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Environmental & Natural Resources

Our team of experienced practitioners works with clients on all types of environmental and natural resources matters—compliance, transactional, enforcement defense, and litigation. We have extensive experience assisting clients through the investigation and cleanup of contamination, including at federal and state Superfund and brownfield redevelopment sites, resolving Superfund liability and natural resource damage claims, and negotiating administrative orders, consent decrees, and prospective purchaser agreements. Our team is adept at advising clients on regulatory and permitting compliance matters involving air, water, wetlands, hazardous waste, natural resources, and climate change. We also counsel clients regarding construction and development projects that invoke issues concerning the Endangered Species Act, NEPA, and SEPA. As a natural extension of our environmental team's experience, we also assist clients with environmental litigation and insurance coverage needs.

Our attorneys have strong academic backgrounds and distinguished, real-life experience. They include being an environmental manager with a Northwest port, an environmental trial attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice, an attorney for the U.S. Department of Interior, a county GIS analyst, a legislative coordinator for the Washington State Department of Ecology, and a former clerk for the Oregon Department of Justice's natural resource section.

We place great value on developing and maintaining strong partnerships with our clients. To that end, we take the time to learn about their businesses and operations; are committed to addressing their needs to help them succeed; and strive to resolve their problems quickly, creatively, and cost-effectively, as well as continually exceed their expectations.

Our team has the privilege of assisting a diverse group of clients—large and small—including manufacturing companies, maritime and port operations, financial and investment institutions, petroleum companies, chemical companies, developers, shipbuilders and repairers, property managers, utilities, educational institutions, food and seafood processors, agricultural producers, nonprofit organizations, Native American tribes, and local governments.

For the latest updates on environmental & natural resources law, visit our blog, From the Ground Up.

Representative Experience

Defend and negotiate on behalf of multiple clients with federal and state agencies and other potentially responsible parties regarding Superfund liability, including contribution and cost-recovery claims, the scope and extent of the investigation and cleanup of contamination, and liability or Natural Resources Damages at federal Superfund sites. Currently working with clients at the Portland Harbor, Commencement Bay, and Lower Duwamish Superfund sites.
Advise clients in obtaining and complying with National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) and Water Pollution Control Facility (WPCF) permits for discharges, including process wastewater and stormwater, into navigable waterways, underground injection wells, and municipal separate stormwater sewer systems (MS4s), including drafting and negotiating permit terms, reviewing and revising stormwater-control plans, and analyzing applicability of effluent limitations and pollution-control technologies; defended clients, such as food processors, dry cleaners, a confined animal feeding operation, and sewer, recycling, manufacturing, chemical, energy, and property management companies, against enforcement actions brought by the Environmental Protection Agency, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, and citizen groups.
Assist clients in the due diligence of buying, selling, and foreclosing on real property and businesses that involve contaminated property, including reviewing and revising Phase I and II and other environmental reports, and reviewing, drafting, and negotiating terms and conditions in contracts, leases, purchase and sale agreements, and access agreements to minimize clients' environmental liability as buyers and sellers of businesses and real property.
Aggressively pursue and litigate against insurance companies on behalf of a ship repair, seafood processor, a property owner, and a community college that lead to coverage for the cost of investigation and cleanup of contaminated sites (including a Superfund site) and assessment and remediation of Natural Resource Damages under historical comprehensive general liability or excess liability policies, as well as environmental impairment liability policies.
Counsel flood-control agencies, investors, developers, operators of energy facilities, commercial development projects, farming operations, marine terminals, and wood products facilities on compliance with regulations and complex permitting projects affecting public waterways and systems, public lands, and other natural resources including the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Migratory Bird Act, the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, the Flood Control Act, the Rivers and Harbors Act, and the National Flood Insurance Program.