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Environmental Compliance

We regularly provide compliance and regulatory counseling for companies on all aspects of environmental law, ranging from obtaining permits, to counseling on day-to-day regulatory compliance questions, to responding to enforcement actions. Some of our focus areas include air permitting for major new projects and developments—including NSR and PSD permits and renewals—and obtaining and renewing NPDES permits. When regulatory attention results in enforcement actions, we help clients evaluate options for appeal or settlement of those actions. We believe that effective advocacy depends on our active participation in policy work that may impact our clients' business operations and often assist clients with rulemaking advocacy and administrative and judicial appeals of final rules.

Representative Experience

  • Counsel to a multinational metal company on all aspects of stormwater NPDES permitting compliance that included drafting of a stormwater pollution control plan, complying with benchmarks, assessing impacts to operation under new permitting requirements, and evaluating and planning the installation of a stormwater pollution control technology.
  • Advised a juice processor in a high profile, contentious dispute to renew an Oregon water quality facility permit that led to a settlement in the form of a mutual agreement and order with a favorable compliance schedule.
  • Ongoing representation of a large industrial facility and Northwest refinery in obtaining renewal of their NPDES permits. Issues addressed in renewal include limitations related to dioxins, anti-backsliding concerns, and impacts to impaired receiving waters.
  • Representation of construction companies on stormwater management and compliance issues, including responding to threatened enforcement actions by DOE and EPA.
  • Appeal of a six figure fine assessed by Ecology for alleged spills of oil to state waters, resulting in a settlement that reduced the penalty by more than half.
  • Advised client on significant gasoline spill on interstate highway and adjoining creek and assisted with emergency reporting, cleanup, and negotiations with agencies to settle spill and natural resource damage claims
  • Assisted client in emergency EPCRA reporting, spill response, and notifications at seafood processing facility adjacent to waterway following fire that destroyed most buildings; obtained environmental permits and approvals from DEQ on expedited basis to allow operations to resume at leased facility within two weeks.
  • Defended Japanese owned Alaska fish processor in an EPA criminal enforcement action. As a result of a large ammonia release, the company faced significant corporate criminal and civil charges under the CWA and CERCLA. After a two-year investigation, which included interviews of all of the companyʼs key personnel, the Department of Justice dropped all criminal charges and settled civil claims on favorable terms.
  • Provide industrial clients with advice on compliance with NPDES permit conditions and assist clients in renewing discharge permits and responding to public comments regarding new permits.
  • Represented Oregon industrial clients (wood products, pulp and paper) in negotiating with DEQ terms and conditions of first Title V permits issued by the state in pilot program; advised clients on compliance and modifications and renewals of permits.
  • Successfully settled EPA NSR/PSD enforcement action against national wood products/pulp and paper company without litigation; resolved state and some federal PSD claims by showing that no or few modifications were made under legal interpretation of state PSD rules; convinced EPA to drop Oregon PSD claims based on our legal interpretation of rules; assisted industrial clients with PSD permits for major modifications.
  • Lead counsel for petroleum products company on Puget Sound Clean Air Agency claims that retail gas stations violated CAA regulations. In a hearing before Washingtonʼs Pollution Control Hearings Board, these claims and the penalties related to the alleged violations were all dismissed.
  • Outside counsel for northwest refinery in EPA RMP inspections of its facility under CAA. This work involved preparing witnesses for interviews and assisting refinery department managers in responding to interview and information requests. After a week-long inspection, EPAʼs inspection team acknowledged the excellent work of the clientʼs health and safety department and identified only a few improvements to its RMP program.
  • Successfully defended northwest refinery related to CAA claims from operation of the refineryʼs crude oil rail offloading facility. Resolved claims by local air agency that CAA regulations applied to facilityʼs stormwater collection and treatment system.
  • Defended northwest refinery in EPA RMP inspection under the CAA, including defending company against EPAʼs notice of violations stemming from RMP inspection related to process hazard analysis, mechanical integrity, management of change, compliance audits, and emergency response requirements.
  • Provided petroleum clients with advice necessary to comply with PSD, NSR, NSPS and NESHAP regulations under CAA, including strategic considerations for permitting of new process units and upgrades to process units.
  • Provided petroleum clients with advice necessary to comply with PSD, NSR, NSPS and NESHAP regulations under CAA, including strategic considerations for permitting of new process units and upgrades to process units.
  • Advised client in connection with asbestos abatement requirements following major fire incident at refinery and assured regulatory compliance while achieving business objectives of expediting cleanup efforts.