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OVERVIEW

Environmental Broad reach

Our Environmental attorneys have the knowledge, credibility and skill to deliver practical and strategic advice. Our extensive experience includes regulatory compliance and enforcement counsel on existing and emerging legal issues involving oil and gas pipelines, vapor intrusion, energy efficiency, air and water, and advanced remediation, along with climate change, sustainability and green infrastructure.

Barnes & Thornburg advises on virtually every area of environmental law, the regulatory and legislative process, and related litigation. Our national team has represented myriad clients in sizable environmental matters, offering creative solutions to meet their objectives. We have negotiated critical consent decrees for municipalities across the country and navigated businesses and trade associations through and beyond the regulatory rulemaking process.

We are a national firm and are active coast to coast. Our attorneys actively cultivate productive working relationships with government agency professionals at all levels, and work tirelessly to create effective solutions that satisfy our clients’ regulatory and compliance goals.

We take pride in our involvement in each phase of regulatory development, including engaging on regulatory concepts long before proposed or final rules are crafted and helping to shape the content of future regulations that diminish burdens for our clients. Although our goal is to minimize litigation, we implement strategies during the regulatory process that help establish favorable rulemaking dockets in support of our clients’ positions should litigation ensue.

We apply our specialized industry know-how when working with national and international clients such as major oil companies and refineries, industrial manufacturers and suppliers, pipeline owners and operators, and energy and mining businesses. We represent airports, municipalities, water and wastewater utilities, and other public utilities and entities throughout the country. We also represent property owners and construction companies, solid and hazardous waste management facilities, e-waste and scrap and other materials recyclers, as well as industry associations and coalitions in significant areas of environmental law.

In addition to a variety of honors and awards, a number of our environmental lawyers have academic degrees in civil, chemical and environmental engineering, environmental planning and policy, biochemistry, biology and natural resources, which enhance our in-depth understanding of the technical issues underpinning the legal matters faced by our clients. Our lawyers also have served in high level positions in private industry and with environmental regulatory agencies, and include the former acting deputy regional counsel for EPA Region 5.

Our environmental team functions like an environmental law boutique and is supported by the resources and collective know-how of a large commercial law firm. We advise on compliance with federal, state, local and international environmental laws, and evaluate and advise on minimizing environmental risks in real estate and business transactions. We resolve disputes with governmental entities and private parties arising under environmental laws and, when necessary, aggressively protect client interests in litigation or alternative dispute resolution.

We are committed to serving as thought leaders in environmental law, and have initiated and established precedential achievements in our fields. We are respected for our substantive experience and responsiveness to each client we serve.

Our experience includes:

  • Environmental crisis and emergency response strategies
  • Engaging with state and federal regulatory agencies regarding comprehensive aspects of rulemaking, permitting, compliance, enforcement, administrative hearings, appeals and other government involvement with our clients
  • Engaging with state and federal legislatures in advocating for our clients’ priorities
  • Negotiating (and when necessary litigating) enforcement settlements, consent orders, compliance plans, penalties and other third-party claims
  • Evaluation and oversight of remediation projects
  • Superfund matters with complex allocation issues
  • Site-specific facility permitting and siting
  • Environmental due diligence in complex commercial and real estate transactions
  • White collar environmental criminal defense
  • Litigation and appeals in state and federal courts throughout the country
  • Chemical manufacture, processing and import regulatory matters
  • Emerging areas of environmental law, such as vapor intrusion, climate change, green infrastructure and energy efficiency standards  

Practice Leaders

Erika Powers

Erika K. Powers

Partner
Environmental Law Department Chair

Chicago

P 312-338-5904

F 312-759-5646

EXPERIENCE
PROFESSIONALS

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