Environmental Regulation & Litigation

Overview

Walter | Haverfield’s attorneys have decades of experience in the civil, criminal, and administrative aspects of environmental law, and serve government entities, manufacturers, waste disposal owners and operators, contractors, industrial/commercial property owners, and others affected by the wide array of environmental legislation and toxic tort law. Our main goal is to manage or eliminate the possibility of client liability in environmental matters. However, if hearings or court appearances become unavoidable, we are fully prepared to provide an aggressive defense of our clients’ interests.

Areas of representation include:
  • Representation of trade associations involved in environmental regulatory programs
  • Defense of CERCLA “Superfund” liability cases
  • Interpretation and application of regulations surrounding the construction and operation of facilities with potential environmental impact
  • Defense of Clean Air and Clean Water Act enforcement actions
  • Defense of environmental nuisance-abatement actions, including pollution, zoning, and building code enforcement
  • Environmental risk management related to real estate and business sale transactions
  • Defense of disposal of industrial waste and cleanup liability claims
  • Workers’ compensation related to environmental exposures
  • Defense of employee and product liability claims for toxic torts
  • Interpretations and guidance to clients regarding the CAA, CWA, CERCLA, SARA, RCRA, OSHA, and TSCA regulatory programs
  • Lobbying for changes in law and regulations
  • Prevention and defense of environmental crimes
  • Ohio EPA permit applications/appeals
  • Defense of private suits and community right-to-know requests
  • Oil and gas regulatory programs
  • Transportation of hazardous wastes and spill clean-ups

Experience

The Environmental Regulation & Litigation group’s experience and services include the following:

  • Defends against shutdown orders and abatement of business activities resulting in environmental violations
  • Appeals denials and revocations of facility operating licenses and permits
  • Appeals unreasonable and/or unlawful terms and conditions in operating licenses and permits
  • Negotiates consent orders with the state of Ohio on claimed environmental violations
  • Acted as common counsel and chairman of the Steering Committee to responding groups at Superfund sites
  • Prepares regulatory and statutory amendments affecting industrial groups
  • Negotiates facility expansions with environmental regulators
  • Defended against zoning enforcement cases when the state’s general licensing programs preempt local zoning
  • Negotiates regulatory guidance publications with state regulators
  • Advises industrial clients on regulatory exclusions for waste recycling
  • Represented a trade association involved in waste disposal regulatory program
  • Presented industry positions on regulatory issues to state regulators and the Ohio General Assembly
  • Appealed revocation of oil and gas permits to the Ohio Oil & Gas Commission
  • Resolved disputes, pre-litigation, between property owners regarding alleged environmental contamination
  • Manages small and large environmental remediation projects and litigation involving dozens of sites throughout North America
  • Liaised with industry trade groups on variety of environmental issues
  • Defends toxic tort claims involving asbestos and vinyl chloride
  • Negotiated a highly technical air permit involving the emission of volatile organic compounds in a non-attainment area
  • Obtained a major arbitration victory for a Fortune 500 company using a detailed and technical evaluation of the site and the client's activities in relation to the clean-up work ordered by the U.S. EPA
  • Represented municipalities and public entities in land use disputes involving solid waste transfer and disposal facilities
  • Counsels clients regarding the licensing and operation of solid waste and construction and demolition debris facilities
  • Representation of groups of companies undertaking environmental dredging projects in the Ashtabula and Ottawa rivers (OH), including negotiation of state and federal consent decrees for past cost claims and natural resource damages
U.S. News - Best Lawyers® 2015 “Best Law Firms” rankings
  • Metropolitan Tier 1: Environmental Law
  • Metropolitan Tier 2: Environmental Litigation

According to U.S. News - Best Lawyers®, firms included in this year's listing "...are recognized for professional excellence with persistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. Achieving a tiered ranking signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise." This year's ratings were based upon the largest number of participating firms and the highest number of client ballots since these rankings were initiated - more than 17,000 attorneys provided nearly 600,000 law firm evaluations, and almost 7,500 clients also participated in the evaluation process. U.S. News - Best Lawyers® explained that, "Ranked firms, presented in tiers, are listed on a national and/or metropolitan scale. Receiving a tier designation reflects the high level of respect a firm has earned among other leading lawyers and clients in the same communities and the same practice areas for their abilities, their professionalism and their integrity."
2014 rankings
  • Metropolitan Tier 1 - Environmental Law, Environmental Litigation

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