Environmental

Overview

BakerHostetler’s Environmental Team ‘is responsive, skilled, and tailors legal needs to specific circumstances to achieve positive resolutions.’

– Legal 500 2018

Clients choose our Environmental team, which has been recognized as national Practice Group of the Year by Law360, among others, for our skill and experience in a broad array of subject matters including environmental regulations, permitting, litigation, transactions, health and safety, risk management, and more. Our multifaceted team, with offices across the country, provides a sophisticated federal practice coupled with a robust understanding of complex state and local issues. We are a one-stop shop for our clients. As illustrated in more detail in our list of representative matters below, we do work for clients in the following areas:

  • Compliance Counseling
  • Environmental Litigation / Toxic Tort
  • Emerging Contaminants / Product Stewardship / Chemical Regulation
  • Legacy Site / Project Management / Contract Disputes
  • Transactions / EHS Due Diligence / Environmental Insurance
  • Sustainability / Climate Change / ESG
  • NEPA / Natural Resources Law
  • Natural Resource Damages
  • OSHA / Workplace Safety
  • Superfund / Cost Recovery / Contribution Actions
  • Projects / Permitting / Permit Appeals
  • Civil, Criminal and Administrative Enforcement Defense
  • Carbon Capture and Sequestration
  • Emergency / Spill Response
  • Rulemakings / Proceedings / Challenges
  • Offshore Energy Projects
  • Renewable Fuels
  • Citizen’s Suits
  • Emissions Trading and Offsets
  • Brownfield Redevelopment
More »

We are confident, experienced litigators and trial lawyers. Whether it is civil or criminal litigation or rulemaking challenges, we have tried and won some of the most notable environmental cases reported. We also are nationally known for our experience in the Clean Air Act and the defense of citizen suit claims arising under all federal environmental statutes, and we are often engaged at the start of large-scale projects to assist clients to successfully maneuver through the permitting process, including appeals and defense against challenges. We have successfully secured permits for facilities requiring Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act permits in recent years as well as successfully defended and brought administrative and judicial appeals regarding these permits. This work also includes supporting our clients through the National Environmental Policy Act process and other natural resources laws and, when necessary, defending or challenging federal and state decisions related to these matters. In addition, we have notable experience in RCRA and CERCLA site cleanup activities as well as contract disputes involving the allocation of environmental liabilities. We are also at the forefront of emerging environmental issues and risks, including the reduction of ethylene oxide (EtO) emissions and the investigation and remediation of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

We are also adept business counselors and are often called on by our clients to advise them on managing their most critical environmental risks. In the context of transactions, we guide our clients on the buy and sell side, and develop strategic transaction structures to manage environmental risks and to “get the deals done.” We work closely with our clients’ in-house and retained environmental experts to manage risks and minimize costs associated with addressing legacy environmental matters, and we step in to enforce indemnity agreements, including, when necessary, pursuing litigation or arbitration.

With many of our clients now focused on climate change and sustainability, we have become key partners to our clients in identifying the risks and opportunities presented by climate change and the broader push toward sustainability in the economy. As part of these efforts, in addition to supporting regulatory compliance, we regularly counsel our clients on potential opportunities and risks associated with these programs. We support our clients to identify the appropriate metrics for use in their efforts and work with them to critically evaluate the “green” aspects of their existing business and to identify and implement projects that result in the direct or indirect reductions in emissions and water consumption. We support the preparation of sustainability reports to financing partners and investors and provide critical review of the content of such reports and related company disclosures.

Select Experience

  • Represent the tenth largest refinery in the world in high-profile Clean Air Act, Resource Conservation & Recovery Act, and other litigation brought by U.S. EPA.
  • Represented multiple states, major energy producers and national trade associations in major regulatory challenges including EPA’s regulation of greenhouse gases from industrial facilities and the Bureau of Land Management’s attempt to regulate hydraulic fracturing on federal lands.
  • Represent the developer of state-of-the-art steel mills in multiple states on multi-media permitting efforts and defend permit challenges and citizens suits.
  • Represent a firefighting foam manufacturer in multi-district litigation involving personal injury, property damage, and natural resource damages claims arising from the use of aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) containing PFAS. 
More »

Professionals

Name Title Office Email
Associate Cleveland
Partner Denver
Partner Washington, D.C.
Partner Washington, D.C.
Partner Los Angeles
Associate Houston
Partner Cleveland
Partner Houston
Senior Partner Washington, D.C.
Partner Cleveland
Partner Houston
Partner Washington, D.C.
Partner Houston
Partner Cleveland
Partner Los Angeles
Partner Denver
Partner Washington, D.C.
Partner Washington, D.C.
Partner Houston
Associate Cleveland
Partner Houston
Partner Houston
Partner Washington, D.C.
Senior Advisor Washington, D.C.
Partner Atlanta
Associate Orlando
Partner Washington, D.C.
Partner Houston
Counsel Cleveland
Associate Washington, D.C.
Associate Denver
Partner Cleveland
Partner Orlando
Associate Cleveland
Partner Cleveland
Counsel Orlando
Partner Washington, D.C.
Partner Houston
Partner Houston
Partner Washington, D.C.
Counsel Los Angeles
Partner Houston
Partner Orlando
Associate Cleveland
Associate Houston

Experience

  • Represent the tenth largest refinery in the world in high-profile Clean Air Act, Resource Conservation & Recovery Act, and other litigation brought by U.S. EPA.
  • Represented multiple states, major energy producers and national trade associations in major regulatory challenges including EPA’s regulation of greenhouse gases from industrial facilities and the Bureau of Land Management’s attempt to regulate hydraulic fracturing on federal lands.
  • Represent the developer of state-of-the-art steel mills in multiple states on multi-media permitting efforts and defend permit challenges and citizens suits.
  • Represent a firefighting foam manufacturer in multi-district litigation involving personal injury, property damage, and natural resource damages claims arising from the use of aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) containing PFAS. 
  • Represent a health care company in civil litigation and major federal and state regulatory matters involving the use of EtO in the medical sterilization industry.
  • Advise a company on legal issues associated with the installation of carbon capture technology and the development of a Class VI carbon sequestration at two facilities in the United States, including federal Class VI, state permits and “pore space” issues. 
  • Represent potentially responsible parties at major groundwater and sediment superfund sites including San Fernando Valley, Portland Harbor and Star Lake Canal.
  • Represented petroleum refineries in legal challenges to EPA’s failure to act on Renewable Fuel Standards hardship exemption petitions.
  • Represent a merchant electric transmission developer in federal and state permitting, including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), for a 900-mile, high-voltage electric transmission project.
  • Represent clients in responding to onshore and offshore releases of oil, including vessel owners in criminal and civil matters, asserting and defending claims under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 and for natural resource damages. 
  • Litigated a natural gas exploration company’s development plan and permit concerning the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA).
  • Represented Cape Wind LLC in four consolidated district court cases that challenged approval of the first domestic offshore wind energy project.

Recognition

  • Law360: Environmental “Practice Group of the Year” (2017)
  • Chambers USA: Natural Resources and Environment
    • Colorado (2014 to 2020)
    • Ohio (2007 to 2017)
  • Chambers USA: Environment
    • District of Columbia (2015 to 2019)
    • Florida (2015 to 2019)
  • The Legal 500 United States
    • Industry Focus – Environment: Litigation (2017 to 2020)
  • U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms”
    • Environmental Law: National (2013 to 2020); Atlanta (2018 to 2020); Cleveland (2011 to 2017); Denver (2019 to 2020); Columbus (2011 to 2020); Los Angeles (2014 to 2020); Orlando (2011 to 2020)
    • Litigation – Environmental: National (2013 to 2020); Cleveland (2012 to 2016); Orlando (2011 to 2020)
    • Mining Law: National (2011 to 2020); Denver (2011 to 2016)
    • Natural Resources Law: National (2014 to 2020); Denver (2011 to 2020); Houston (2011 to 2020)
    • Oil & Gas Law: National (2011 to 2020); Houston (2011 to 2020)
  • Recognized as one of the top law firms for client service, BakerHostetler was named to the 2020 BTI Client Service 30 for the sixth consecutive year.

Publications

Alerts

Articles

Blog Posts

Key Contacts

Blog

In The Blogs

Previous Next
Pillar and Post: Energy Law in the 21st Century
Swimming Upstream: PHMSA Extends Reporting and Safety Regulations for Onshore Gas Gathering Lines
By Alexander K. Obrecht, Aidan Slavin
December 21, 2021
Alexander K. Obrecht and Aidan Slavin The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) recently finalized the second of three gas transmission and gathering-line safety rules, originating out of a nearly 10-year...
Read More ->
Pillar and Post: Energy Law in the 21st Century
The Right Way to Obtain Multi-Line Rights in a Right-of-Way Transaction in Texas
By Zachary E. Bernard
October 1, 2021
There are many misconceptions about how multi-line rights are created in Texas. Contrary to popular belief, a multiple pipeline right-of-way cannot just be created by changing “pipeline” to “pipelines” in the granting provision.[1] In...
Read More ->
Pillar and Post: Energy Law in the 21st Century
You Don't Own Me: 8th Circuit's Definition of ‘Direct Ownership Interest' in Wind Farms Excludes Parent Entities
By Aidan Slavin
September 15, 2021
Ownership changes at the parent-company level do not constitute a transfer of “direct ownership interests” in distant subsidiaries, a unanimous panel of the 8th Circuit held last month in Laredo Ridge Wind LLC, et al v. Nebraska Public...
Read More ->
Pillar and Post: Energy Law in the 21st Century
The Section 401 Water Quality Certification Program and Its Impacts on Energy and Infrastructure Projects
By Meagan Moore
September 10, 2021
Section 401 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) requires applicants for federally permitted projects “that may result in any discharge into the navigable waters” of the United States to seek water quality certifications from the local certifying...
Read More ->
Pillar and Post: Energy Law in the 21st Century
Easing the Path Toward Carbon Sequestration: Revenue Ruling 2021-13
By John R. Lehrer II
August 26, 2021
On July 1, 2021, the IRS released Revenue Ruling 2021-13 (Rev. Rul. 2021-13). That ruling (i) provided an example of the functionality-based definition of carbon capture equipment found in final Section 45Q Treasury Regulations; (ii) held...
Read More ->