales to the U.S. economy in 2012 alone. Approximately 500,000 individuals throughout the U.S. work in scientific and technical jobs directly related to the aerospace industry and an additional 700,000 individuals work in related fields. Industry subsectors include large civil aircraft (LCA), rotorcraft, commercial space, general aviation (GA), engines, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), airport infrastructure/aviation security, alternative aviation fuels, and supply chain.
Global competition, advances in technology and an increasingly complex regulatory environment present significant challenges to this important sector of the U.S. economy. Companies looking to maintain and grow their businesses need access to skilled legal counsel who understand their operations and can successfully maneuver them through this complex regulatory landscape.
Environmental Laws and Regulations Governing the Industry
Companies operating in the aerospace, satellite and defense system sector are faced with unique and difficult legal and regulatory issues. Global collaboration within the industry and with regulators, however, has led to workable solutions for many of these complex environmental challenges. For example, corporations in these segments of the economy have joined together to develop chemical use and common standards for the global supply chain. Companies have also combined their efforts to identify safer alternatives for hazardous materials, such as halon, used in the manufacturing and operating of aircraft, space and defense systems.
Various regulatory schemes require companies in the aerospace, satellite and defense systems sectors to identify and report the chemicals and other substances that suppliers around the globe use in manufacturing millions of parts for aircraft and defense products. In particular, the industry’s global supply chain includes materials that could be subject to SEC reporting under the Dodd-Frank Act, such as products that contain conflict minerals or involve climate change impacts.
In addition to chemical use in manufacturing and in the supply chain, aerospace, satellite and defense companies must meet increasing challenges in connection with waste management, permitting and regulatory standards for all manufacturing operations. It is important to recognize that historical operations of legacy companies often leave successor corporations in the industry with cleanup obligations and liabilities to the government and other private parties for contamination left behind from factories that built defense products during World War II. Despite the need for these defense products and the fact that manufacturing operations were in compliance with the regulatory requirements of the time, CERCLA imposes joint and several strict liability on the corporate successor of any company that owned or operated a site that became contaminated, and/or generated or arranged for disposal of hazardous waste from manufacturing operations. Remediation costs in connection with these historical sites can reach billions of dollars.
Strategic Guidance for the Aerospace, Satellites and Defense Systems Industries
The legal team at Bick Law provides a full range of environmental law services to companies in the aerospace, satellite and defense systems industries. We represent manufacturing companies, suppliers, defense contractors, technology companies and other businesses on a regional, national and global level. Each California environmental lawyer at our firm is familiar with the vast environmental, business and financial issues our clients face and deliver the strategic guidance companies need to properly address these challenges.
Our legal team regularly works with industry clients to establish environmental compliance programs and site remediation plans that meet the expanding requirements of federal, state and local governments. We focus on identifying and addressing concerns before they result in costly legal problems. When environmental disputes cannot be successfully resolved, our attorneys vigorously advocate on behalf of our clients in federal and state enforcement actions, citizen suits, common law toxic tort actions and criminal actions. We also assist aerospace, satellite and defense system companies in complex commercial transactions and secure the permits and certifications our clients need to operate their businesses.