Providing strategic and cost-effective counsel, we assist our clients in meeting state and federal environmental permitting obligations. We evaluate and defend administrative, civil and criminal enforcement actions, evaluate and allocate environmental liabilities and risks associated with corporate and property transactions, coordinate legislative and administrative lawmaking, and facilitate real estate development and redevelopment.
We are dedicated to understanding our clients’ business objectives and to providing timely and sound legal advice to support these efforts. We are heavily involved with the oil and gas industry in Ohio and remain very active in national and state industry associations relevant to our clients’ businesses.
Our attorneys regularly publish articles and present at trade association meetings, continuing legal education seminars and bar association committees. Seven of the practice group’s attorneys maintain an “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell, one of the oldest and most trusted peer review services in the legal profession. Practice leader Scott Doran earned his master’s degree in toxicology, works closely with our clients’ technical consultants to evaluate environmental damage claims, and has been recognized by Chambers and Associates as a top environmental practitioner in Ohio.
- Environmental compliance, permitting and administrative appeals: working with our clients’ internal and external technical resources to identify optimal permitting strategies resulting in reasonable and practicable air, water and waste management permits; evaluating and implementing internal environmental compliance programs; representing clients in the defense of administrative, civil and criminal proceedings involving alleged non-compliance with environmental laws and regulations
- Land development and redevelopment: working with federal, state and local agencies to address environmental permitting associated with land development, including federal and state wetland and stream permitting, storm water discharge permitting, endangered species and historical resource preservation, and demands for and preparation of environmental impact statements; working with industry groups for positive legislation and rulemaking, including assisting with the drafting of Ohio’s wetland and stream permitting program; working extensively on brownfield redevelopment projects, including projects under Ohio’s Voluntary Action Program; evaluation and allocation of environmental risks and liabilities associated with the redevelopment of historically impacted property
- Oil and gas development, production and transmission: working on the ongoing development of the Marcellus and Utica Shale plays; representing midstream companies, including environmental permitting, eminent domain/condemnation litigation, the development and construction of pipelines, terminals and processing facilities and related financing and construction documentation; assisting with the drafting and evaluation of oil and gas leases
- Site remediation and cost allocation: negotiating federal and state administrative and judicial orders requiring remedial investigation/feasibility studies and remedial actions; participating in significant multi-party CERCLA cost recovery/contribution actions, both asserting and defending claims for contribution; crafting cost-effective solutions to cost allocation and remedial actions
- Underground storage tanks: assuring compliance with Ohio’s vigorous underground storage tank (UST) program; representing clients with claims for reimbursement from the Petroleum Underground Storage Tank Release Fund; assisting with UST compliance and closure requirements and the related negotiations with the Bureau of Underground Storage Tank Regulation (BUSTR) and the Ohio Attorney General’s Office
We represent large and small businesses, public entities and individuals in complying with the seemingly endless and changing scope of environmental regulation. Regardless of the type of regulated entity, we focus on understanding our clients’ objectives, provide concise and cost-effective legal analysis and options, and work hand-in-hand with our clients’ technical resources to achieve satisfactory results.
- Manufacturing companies: environmental requirements, including air and water permitting, waste disposal and recycling requirements, emergency planning and community right-to-know requirements, storm water permitting, air permitting, environmental compliance auditing and enforcement defense
- Midstream oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids pipeline operators: assisting with environmental permitting, including state and federal stream and wetland permitting, air permitting, and storm water permitting; establishing and complying with a predictable and cost-effective regulatory program
- Land development: working with land development interests, ranging from 5,000-acre planned developments to the redevelopment of small industrial facilities, including evaluating potential environmental obstacles to development, devising cost-effective solutions and preparing full and complete applications for stream and wetland permits and storm water permits; working through endangered species protection and historic preservation issues; evaluating the impact from local wastewater management plans (208 Plans), special watershed limitations, and onsite wastewater treatment and disposal requirements and options; working with our clients’ environmental consultants to evaluate short- and long-term liability concerns, assisting with the identification of public funding options, properly allocating environmental risks and costs, and obtaining any necessary state or federal approvals, including a No Further Action Letter and Covenant Not to Sue under the Ohio Voluntary Action Program
Notable environmental clients include:
- Upscale multi-family development: assisted client with devising and implementing a strategy to investigate and remediate substantial methane gas migration issues, despite opposition in bankruptcy proceedings and without formal state or federal administrative orders
- Manufacturing facility: retained by our client to resolve lengthy pre-existing negotiations with Ohio EPA regarding investigation and remediation of on-site conditions in an area of regional groundwater contamination
- National oil and gas pipeline company: extensive work with Dallas-based client to evaluate and incorporate the purchase of existing oil collection, storage and pipeline transmission systems, as well as Class II disposal wells
- Natural resource mitigation bank: advised the Ohio Wetlands Foundation in connection with the development of one of the United States’ first wetland mitigation banks and continue to provide counsel to the Foundation regarding bank site establishment and individual stream and wetland mitigation projects; the Foundation has restored more than 2,000 acres of wetlands
For more information on our environmental and natural resources services, please contact Scott Doran.