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Lewis Roca advises clients with respect to regulatory compliance under the intertwined system of overlapping federal, state, local, and tribal laws and regulations. We represent a diverse swath of clients – including developers, manufacturers, utilities, mining companies, lenders, financial institutions, rock product companies, agribusiness, water providers, water users, and a large number of individuals and companies – in numerous environmental-related administrative and judicial proceedings throughout the Southwest. 

Air Quality

We counsel clients on air quality issues arising under the Clean Air Act and parallel state, tribal, and local laws and regulations. Our representation covers all aspects of permitting, including:

  • Administrative and judicial appeals
  • Negotiations with permitting agencies
  • Pre-application guidance
  • Public comments

The team counsels clients in environmental audits and represents their interests before a wide array of federal, state, and local administrative agencies. Working in tandem with the firm’s litigators, we regularly defend individuals and companies in enforcement actions alleging violations of federal, state, and local clean air standards, as well as a variety of other environmental disputes.

Water Quality

In the arid Southwest, water quality and compliance with the Clean Water Act and other applicable federal and state water quality laws and regulations often give rise to high-priority, high-visibility complications. We counsel clients on matters such as:

  • Environmental due diligence considerations
  • Groundwater quality protection and aquifer protection permits
  • Inspection and compliance reviews
  • National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permits
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Section 404 permits
  • Waste water and storm water discharges
  • Water quality standards
  • Wetlands permitting

Our lawyers regularly appear before federal and state regulators in matters involving compliance, permitting, rulemaking, and proceedings to establish quality standards. We have also litigated – at the trial court and various appellate court levels – a variety of water quality permitting, enforcement, and compliance issues.

Superfund and Hazardous Waste

Federal and state regulators are actively pursuing remedial action at Superfund and other contaminated sites throughout the Southwest. Our experienced lawyers represent and advise clients with respect to matters arising under the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), and corresponding state laws.

We are adept at:

  • Advising clients on the handling and disposal of hazardous and solid waste, as well as site remedial investigations and associated site study and cleanup plans
  • Assisting clients in negotiating CERCLA and RCRA consent agreements and defend parties to enforcement actions under RCRA
  • Assisting clients who are potentially responsible parties in claims brought by federal and state agencies to recover remediation costs and defend prior property owners against claims for the recovery of cleanup costs
  • Representing plaintiffs and defendants in private cost recovery litigation under CERCLA and RCRA and in contamination and damage claims caused by leaking underground storage tanks (UST)
  • Working with mining companies, developers, and other purchasers of sites and properties to establish the Bona Fide Prospective Purchaser Defense under CERCLA and parallel state laws, including compliance with the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment requirements and compliance with the all appropriate inquiry standards

Environmental Compliance

Businesses today are subject to a higher degree of government oversight than ever before. Our proactive, preventative approach to ensuring successful environmental compliance combines:

  • Audits and inspections
  • Awareness of applicable laws and regulations
  • Comprehensive, cost-effective plans
  • Employee education and training and internal procedures
  • Practical advice

When problems do arise, our lawyers help implement remedial measures and defend against all types of enforcement actions and claims.

Environmental Litigation

Our experienced civil and criminal litigators team with the firm’s environmental lawyers to provide representation for plaintiffs and defendants in a wide array of civil and criminal litigation matters in federal and state courts and before administrative agencies.

Notable representation includes:

  • Acting as counsel for plaintiffs and defendants in private cost recovery actions, natural resource damage suits, and UST claims
  • Defending individuals and companies in criminal prosecutions and grand jury investigations
  • Defending Superfund remediation and cost recovery claims
  • Litigating various permitting, regulatory, and rulemaking controversies
  • Pursuing environmental insurance claims on behalf of policy holders
  • Representing clients in investigations and civil enforcement actions

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