Complying with Environmental Law with its complex web of ever-changing and confusing “alphabits” of statutes- NEPA, CERCLA, SWDA, RCRA, OPA, CAA, CWA, and ESA, just to name a few, is difficult to say the least. Yet, compliance is an important responsibility for businesses as well as for citizens who seek to protect their individual or property rights, or want to avoid fines and penalties. Governmental agency oversight, as well as permit requirements, and the potential for high fines when those requirements are not met, make compliance critical.
Milling environmental attorneys can guide businesses and individuals through this regulatory “jungle” with cost-effective solutions. These are some areas where we can help:
US Army Corps of Engineers: Nationwide “Blanket,” Regional and Programmatic Permits; Clean Water Act (“CWA”) Sec. 404 dredge & fill Permits; Permits under Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (construction in navigable waterways); pipeline installation; and, wetland regulations, wetland determinations and determinations of jurisdiction over “Waters of the United States.”
Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”)/Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (“LDEQ”): discharges for air under the Clean Air Act and for liquids and effluents into “Waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act (“CWA”) and the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”).
Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (“LDNR”): Coastal Use Permits and programmatic permits.
Louisiana Office of Conservation: Statewide Order 29B; Work Permits.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries: Mariculture; alternative (off-bottom) oyster culture; oyster leasing.
Parish and local municipalities: Solid waste/recycling, land-use, zoning, tree and debris removal and disposal.
National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”): Preparation and/or analysis of Environmental Impact Statements (“EIS”) or Environmental Assessments (“EA”) where a “major federal action” or project has occurred with significant environmental effects.
Louisiana Environmental Quality Act (“LEQA”): Compliance with all statutory requirements.
Air/Water: Agency Compliance Orders, penalty proceedings.
Investigations: Assist clients under investigation by federal or state environmental regulators.
Land: Cease & Desist Orders, After-the-Fact Permits, Land use regulation.
Pipeline: Burial, right-of-way maintenance, surveillance, marking.
Waste Disposal/recycling: Solid Waste Disposal Act (“SWDA”) as amended by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”) and the Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments (“HSWA”) of 1984.
Drafting of contracts: Leases, sales agreements, assignments, allocations of risk, and related real estate documents to include necessary language associated with environmental issues.
Indemnity and Insurance: Drafting of indemnity, allocation of risk and insurance provisions related to environmental liabilities for inclusion in transactional documents.
Responsible Party (“RP”): Consultation and legal advice to entities or persons cast by statutes such as the Oil Pollution Act (“OPA”), and the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (“CERCLA”) as the initial “Responsible Party” for a release of oil or toxic substances, including coordination with the on-scene “Coordinator” acting on behalf of the interested governmental agencies.
Response: Immediate action taken following the accidental release of pollutants including toxic or noxious substances into air, water or on land, including reporting and liaison with all interested governmental agencies.
Remediation: Action taken in accordance with regulatory requirements to remove or mitigate pollutants released into the environment including all necessary action taken pursuant to OPA the Louisiana Oil Spill Prevention and Response Act (“LOSPRA”), CERCLA, including Superfund sites.
“Legacy Sites”: Action taken pursuant to Louisiana’s Statewide Order 29B to remediate abandoned oilfield sites.
Underground Storage Tanks (“UST’s”): Action taken to remove leaking UST’s and to seek reimbursement for remediation expenses under existing State plans and Trust Funds.
Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (“NORM”): Action taken to remove radioactive “hotspots” in pipe yards and other locations resulting from accumulated and concentrated radioactive scale removed from oilfield production tubing and deposited in soil.
Third-Party: Lawsuits under OPA, CERCLA and/or La. Civil Code Articles 2315 and the “vicinage” articles, 667-669 to recover pollution damages including response and remediation costs from responsible third- parties.
Contracts: Lawsuits based upon contractual obligations to recoup, or reallocate responsibility for, environmental damages and remediation costs.
Natural Resource Damages: Lawsuits involving damage to public lands or assets, including hedonic damages (loss of use by the public at large) as well as damages to the State’s Public Oyster Seed Grounds as well as damages to individual oyster leases on public or private water bottoms.
Class Actions: Lawsuits brought by large groups of plaintiffs as a result of the release of noxious or toxic substances into the air or water, causing adverse effects in particular communities. These lawsuits often require the use of computer studies including “plume models” to determine the geographic limits of the dispersion of gaseous substances in the air, or, “fate and transport” models to determine the movement of liquids above or below ground, and the movement of sediments or other particulate matter in the air or water.
Pollution Insurance Issues
Coverage opinions: Analysis of the applicable insurance law related to particular fact situations to determine the existence, absence or exclusion of coverage, including “sudden and accidental” and “Absolute Pollution Exclusion questions.
Policy Language: The drafting or revision of new or existing language in insurance policies or endorsements.
Litigation: Legal proceedings, usually seeking declaratory judgments to determine the existence or absence of coverage in particular fact situations.
Our goal is to guide our clients through a broad cross-section of environmental matters as well as the complex regulatory requirements of federal, state, and local environmental laws, and find cost-effective solutions to environmental compliance challenges and disputes.
Contact Milling to speak to our environmental attorneys today so we can answer your questions or resolve your environmental problems.