Steptoe & Johnson’s Environmental and Regulatory attorneys represent clients before federal, state, and local courts and administrative boards in civil, criminal, and administrative matters.
Our environmental lawyers possess extensive experience as seasoned litigators who can handle commercial and energy-related litigation in high-profile cases.
Environmental and Regulatory Practice Group attorneys possess the knowledge and experience to understand the highly technical nature of environmental issues.
WHAT SETS US APART
- Technical and scientific degrees held by team members in geology, engineering, environmental science, and mining provide clients with solid legal representation built on a technical foundation
- Leadership roles in environmental/energy trade organizations and regional/national multi-stakeholder technical advisory groups provide clients with a voice on critical issues
- Team members are actively involved in shaping environmental and energy policy and in promulgating regulations
- Active working relationships with state and federal government officials in all licensed states
- Represent regulated industries including energy, power generation, chemical, manufacturing, mining, municipalities, research and development, transportation, waste disposal, commercial development, and banking and finance
- More than 50% of the team has in-house counsel or regulatory agency experience
- Attorneys licensed in IN, KY, OH, PA, TX, VA, and WV
- 75% of team members recognized as The Best Lawyers in America®
- Three registered lobbyists represent clients regarding environmental issues in multiple states
- Provide the right experience mix of lawyers, government affairs professionals, and paralegals to enhance efficiency
- Development of federal environmental rules, involvement in various stakeholder processes, development of our own proposals for recommended changes to existing rules, commenting on proposals advanced by the agency, litigating rules once finalized by the agency and ultimately implementing final rules
- Represented manufacturers, power companies, coal companies, petroleum refineries and trade organizations in state and federal energy and environmental matters focusing on national air quality regulatory issues, water quality issues, oil and gas regulatory issues, and solid and hazardous waste compliance
- Evaluated environmental, health, and safety compliance, and evaluated site contamination risks, and counsel clients about reporting obligations and compliance
- Represented energy, regulatory, and municipal clients with regard to permitting, enforcement, and administrative matters before environmental agencies and boards
- Developed and coordinated strategic responses to U.S. EPA investigations of suspected environmental regulatory violations
HOW WE HAVE HELPED
The Environmental and Regulatory Practice Group includes attorneys who regularly counsel clients on environmental issues, including the following:
- Industry and municipality compliance under federal and state laws and regulations
- Penalty and enforcement actions
- Site remediation and planning (including Brownfields)
- Indemnity and transactional documentation
- Audit and assessment planning
- Underground storage tank remediation and closure
- Superfund cost recovery, allocations, and site delisting
- Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and hazardous and solid waste disposal permitting and enforcement
- Clean Water Act permitting, compliance, and enforcement
- Clean Air Act permitting, compliance, and enforcement
- Complex federal citizen suit litigation
- Compliance counseling under all environmental regulatory programs
- Real estate and infrastructure development
- Toxic tort litigation
Team attorneys have acted as advocates for industry by drafting and filing comments on various federal environmental rulemaking initiatives, including:
Federal Clean Air Act:
- Interstate Transport of Air Pollutants – We prepared and filed the comments on U.S. EPA’s proposed rule titled “Federal Implementation Plans to Reduce Interstate Transport of Fine Particulate Matter and Ozone; Proposed Rule” for the Midwest Ozone Group (October 1, 2010) http://www.midwestozonegroup.com/files/MOGCommentsOnProposedTransportRule.pdf
- New Source Performance Standards - We assisted in the development of comments of the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association Regarding Revisions to 40 CFR Part 60, Subpart OOOO New Source Performance Standards for the Oil and Natural Gas Sector 79 Fed. Reg. 41752 (July 17, 2014) http://www.regulations.gov/contentStreamer?objectId=0900006481832cf6&disposition=attachment&contentType=pdf
- Power Plant Mercury Limits – We prepared and filed the comments on U.S. EPA's proposed rule titled "Clean Air Act NESHAP and NSPS Rules Affecting the EGU Sector" for the Midwest Ozone Group (August 4, 2011)
Federal Climate Change:
- GHG NSPS - Comments on U.S. EPA’s "Standards of Performance for Greenhouse Gas Emissions from New Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units” for the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce (March 20, 2014) http://www.steptoe-johnson.com/sites/default/files/WV%20Chamber%20comment%20letter%20and%20CCS%20Survey.pdf
- GHG Existing Sources - American College of Environmental Lawyers (ACOEL) Memorandum on the Clean Air Act 111(d) History and Background (April 8, 2014) http://acoel.org/file.axd?file=2014%2f4%2fACOEL+ECOS+FINAL+MEMO+and+Cover.pdf
- GHG Existing Sources - Additional comments on 111(d) rule related to GHG emissions from existing power plants are currently being prepared for the Midwest Ozone Group (December 1, 2014).
Federal Endangered Species:
- Northern Long-Eared Bat - Supplemental Comments on 12-Month Finding on Petition to List the Northern Long-Eared Bat and the Eastern Small-Footed Bat and Proposed Rule – Docket No. FWS-R5-ES-2011-0024 (August 27, 2014) for the West Virginia Chamber (see attached).
- Northern Long-Eared Bat – Comments on proposal by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the American Petroleum Institute (January 2, 2014) (See attached).
Federal Clean Water Act:
- Waters of the U.S. – Comments on U.S. EPA's proposed definition of "Waters of the U.S." prepared on behalf of the Independent Oil and Gas Association of America (November 14, 2014). http://www.ipaa.org/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2014/11/IPAA-AXPC-WEA-WOTUS-Comments-November-14-2014.pdf
WV Aboveground Storage Tanks:
- AST - "Development of Rulemaking Position Statement for the WV Oil and Natural Gas Association" (May 13, 2014). http://www.dep.wv.gov/WWE/abovegroundstoragetanks/Documents/WVONGARevised51514.pdf
- AST - West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association Comments Regarding the Rough Draft of the Aboveground Storage Tank Emergency Rule updated on October 7, 2014, Entitled: “Aboveground Storage Tanks” (October 24, 2014).