Chris Walker is a Member of Alexander Ricks PLLC. He focuses his practice on environmental and regulatory matters, including brownfields redevelopment, environmental due diligence, assessment, and remediation, vapor intrusion and mitigation, enforcement defense, chemical regulation, solid and hazardous waste, wastewater management, environmental permitting, environmental insurance, and aboveground and underground storage tanks. His work includes advising clients regarding various federal, state, and local environmental laws, including the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA or Superfund), the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the North Carolina Oil Pollution and Hazardous Substances Control Act (OPHSCA), the North Carolina Inactive Hazardous Sites Response Act (IHSRA), and the North Carolina Brownfields Property Reuse Act.
Chris spends a majority of his time advising clients regarding the purchase, sale, remediation, redevelopment, and financing of contaminated properties or businesses with environmental concerns in complex business transactions. He also works closely with the firm's real estate, land use, corporate, and litigation practices.
Prior to joining Alexander Ricks PLLC, Chris was a partner in the Charlotte office of K&L Gates LLP, where he practiced environmental law for over 11 years.
- Vermont Law School (J.D., 2008, summa cum laude)
- The University of the South (Sewanee), (B.S., 2003, cum laude, with honors, Forestry and Geology Department)
- North Carolina
- United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina
- North Carolina Super Lawyers Rising Star, Environmental Law, 2014-2015
- LEED Accredited Professional (LEED-AP)
- North Carolina Bar Association, Environment, Energy and Natural Resources, Section Council
Chris is a native of Charlotte, NC and graduated from the University of the South (Sewanee) with a bachelor's degree in natural resources. After spending several years chasing fish with a fly rod and skiing as much as he could, Chris moved to New England to attend Vermont Law School before finding his way back to Charlotte. Chris is a member of The Corners Society, a service-oriented philanthropic organization that focuses on the Charlotte area. Chris also serves on the Land Acquisition Committee of the Catawba Lands Conservancy.
- Regularly advises commercial real estate developers in obtaining Brownfields agreements to facilitate property redevelopment and in managing compliance with Brownfields agreements during construction and future use. Some examples include:
- Advised lot developer regarding large townhome development project in North Carolina Brownfields Program.
- Advised regional developer in the acquisition and adaptive reuse of a historic textile mill in Charlotte, NC through the North Carolina Brownfields Program and assisted the client in securing significant tax incentives.
- Advised Brownfields developer in acquiring and cleaning up a former paper manufacturing plant that was ready to be proposed for listing on the federal Superfund National Priorities List. Worked with both federal and state environmental agencies to address federal and state cleanup requirements at the same time and obtained Brownfields agreements to facilitate redevelopment of the property and secure significant tax incentives.
- Advised developer regarding acquisition and redevelopment of large industrial facility subject to ongoing corrective action under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).
- Advised commercial real estate investor in the acquisition of a former industrial property and in obtaining a Voluntary Cleanup Contract (VCC) from the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) in the SC Brownfields/Voluntary Cleanup Program.
- Advised apartment developer regarding the acquisition and redevelopment of a pre-regulatory landfill with methane emissions concerns as a multi-family residential apartment community.
- Represented urban infill developer regarding the redevelopment of a former hazardous waste storage facility that involved the North Carolina Brownfields Program, the North Carolina Hazardous Waste Section, the North Carolina Superfund Section, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
- Assisted a residential community developer in stream and wetlands permitting matters (both Nationwide permits and individual permits) involving the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
- Advised publicly traded national real estate investment trust on environmental matters in connection with its property acquisition, disposition, and sale-leaseback transactions.
- Advised institutional lenders regarding lender-liability issues and the disposition of REO properties with environmental concerns.
- Represented chemical distributor in a Superfund removal action overseen by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and provided advice relating to insurance coverage, litigation strategies, and various regulatory cleanup matters.
- Assisted with the management of a portfolio of nearly 100 federal Superfund (CERCLA) sites across the country for a major industrial client, including landfill sites, owner/operator sites, government-owned contractor-operated sites, and multi-PRP sites.
- Advised commercial developer regarding the management of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) contained in caulk and other building materials and compliance with the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) during building demolition and property redevelopment.
- Advised commercial real estate developer regarding stormwater control laws and limits on municipal authority to impose additional stormwater control requirements.
- Advised private equity client regarding environmental matters associated with its acquisition of a large lubricant distribution business.
- Advised private equity client regarding acquisition of auto body repair business, numerous add-on acquisitions, and the client’s exit from the investment.
- Advised supplier of used, recycled, and reconditioned OEM and aftermarket automobile and truck parts regarding the environmental aspects of M&A transactions.
- Advised major pharmaceutical manufacturer regarding the management, transportation, and disposal of expired vaccines under state and federal solid and hazardous waste regulations.
- Advised chemical manufacturer in litigation involving warranty claims based on the prior owner’s wastewater treatment practices, air emissions controls, and environmental permitting.
- Advised forest products company regarding the closure of drip pads used in wood treatment under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).
- Advised waste management service provider regarding the intersection of state and federal environmental laws (including RCRA and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Hazardous Materials Regulations, or HMR) and local fire codes and avoided a threatened shutdown of operations.
- Represented convenience store owner in dispute regarding revocation of North Carolina Education Lottery retailer license.
- Represented client in settlement of a Notice of Violation relating to chemical inventory and release reporting under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA).
- Advised commercial landlord regarding radon intrusion and related landlord/tenant and occupational safety and health issues.
- Represented a real estate developer in efforts to conduct selective timber harvests on idle project properties and obtained an amendment to a local zoning ordinance on behalf of the client to allow the harvest to proceed.
- Assisted golf course developer in defending against challenges to wetlands permits and other governmental development authorizations.
- Regularly represents non-profit land conservation organization regarding environmental issues related to property and conservation easement transactions.