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Capabilities / Environmental

Environmental

Balancing environmental law and business needs.

Our nationally recognized Environmental law team provides efficient, cost-effective representation to companies in the energy, chemical, agricultural, mining, manufacturing, transportation and real estate industries. Our creative yet practical solutions protect our clients’ right to operate, meet their customer expectations and advance their business interests. 

We assist clients with strategic counsel on compliance, permitting, product safety, remediation, liability management and litigation, including defense of enforcement actions related to federal and state environmental laws. Additionally, our environmental law attorneys often serve as national environmental counsel for clients.

Our compliance guidance to clients includes federal and state environmental laws such as:

  • Clean Air Act 
  • Clean Water Act
  • Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA)
  • Endangered Species Act 
  • Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act
  • Mine Safety and Health Act (MSHA)
  • National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
  • Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)
  • Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)
  • Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA)
  • Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)

Case Study
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

Husch Blackwell put together a coalition to help clarify CERCLA in an influential U.S. Supreme Court amicus brief.

Representative Experience

  • Served as primary environmental compliance counsel to multiple-plant, multiple-state inorganic chemical manufacturer. Representative projects included responding to requests for information on release reports, advising on hazardous waste recycling, resolving notices of violation, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) citations and notices of probable violation for rail and truck hazardous materials transportation, interpreting requirements for risk management programs and chemical safety security, and planning for permit renewal changes.
  • Prepared comments on EPA’s identification of nonhazardous secondary materials that are solid wastes proposed rule on behalf of a company that used a novel technology to reclaim coal from legacy piles. This prompted the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to revise its rule and include currently mined and processed coal refuse as a fuel, not a waste, in its final rule;
  • Represented food products manufacturer in resolution of alleged serious violations of permit effluent limits in local sewer authority discharge in Colorado. Because of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) involvement, sewer authority was planning to terminate discharge authorization. Resolved matter with no plant shutdown and a provision for orderly treatment plant upgrade;
  • Mediated settlement, at a fraction of total potential liability, for company in long-running dispute with the EPA over lead-contaminated Superfund site;
  • Lead counsel on several complex natural resource damages (NRD) involving active mine sites, including the Morenci, Tyrone, Chino and Molycorp sites in Arizona and New Mexico;
  • Advised company that redevelops environmentally contaminated property in acquiring a 340,000-square-foot inactive battery-manufacturing plant in New Jersey. Negotiated a liability and remediation trust fund transfer agreement that involved the previous owner and the state;
  • Counsel for manufacturing company in complex four-way negotiations regarding transfer and redevelopment of old manufacturing complex, culminating in execution of redevelopment agreement. Redevelopment of property occurred with the manufacturing company’s involvement limited to certain known environmental issues, with others participating in newly identified issues and asbestos;
  • Represented a Fortune 500 manufacturer in a Clean Air Act enforcement case involving Roundup raw materials. The client settled Title V Operating permit violations with the State of Wyoming but the EPA Region 8 found the settlement insufficient. Our client filed a declaratory judgment action against the United States in Wyoming federal court before the U.S. filed its own enforcement action in the same federal court. The court ordered the parties to mediation, where the proposed multimillion dollar penalty was settled for less than a million dollars.
  • Achieved a favorable outcome in defense of a large petrochemical corporation against several significant claims stemming from alleged product releases and contamination from a pipeline located in Hartford, Ill. As part of representation, Husch Blackwell conducted an analysis of the client’s chances of recovery of its defense costs and indemnity against its excess carriers (in the millions of dollars) and potential costs of resolution of the various claims, including claims by Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and the federal Environmental Protection Agency. On Jan. 7, 2013, the trial court in Madison County, Ill., held that Allianz Underwriters Insurance Co. had breached its duty to defend under Illinois law and that it owed our client its past and future defense costs;
  • Represented an international manufacturer of components for the energy industry when a temporary worker claimed disability discrimination and retaliation for filing an OSHA complaint. Our team obtained a dismissal with prejudice of all claims for client.
  • Represented a privately owned cleaning products company with its redevelopment and expansion of a corporate headquarters, including a manufacturing and distribution complex, in St. Joseph, Missouri. Worked with the client and the state of Missouri to develop an environmental risk remediation plan and secure Brownfields Tax Incentives to help with the expense.
  • Represented developer of 440 MW of solar projects. Provided development, real estate, environmental, electric regulatory and state tax expertise on all matters.
  • Represented chemicals company after it was statutorily debarred by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Suspension and Debarment Official (SDO). The SDO terminated the debarment without any administrative agreement.
  • Served as land development counsel and local real estate and financing counsel for real estate investment firm as it acquired three hotels and resorts in Texas (worth $93 million), each of which were active resorts situated in areas of the state with unique and complicated water, wastewater and environmental issues.
White Papers | January 04, 2023
Legal Insights for Manufacturing: Outlook for 2023

What manufacturers can expect in the new year.

Articles | March 11, 2021
Rock Products: The Tide Turns
Webinar | February 2021
Building the Renewable Power Project Webinar Series - Project Structuring 101

Building the Renewable Power Project Webinar Series

Webinar | December 2020
Building the Renewable Power Project Webinar Series - Emerging Energy Storage Issues

Building the Renewable Power Project Webinar Series

Webinar | October 28, 2020
Pre-Election Webinar Series - Election 2020: Defining the Stakes

Pre-Election Webinar Series

Webinar | July 28, 2020
Combustible Dust in the Workplace
Webinar | June 23, 2020
Turbulent Waters

Emerging Environmental Law Trends Webinar Series

Speaking Engagements | February 19 - 21, 2020
Speaker, DRI Toxic Torts and Environmental Law Seminar
Media Mentions | January 09, 2023
AzBusiness: Top 100 Lawyers in Arizona for 2023
News Releases | November 14, 2022
Husch Blackwell Adds Two Partners to Its Technology, Manufacturing & Transportation Group
Husch Blackwell is pleased to announce that Stephen Ball and Chris Erker have joined the firm's Technology, Manufacturing & Transportation business unit as partners.
Media Mentions | May 28, 2021
The Regulatory Review: Week in Review
Media Mentions | April 26, 2021
C-SPAN: Guam v. United States Oral Argument