Environmental law is always a critical, evolving, and often complex area with hidden traps for even the best intentioned. However, given the rising concerns surrounding global climate change and sustainable energy, and pressure on companies to fulfill environmental stewardship standards for shareholders and supply chain vendors, environmental law is at the forefront of public and corporate concern. Environmental law intersects science, law, and public policy, thereby requiring consideration of multiple factors when facing an environmental issue or dispute. Enforcement of environmental laws by regulatory agencies continues to rise, regulations and guidance are issued at a head-spinning rate, and the regulated community finds every acquisition, divestiture, business or building expansion under intense scrutiny to verify compliance and to control risk.
Our attorneys regularly publish Taft Environmental Newsletters, examining and highlighting developments in this ever-changing area of law.
Taft’s Environmental attorneys provide clients with focused and practical approaches to the complexities of environmental challenges. Spotting the issues is our specialty; providing common sense and cost-effective solutions is the special value we bring to our clients. Our practice spans civil and criminal law, environmental insurance, toxic tort suits, real estate, mergers and acquisitions, brownfields transactions and financing, sustainability, defense of occupational exposure claims, and administrative proceedings. Our relationships with our clients are longstanding, enabling us to anticipate our clients’ needs and to efficiently manage and resolve environmental hurdles associated with their business.
We have served our clients’ environmental legal needs in nearly every state across the U.S. We strive to provide our clients with strategic and tactical options to manage risk without breaking the bank, whether it is prying control of a surprise environmental problem from the hands of regulators or negotiating favorable terms in consent agreements and permits to allow business to return to normal.
Our team provides nationally recognized litigation, counseling, and dispute resolution services to clients regulated by the alphabet soup of local, state, and federal environmental laws (e.g., CAA, CWA, CERCLA, EPCRA, FIFRA, RCRA, TSCA), as well as emerging issues. Recognitions include Chambers USA, Best Lawyers in America®, Super Lawyers, multiple Trial Lawyer of the Year awards and Leading Business Lawyers-Environmental. Put simply, we know our clients’ businesses and develop common sense solutions to allow our clients to resume their core business functions.
- Brownfield and Site Development
- Class Action, Derivative, and Multi-Party Litigation
- Commercial Litigation
- Crisis Management
- Environmental Litigation
- Environmental Regulatory
- Environmental Transactional Services
- Mergers and Acquisitions
- PFAS (Per-and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances)
- Workplace Safety and Health
Ranked National Tier 1 by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” for Environmental Law
(2017 - present)
The Right to Clean Water
A cattle farmer, the EPA and 70,000 individuals in West Virginia and Ohio took action against chemical giant DuPont for releasing a dangerous pollutant into the water and environment. Taft’s environmental and litigation lawyers championed the residents’ rights to safe, clean drinking water for over 17 years.
- Assisted with airport main runway expansion through a Superfund site, including leading negotiations with federal and state agencies as to environmental issues involving a rail line relocation.
- Represented a chemical company with respect to environmental compliance and defense of various alleged regulatory violations.
- Represented various real estate developers in establishing landowner liability protection for contaminated property involving commercial, industrial, and residential projects.
- Negotiated Consent Agreements and Final Orders with USEPA and state environmental agencies for alleged FIFRA pesticide violations, RCRA hazardous waste violations, RCRA corrective action requirements, Clean Air Act Risk Management Planning violations, Clean Water Act violations, and with OSHA for Process Safety Management violations.
- Counseled clients with respect to preventative self-auditing practices for multi-media compliance: air, waste, water, chemicals handling, and occupational safety and health.
- Served as national environmental counsel since 1988 for one of the largest distributors of agricultural chemicals.
- Counsel clients and defend enforcement cases involving asbestos and lead paint.
- Assist clients in recovering costs from insurance companies for a multitude of contaminated properties, including industrial, commercial, and residential sites.
- Defended manufacturing clients in toxic tort and class action litigation, including excluding plaintiff medical and causation experts.
- Negotiate agreements and reimbursement for sharing of data under FIFRA for registration of pesticides.
- Assist closely held family companies with efforts to ensure that environmental liabilities are not a burden for heirs.
- Assist groups of individuals who have been exposed to chemicals from nearby industrial facilities in their assertion of bodily injury and property damage claims.
- Tried in federal Multi-District Litigation the largest bodily injury case involving perfluorochemicals in drinking water that resulted in a total settlement payout of $672 million in favor of firm clients.
- Assisted clients in negotiating CERCLA (Superfund) settlements with the Department of Justice, USEPA, and state agencies, including natural resource trustees.
- Litigated private cost-recovery and contamination cases under federal (CERCLA) law and under purchase and sale agreements.
- Counsel clients regarding measures to improve the attractiveness of environmentally impaired companies being sold and also representing buyers by obtaining favorable indemnity and insurance protection against latent environmental liabilities.
- Successfully try to judgment/verdict civil and criminal environmental enforcement claims brought by regulatory agencies against firm clients that were alleged to have violated various hazardous waste laws and regulations.
- Successfully assisted client in negotiating Consent Decrees and remedial agreements for former wood preserving plants in Alabama, Florida, and Kentucky.