Environmental

We provide creative, strategically sound solutions to clients confronting federal, state, and local environmental law issues.

Environmental claims and obligations can be expensive and disruptive. Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP lawyers have the depth of experience to respond to demanding environmental situations with innovative and effective solutions—whether at the agency level or in litigation. Our understanding of our clients’ industries, business goals, and legal challenges give rise to strategies that protect both financial interests and business reputations.

Our practice and experience stretch back to the earliest major environmental statues. We have been involved in virtually every key U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rulemaking and enforcement initiative since the 1970s. So we understand how these environmental regulatory programs and enforcement strategies impact our clients’ businesses.

We have represented numerous clients in complex regulatory and litigation matters. Some recent instances include appearing in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on interstate air pollution, representing purchasers and sellers in multimillion-dollar transactions involved in complex corrective action and brownfield claims, prevailing in groundwater litigation on “rate and extent” before the Ohio Environmental Appeals Board, achieving a landmark ruling on the limits of agency rulemaking authority, and defending and prosecuting environmental indemnity claims in federal trial courts and courts of appeals. 

Our lawyers regularly represent clients before the EPA, various state environmental agencies, and federal and state courts, and have handled cases in the Supreme Court of the United States and the state of Ohio. Recognizing that our clients’ reputations are invaluable, we foster good relationships between our clients and the agencies that regulate them. While we aim to avoid disputes by focusing on permit or regulatory development, we are vigorous litigators when needed.

Our Clients

  • Electric utilities
  • Petroleum refiners
  • Fortune 500 industrial companies, including the petrochemical, coke manufacturer, automotive, glass, defense, agribusiness, rubber, and mining industries
  • Midsize and small corporations facing regulatory compliance problems
  • Interstate pipeline companies
  • Integrated oil and gas producers
  • Real estate companies
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Glass and fiberglass industries
  • Agricultural industry

Our Services

  • Assistance in clean air regulation and permitting, including making changes to state implementation plans and acquiring major PSD and nonattainment permits for refinery and coking industry facilities
  • Assistance in Clean Water Act permitting and defense actions, including negotiating NPDES permits for utility and refining companies involving issues such as standard setting, bypass, thermal, and 316(a) problems
  • Defense of federal and state enforcement actions, including NSR “look back” and other allegations
  • Assistance in regulatory intervention
  • Litigation of buyer/seller disputes involving the allocation of pre- and post-sale remediation costs and other environmental compliance issues
  • Defense of class actions and third-party civil suits based on Clean Air Act violations
  • Applying Brownfield cleanup statutes to limit remediation liability and comply with CERCLA/RCRA obligations
  • Counseling on compliance problems under FIFRA and TSCA
  • Negotiation and administrative defense of federal and state notices of violation and other orders seeking penalties or halting site construction
  • Assistance in negotiating variances, compliance orders, permits, and groundwater monitoring plans
  • Assistance in handling due diligence matters on a national basis for real estate companies
  • Negotiation of environmental assumption and indemnity provisions
  • Handling of sophisticated permit issues, including permits under the Title V and New Source Review Provisions of the Clean Air Act, NPDES program under the Clean Water Act, construction and operation permits under RCRA, and State Solid Waste Act (including several problems concerning groundwater contamination and remediation)

Our Experience

  • Achieved a decision in United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit resulting in judgments and ultimate settlement of a $6 million claim for indemnity from past owner for corrective action obligations.
  • Obtained a state court jury verdict on behalf of client suffering damage to real property and environmental contamination; jury awarded over $3 million, punitive damages, attorneys’ fees, and piercing the corporate veil.
  • Achieved a landmark ruling from the Ohio Environmental Review Appeals Commission requiring rulemaking prior to imposition of NPDES thermal limits, avoiding $300 million capital expenditure.
  • Innovative sale/transaction of contaminated property, converting RCRA Corrective Action order to a less burdensome brownfields solution.
  • Defeated NGO motion to stay construction of new $300 million facility, allowing construction to proceed, pending appeal of permit. Devised strategy to defeat the attack on the clean air act construction permit.
  • Represented national oil refinery in modifying nationwide NSR consent decree.
  • Defended CWA citizen suits in California and Ohio.
  • Negotiated “no penalty” compliance order regarding pharmaceutical MACT standards for a major facility without penalty.
  • Negotiated PPA agreements and limited state remediation order allowing the purchase of a contaminated steel plant located on a strategic port site, with conditions allowing brownfield developments and limiting potential CERCLA liability.