Hal J. Pos is a senior member of Parsons Behle & Latimer’s Environmental, Energy and Natural Resources practice group with over 36 years of experience focused on the representation of U.S. and global corporations in the natural resources industry facing complicated legal issues concerning cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated properties, CERCLA liability, and property acquisition transactions. 

Capabilities

Biography

Mr. Pos's practice experience includes conducting environmental due diligence in connection with mineral and real estate acquisitions and financings; environmental liability reviews and audits; legacy site cleanups and redevelopment; mine and landfill closures with a particular goal of minimizing potential CERCLA liability; negotiating and drafting environmental indemnity agreements; representing potentially responsible parties under CERCLA in negotiations and litigation with other potentially responsible parties, state and federal agencies, and insurance companies concerning site cleanups; defending environmental toxic tort claims; and representing parties in environmental civil and criminal enforcement matters.

Mr. Pos has published and presented numerous papers before state bars and professional organizations on CERCLA, Brownfields, and environmental litigation and insurance topics.

Mr. Pos served Parsons Behle & Latimer’s board of directors from 1996 to 2021 and most recently president and CEO of the firm.

Experience

Interim removal action on Navajo Nation lands in New Mexico

Representing Homestake Mining Company in a CERCLA interim removal action concerning the former Black Jack and Mac uranium mines on Navajo Nation lands in New Mexico. Representation includes negotiations of an administrative order on consent and interim removal action scope of work with the United States to investigate the nature and extent of actual or threatened releases of mine-related material at these sites. The initial work has culminated in the preparation of a Removal Site Evaluation and draft Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis that identifies possible remedial action alternatives at the four mine sites.

Negotiations of CERCLA bona fide prospective purchaser agreement at Gilt Edge superfund site in South Dakota

Represented Agnico Eagle Mining (AEM) in successful negotiations of a CERCLA Bona Fide Prospective Purchaser (BFPP) administrative settlement agreement and order on consent (AOC) with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the State of South Dakota at the former Gilt Edge gold mine operation in South Dakota, which is currently listed as a Superfund site on the National Priorities List.  The AOC requires AEM to investigate and characterize the subsurface site geology, mineralization, geochemistry and hydrological characteristics beneath existing pits to help understand the location, specific subsurface rock type sources, and pathways of migration of acid rock drainage (ARD) derived metals that may be migrating along underground structural corridors into the Strawberry Creek drainage.  As part of the investigation, AEM will perform confirmation and exploration drilling to determine the quality and quantity of the gold reserve, conduct mining feasibility studies, and metallurgical, engineering and preliminary permitting activities to evaluate the economic feasibility of mine development.  The AOC protects AEM from CERCLA liability for existing historical site contamination, estimated by EPA at $280 million, through covenants not to sue and contribution protection provisions in the AOC.

Cleanup of former uranium mine in New Mexico

Represented Homestake Mining Company client in a CERCLA removal action concerning the former San Mateo uranium mine in San Mateo, New Mexico. Representation included negotiations of an administrative order on consent and removal action scope of work with the United States and a cost sharing agreement with other potentially responsible parties; managing and overseeing the removal action work performed by environmental consultants retained on the project; and overseeing post closure activities. The PRPs filed a cost recovery claim against the United States to recover a portion of its U.S. $7.5 million costs. Following the filing of the complaint, Homestake entered into separate settlement negotiations with the United States, which resulted in a cost recovery for Homestake and final settlement with the United States, United States Department of Justice and United States Environmental Protection Agency, memorialized in a final approved consent decree.

Accomplishments

Academic

Washington University (J.D. 1984)

Washington University Journal of Contemporary Law, Recent Developments Editor

Carleton College, magna cum laude (B.A., 1981)

Attended University of Copenhagen School of International Business (Copenhagen, Denmark 1980)

Attended Warsaw School of Economic Planning (Warsaw, Poland 1980)

Professional

Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ Rating for multiple years

Chambers USA Eminent Practitioner in Utah for Energy & Natural Resources Law, 2010-2021

Mountain States Super Lawyers (2007- 2019)

Environmental Law Section of Best Lawyers in America since 2005

Best Lawyers' Salt Lake City Environmental Lawyer of the Year (2011, 2018); Salt Lake City Litigation - Environmental Lawyer of the Year (2014, 2020)

Utah State Bar Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law Section, Lawyer of the Year (1996-1997)

Utah Legal Elite, Environmental Law

Associations

Professional

TerraLex
Board of Trustees
(2011 - 2019)
Emeritus Director
(2019-2022)
Co-Vice Chairperson North America
(2015 - 2019)

Mountain States Legal Foundation
Board of Litigation
(1996 - 2014)
Past Chairperson

Utah State Bar
Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Section
Past Chairperson

Utah State Bar Association
Environmental Law Committee
Past Chairperson

Community

Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce
Board of Governors

Utah Jewish Family Services
Board of Directors and Officer
(2014-2020)

The McGillis School
Chairman, Board of Trustees
(2011 - 2013)
Board of Trustees
(2008 - Current)

Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce, Environmental Committee
Past Chairperson

Insights

Credentials

Licensed

Utah
U.S. Dist. Court, Dist. of Utah

Education

Washington University School of Law