A recent decision by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) expands the duty of environmental consultants to report contamination on their clients' land. The rationale of the decision might also apply to lawyers and to states beyond New York.
Many federal, state and municipal laws require spills of pollutants to be reported to the government. People have received criminal penalties, including jail time, as well as heavy civil fines, for violating some of these requirements. Almost all of these rules apply only to persons who own, operate, or are otherwise in charge of the polluting facility, or who played a direct role in the spill.
Environmental Law | Law
Sabin Center for Climate Change Law
Michael B. Gerrard,
Consultants' and Lawyers' Duties to Report Contamination,
Available at: https://scholarship.law.columbia.edu/faculty_scholarship/4213