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Our Environmental Law practice group assists our clients with a variety of environmental matters including permitting, regulatory compliance, and enforcement-related matters as well as with transactions and agreements. Our goal is to guide our clients through the complex regulatory requirements of federal, state and local environmental laws, and to find cost-effective solutions to environmental compliance challenges and environmental disputes.
Our environmental attorneys regularly deal with federal, state and local regulatory agencies in matters such as:
  • Oil and hazardous substance spill prevention programs including state and federal regulations under the Oil Pollution Act (OPA 90), Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasures (SPCC) plans, and Underground and Aboveground Storage Tank (UST and AST) regulatory programs
  • Virginia Water Protection and Virginia Stormwater Management Program permits
  • Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA or Clean Water Act) and other water pollution programs, including NPDES permitting, industrial pretreatment permits, and Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act regulations and permits
  • Air pollution regulations and permits including Title V permits, and air toxics regulations
  • Wetlands regulations and permits
  • Commercial fishing regulations and National Marine Fisheries Service litigation
  • Hazardous and solid waste regulations and permits under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA), and Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, Rodenticide Act (FIFRA)
  • Brownfields redevelopment projects
  • Environmental compliance aspects of government contracts
  • Advice and assistance on environmental insurance issues, including pollution liability insurance
  • Mold contamination of buildings and structures
  • Corporate stock and asset purchases, mergers and acquisitions
  • Asset purchase and sale agreements

Working in conjunction with attorneys in our Litigation and Real Estate practice groups, our environmental attorneys regularly advise and represent clients in:

  • Environmental litigation, including toxic torts and contaminated real estate disputes
  • CERCLA (“Superfund”) claims and litigation
  • Environmental due diligence in real estate transactions including review and assistance in Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessments (ESA)
  • Regulatory compliance advice and assistance in development of compliance plans and policies
  • Permit applications
  • Environmental compliance audits
  • Defense of state and federal criminal environmental cases
Clients of our environmental law practice are drawn from all sectors of the business community including shipbuilding and ship repair, vessel owners and operators, transportation companies, port and terminal operators, construction, government contractors, industrial facilities, real estate owners and developers, educational facilities, airports, and government agencies. Several of the attorneys in our environmental practice group have degrees in engineering or natural sciences.
Muddy Waters: Virginia’s Proposed Numeric Turbidity Criteria and Potential Compliance Challenges
Joe Romero
On April 12, 2021, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) issued a Notice of Intended Regulatory Action (NOIRA) to establish first-time numeric turbidity criteria for Commonwealth surface waters in response to a directive by the State Water Control Board.  The establishment and potential enforcement of numeric turbidity criteria would ...
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Resolved, yet Unclear: Supreme Court Tightens CERCLA Contribution Claim Requirements
Joe Romero
In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court ruled that a party’s right to contribution claims under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (“CERCLA”) after entering into a settlement arises only when the settlement agreement resolves CERCLA-specific liabilities.  This decision may call into question the effect of existing settlement ...
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DEQ Releases Draft Climate Change Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area Management Regulations
Joe Romero
On January 21, 2021, the State Water Control Board (“Board”) published draft amendments to the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area Designation and Management Regulations that would require localities to incorporate coastal resilience and climate change adaptation into local land use ordinances.  This draft regulation implements amendments to the Chesapeake Bay Preservation ...
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