Environment: litigation in United States
Fielding teams of litigators in Washington DC, New York, Denver, San Francisco and Los Angeles, Arnold & Porter is routinely involved in high-profile litigation, including toxic torts, and novel cases involving public nuisance issues and climate change. The practice group is made up of seasoned environmental litigators, with strong track records across every area of federal and state environmental law, including permitting issues, Superfund liability, contaminated property, air and water-related issues, and enforcement. Class action defense is an area of strength for the department, as is NRD investigations and litigation, where it has acted for household names including Honeywell International, Dow Chemical and Bayer. Contacts in the DC office include Brian Israel, a go-to lawyer for NRD claims, and Michael Daneker, who is rated for his wide-ranging experience in citizen action suits, CERCLA litigation, Clean Water Act issues and enforcement actions. On the West Coast, San Francisco-based Trent Norris specializes in matters at the intersection of consumer product regulation and environmental law, and Sarah Esmaili is a name to note for litigation relating to California Proposition 65.
BP/Atlantic Richfield Company
The Chemours Company
National Coffee Association
- Representing BP in numerous matters relating to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
- Lead environmental counsel on a range of regulatory, enforcement, and litigation matters relating to the discovery of chemicals in the Cape Fear River in North Carolina attributable to the client’s facility, including a chemical referred to as GenX; the team is representing the client on numerous Natural Resources Damages claims brought by the State of New Jersey and in enforcement litigation brought by the State of North Carolina.
- Lead toxic tort litigation counsel for Honeywell International in the defense of a consolidated class action and toxic tort suits filed in federal and state court arising out of the presence of PFOA in the groundwater and municipal water supply of Hoosick Falls, NY.
- Representing BP in 13 novel climate change lawsuits lawsuits filed by state and local governments in California, Washington, New York, Maryland, and Rhode Island, and by a fishermen’s trade association alleging that greenhouse gas-driven sea level rise is currently damaging and threatening to damage their coastal communities and civil infrastructures.
- Representing Wolverine World Wide in three federal putative class action tort lawsuits and over 200 individual personal injury and property damage lawsuits arising from the alleged presence of PFAS in drinking water in Michigan.
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP's environmental litigation and mass tort team represents some of the world's largest corporations in high-stakes civil and criminal environmental lawsuits. The practice group benefits from the close collaboration with other departments in the firm, such as the white-collar team, the energy regulatory team and the appellate litigation group. A particular area of strength is multi-plaintiff toxic tort matters, an area where practice co-chair Daniel Nelson is a key contact. Nelson jointly leads the DC-based team alongside Stacie Fletcher, who is experienced in cost recovery cases and agency enforcement actions. Other contacts in the DC office include Raymond Ludwiszewski, who specializes in criminal and civil agency enforcement actions, Peter Seley who has been active in a number of multi-jurisdictional civil enforcement cases in fielding the ability to assist clients with issues ranging from asbestos, and Patrick Dennis in Los Angeles who advises clients from a range of regulated industries, such as manufacturing, energy and oil and gas, and Perlette Jura is a name to note for cross-border toxic tort work.
Other key lawyers:
The Coca Cola Company
Keurig Green Mountain
Eight O’clock Coffee
Association of Global Automakers
Daimler and Mercedes-Benz USA
- Represents a group of 53 defendants in relation to a California court battle where an attorney driven interest group (Council for Education and Research on Toxics) has been seeking massive penalties amounts and arguing that all such companies should be required to sell their coffee products with now infamous Proposition 65 warnings; clients include Starbucks, Kraft, Nestle USA, Smucker, Keurig, 8 O’Clock Coffee, F. Gaviña & Sons, among many others.
- Representing Chevron Corporation in the high-profile climate change lawsuits brought by counties, municipalities, and states around the country against oil and gas companies.
- Representing Global Automakers before the DC Circuit in opposing the lawsuits that have been filed to challenge the EPA’s April 2018 Determination that the model year 2022-2025 greenhouse gas (GHG) emission standards are no longer appropriate and should be adjusted.
- Represents Dole Food Company, Inc. in Chavez v. Dole Food Company, Inc. et al., No. 1:12-cv-00697, a consolidated action comprised of six cases filed in Delaware federal court, involving 230 plaintiffs from Ecuador, Costa Rica, and Panama who claim personal injuries—primarily sterility—arising out of their alleged exposure to 1,2-dibromo-3-chloropropane (DBCP).
- Represents automotive clients Daimler and Mercedes-Benz USA in a putative nation-wide class action alleging that the defendants misrepresented emissions characteristics of their diesel vehicles, causing plaintiffs to overpay for those vehicles.
Latham & Watkins LLP boasts sizeable cross-office teams made up of seasoned practitioners with expertise in air and water quality disputes, toxic tort claims, climate change litigation, and insurance disputes. The environment, land and resources group is jointly led by Janice Schneider and James Arnone, based in Washington DC and Los Angeles, respectively. Mary Rose Alexander chairs the global environmental litigation practice from the Chicago office; she has decades of experience defending clients in the multi-state class action lawsuits and other environmental matters. Also in Chicago, Robin Hulshizer is rated for her track record in toxic tort, mobile emissions and Superfund litigation. The San Diego team is overseen by Robert Howard, who has strengths both in criminal and civil claims. Also recommended are New York-based Gary Gengel and Kegan Brown, both of whom have experience of toxic tort and natural resources damage claims, among other matters.
Other key lawyers:
‘Lawyers are extremely efficient, exceptionally knowledgeable and bright and great to work with.’
‘Kelly Richardson is the principal partner. He possesses excellent technical and legal skills. He writes well, is articulate and has a great personality which enables him to get along with environmental regulators and others well. I cannot say enough good things about him.
‘Ben Gibson possesses a lot of Kelly’s qualities and is an extremely hard-working. Jeff Carlin is a senior counsel who could charm a snake and is a very sound lawyer.’
Dow Chemical Chevron Corporation
General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems
Dan Ustian (former CEO of Navistar International Corp.)
FivePoint Holdings / Newhall Land & Farming Company
Arizona Public Service Company
Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems
California American Water Company
Southern California Edison
- Defending Dow Chemical in public nuisance litigation filed by the City of Modesto, California, related to the manufacturing and sale of trichloroethylene (TCE), a highly regulated substance.
- Advising Chevron on a series of multi-district class actions in the high-profile hot fuels litigation, where plaintiffs alleged that gasoline sold in warm-weather areas expands and that customers are charged the same price but receive fewer BTUs and MPG of gasoline depending on temperature.
- Representing Monsanto in first-in-the-nation federal and state West Coast public nuisance, product liability, and natural resource damages cases, involving nine California, Oregon and Washington State municipalities, the State of Washington, State of Oregon and two ports, which aim to compel successors to a former PCB chemical manufacturer to pay the costs associated with Clean Water Act permits to reduce the levels of PCBs discharged into vast water bodies.
- Represents global aerospace and defense company GD-OTS in CERCLA litigation involving the Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge site located in Williamson County, Illinois.
- Acting for Arizona Public Service Company (APS), Arizona’s largest and longest-serving electric company, in litigation filed by non-governmental organizations over the renewal of the site lease and rights-of-way for the Four Corners Power Plant, which is one of the largest coal plants in the US; this includes transmission lines and ancillary facilities on the Navajo Nation and across the Hopi Indian Reservation.
Noted for its ability to provide nationwide environmental law support, Baker Botts L.L.P. was further strengthened by the arrival of nine partners from Katten's environmental and workplace safety practice, including Steve Solow and Nadira Clarke, both of whom have in-depth experience of disputes at the intersection of white-collar crime and environmental law. The team has a proven track record in obtaining successful outcomes in a huge variety of environmental litigation, including air and water-related violations and enforcement proceedings. Key figures include practice head Scott Janoe in Houston, who is a name to note for toxic tort actions, and San Francisco-based Chris Carr, who specializes in areas including citizen suits, and litigation involving the federal Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. Megan Berge in the Washington DC office is active in matters related to the Clean Air Act, climate issues and permit appeals. Another contact in DC is Jeff Wood, who recently joined the team, having previously served as the acting assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.
BCCA Appeal Group
Big Lake Gas Plant
Citgo Petroleum Corporation
Intercontinental Terminals Company
Rancho Viejo Waste Management
Mid-Valley Pipeline Company
West Virginia American Water
- Representing Intercontinental Terminals Compassy (ITC) in connection with environmental, toxic tort, and business claims arising from a chemical fire and environmental release on the Houston Ship Channel.
- Acting for Hess Corporation and Repsol in a series of climate tort cases brought by various California counties and municipalities alleging liability for damages from climate change impacts.
- Filed a $94m complaint in the United States Court of Federal Claims on behalf of OXY USA and CITGO Petroleum Corporation for reimbursement and/or indemnification of damages, losses, costs and fees relating to the Lake Charles Refinery and nearby areas.
- Representing Sunoco Pipeline and Mid-Valley Pipeline Company in a federal court action brought by the US DOJ on behalf of the EPA alleging violations of the Clean Water Act in relation to three separate oil spills.
- Representing Oxbow Calcining in claims brought by Port Arthur Steam Energy and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
Beveridge & Diamond, P.C.
Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. provides comprehensive environmental law advice to clients nationwide. Focusing exclusively on environmental law, the firm is sought after by leading companies and municipal bodies in relation to toxic tort, soil and water contamination, citizen suits, enforcement defense, and constitutional law matters. Air quality and climate change issues are particular areas of strength, though the team is also recognized for its experience in litigation involving water and wastewater treatment challenges and land use. Having previously occupied a post at the US Department of Justice, John Cruden in Washington has a wealth of experience in high-profile environmental and natural resources litigation, as well as civil and criminal enforcement matters. Also recommended in Washington DC are managing principal Kathy Szmuszkovicz, who also leads the pesticide and biotechnology practice, and John Guttmann, who has recently been active in a number of groundwater and drinking water matters. Guttmann divides his time between Washington and New York. On the West Coast, Seattle-based Loren Dunn has expertise in hazardous waste compliance and multi-party clean-up matters, and Gary Smith in San Francisco is a name to note for Superfund proceedings and groundwater contamination cases. Other key figures in DC include Russell LaMotte and chairman Benjamin Wilson.
Other key lawyers:
American Petroleum Institute
- Successfully defended Bethlehem Landfill Company, a subsidiary of Waste Connections, in a putative nuisance class action lawsuit, in which plaintiffs representing 8,400 homeowners sued Bethlehem Landfill Company, alleging liability for public and private nuisance and negligence for odors emanating from the landfills.
- Secured several major procedural victories in the defense of Waste Connections and its subsidiaries in putative nuisance class action lawsuits and over 700 individual tort actions regarding a major landfill.
- Successfully defended Siemens Industry in a jury trial and appeal against PCB contamination liability.
- Serving as the Court-Appointed Monitor in United States v. Duke Energy Business Services LLC; Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC; and Duke Energy Progress, Inc, which is related to the implementation of a criminal plea agreement by Duke Energy and related entities concerning a major coal ash spill that received extensive national attention.
- Successfully defended Chiquita Canyon, a subsidiary of Waste Connections, in vacating a $5.1 million enforcement order for fees and penalties, and securing appellate and trial court wins allowing equitable estoppel claims to proceed against Los Angeles County.
Hogan Lovells US LLP represents clients in environmental litigation before agencies and courts throughout the US. Typical mandates include advising on the defense of toxic tort cases, citizens suits and cost recovery actions, as well as civil and criminal enforcement. Adam Kushner is a key contact in Washington DC, as is James Banks, who is noted for his knowledge of the Clean Water Act. Tom Boer joined the team from Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP in July 2020.
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP stands out for its strong presence in the energy sector, where it handles multi-party environmental litigation in federal and state courts across the country, including in the Supreme Court. The practice group is jointly headed by three partners in Washington DC: Eric Murdock, who is especially active in enforcement action defense; Deidre Duncan, a key advisor to oil and gas clients on litigation involving environmental statues including NEPA and NHPA; and Makram Jaber, who focuses on matters relating to the Clean Air Act. Also in DC, William Brownell represents clients in the electric utility and energy sectors, Chuck Knauss is a contact for work in the automotive and transportation industries, and Andrew Turner is the name to note for Endangered Species Act litigation. In San Francisco, Shannon Broome is noted for her extensive expertise in climate change matters. Tom Boer joined Hogan Lovells US LLP in July 2020.
Other key lawyers:
Marathon Petroleum Corporation
Air Permitting Forum
Dominion Energy Services
Consolidated Edison Company of New York
Pacific Gas & Electric Company
Vulcan Materials Company
- Representing Marathon Petroleum Corporation in six climate change lawsuits by cities and counties in California, Maryland (City and County of Baltimore), and Rhode Island (a state suit) seeking billions of dollars in damages against individual oil and gas companies.
- Successfully represented Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) in the dismissal of an Endangered Species Act citizen suit alleging claims of “take” of federally protected fish species in connection with the operation of PG&E’s Potter Valley hydroelectric project in Northern California.
- Acting for the Tributary Agencies in a dispute with the Cities of San Jose and Santa Clara regarding the operation and funding of the Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility, a case in which the client claims that the defendants have breached various contractual Master Agreements and other duties.
Leveraging a nationwide office network, King & Spalding LLP is well equipped to handle high-exposure environmental litigation and arbitration across the country. The team is particularly experienced in environmental agency enforcement, but also has a strong profile in litigation involving surface water rights, fracking, coastal erosion, climate change, drinking water and soil contamination, as well as issues arising from explosions, fires and chemical releases. A key figure in the team is Washington DC-based Granta Nakayama, who has been especially active in litigation related to emissions from diesel engines. Nakayama jointly heads the practice alongside Adam Sowatzka, whose areas of focus include civil and criminal enforcement matters, and wastewater and stormwater cases, and Peter Hsiao, who has in-depth knowledge of the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, CERCLA and toxic torts. Sowatzka and Hsiao are based in Atlanta and Los Angeles, respectively. The team has also reported some noteworthy hires in 2019: Douglas Henderson joined the Atlanta office from Troutman Sanders, and Karl Heisler in Chicago joined from Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP.
Other key lawyers:
‘Superb understanding of environmental aspects of regulatory requirements for the automotive industry. Able to draw on extensive experience to handle challenging interactions with state and federal regulators. Pragmatic and creative in approach to resolving disagreements with regulators.’
‘Grant Nakayama provides calm leadership and is a respected leader with a strong team of experts.’
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District
Sea Island Acquisition
Kia Motors America
Total Terminals International
The Atlanta Regional Commission
Georgia Water Supply Providers (comprising the City of Atlanta, the City of Gainesville, the Cobb County-Marietta Water Authority, Fulton County, DeKalb County, Forsyth County, and Gwinnett County).
State of Utah
Garrison Investment Group
- Representing Kia Motors America in the second-largest Clean Air Act penalty case in US history, involving claims by the US Government that Kia and Hyundai overstated the fuel economy of their vehicles.
- Lead defense counsel representing Total Terminals International (TTI) in a citizen suit alleging Clean Water Act violations at its Seattle terminal.
- Defended Forestar Group, a subsidiary of D.R. Horton, one of the largest builders in the United States, in a Clean Water Act citizen suit brought by property owners who claimed that stormwater runoff from multiples lots under construction in a 2,000-acre development contaminated a stream across the property and damaged and devalued their property.
- Defended Becton, Dickinson (BD Bard) against a lawsuit filed by the State of Georgia, Environmental Protection Division, which sought a temporary restraining order to shut down the Covington, Georgia medical device sterilization plant for alleged unpermitted releases and fugitive emissions of ethylene oxide.
- Represents Garrison Investment Group, a leading real estate investment firm with industrial holdings throughout the United States, in connection with the largest electronic waste (“e-waste”) abandonment in US history.
Kirkland & Ellis LLP has a strong reputation for defending clients in civil and criminal enforcement matters involving the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Justice and other state regulators. Key figures include Andrew Langan and Kevin Van Wart, who handle a range of environmental litigation, but are especially active in mass tort claims; Andrew Running, who is particularly experienced in contamination claims and disputes involving hazardous waste clean-up; and Douglas Smith, another contact for class action litigation. All named attorneys are based in Chicago, unless stated otherwise. Former practice head Jeanne Cohn-Connor has left the firm.
Advancing Contracts in Energy Storage (ACES)
Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute
Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers
Dow Chemical Company
E.I. Dupont De Nemours & Company
General Motors Company (GM)
Murray Energy Corporation
Nucor Steel Seattle
General Recycling of Washington
Raymond James & Associates
- Acting for BP, obtained a victory in the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which vacated one of the largest awards granted to a claimant in the post-Deepwater Horizon settlement process.
- Represented Dow Chemical Company and Rockwell International in an environmental contamination class action alleging that plutonium emissions from the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons facility contaminated more than 15,000 parcels of property and diminished property values.
- Representing the Dow Chemical Company and its subsidiary, Dow Agrosciences LLC, in a consolidated groundwater contamination case concerning trichloropropane (TCP).
- Defending E.I. Dupont De Nemours & Company (DuPont) in a consolidated class action concerning a dispute over chloroprene emissions associated with the production of neoprene at a former DuPont chemical plant in LaPlace, Louisiana, known as the Pontchartrain Works.
- Represents General Motors Company (GM) and its affiliate, General Motors LLC, in a putative class action regarding the emission performance of the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze “clean diesel” vehicle.
Based in Chicago, Mayer Brown has had recent strong showings in high-stakes environmental litigation in state and federal courts across the country. The team has experience of a full range of environmental issues, and has been active in a number of emerging areas, such as torts relating to greenhouse-gas emissions and site-based mass tort claims. Other areas of expertise include the Clean Air Act, site clean-up, remediation and environmental crime. The group is jointly led by Rich Bulger, who is especially active in the chemicals, utilities and railroad industries, and Mark Ter Molen, who has been involved in high-stakes claims at first instance and appeal. Timothy Bishop has a strong track record in environmental and land use litigation, and has also argued a number of cases in the Supreme Court. Also recommended is Jaimy Hamburg, who is active in class actions and citizen suits.
American Farm Bureau Federation
American Petroleum Institute
National Association of Manufacturers
National Pork Producers Council
United States Sugar Corporation
The Dow Chemical Company
Nicor Gas Company
- Represents a dozen major industry groups (American Farm Bureau Federation, American Petroleum Institute, American Road and Transportation Builders Association, Leading Builders of America, Matagorda County Farm Bureau, National Alliance of Forest Owners, National Association of Home Builders, National Association of Manufacturers, National Association of Realtors, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Corn Growers Association, National Mining Association, National Pork Producers Council, Public Lands Council, Texas Farm Bureau, and United States Poultry & Egg Association) in litigation across the country in a continuing legal effort to prevent the imposition of a 2015 regulation defining “the waters of the United States” within the meaning of the Clean Water Act.
- Successfully represented 3M Company in an $850m settlement of a lawsuit brought by the state of Minnesota seeking over $5bn for alleged natural-resource and punitive damages related to certain chemicals that allegedly were released in the east metro area of Minneapolis.
- Secured a unanimous victory for Weyerhaeuser Company in the US Supreme Court by obtaining reversal of a Fifth Circuit decision holding that the US Fish and Wildlife Service properly designated private land in Louisiana as “critical habitat” for the endangered Dusky Gopher Frog under the Endangered Species Act.
- Acting as co-counsel in United States Sugar Corporation’s defense of a putative tort class action against sugar growers alleging that emissions from the burning of sugar cane fields cause damage to adjacent properties.
- Representing Veolia in one of the highest-profile group of cases in the United States regarding the scores of putative class action and individual cases in federal and state courts in Michigan in connection with the Flint Water Crisis.
Bracewell LLP has a strong profile in the energy sector, acting for clients in a variety of environmental litigation and arbitration. The practice group is jointly led from the DC office by Clean Air Act expert Jeffrey Holmstead and Jason Hutt, who is experienced in the defense of civil and criminal enforcement actions, as well as major industrial incidents. Another key contact is Christopher Dodson in Houston. Dodson handles environmental disputes for clients in regulated areas, such as upstream energy, waste disposal, and telecoms, among others.
Other key lawyers:
‘A talented group with deep knowledge in environmental law. They offer sound advice with a view towards business reality.’
‘Tim Wilkins, Whit Swift, and Kevin Collins are stellar lawyers who provide exceptional service. They are responsive, knowledgeable, and their work product is succinct and salient.’
- Acting for The Electric Reliability Coordinating Council, which includes most of the major US power companies that have significant coal-fired power generation, in relation to regulatory, congressional, public advocacy and media outreach and in appellate litigation.
- Acting for claimants in connection with the March 2019 fire that ignited at a Houston Ship Channel petrochemical facility, owned and operated by Intercontinental Terminals Company.
- Represents Continental in the appeal of a declaratory judgement action before the North Dakota Supreme Court related to an interpretation of North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality air quality regulations as applied to oil and gas production facilities.
- Represented Westlake Vinyls in arbitration regarding the allocation of current and future investigation and remediation costs relating to Westlake’s chemical manufacturing facility in Calvert City, Kentucky, a Superfund site.
- Co-counsel to Valero in four lawsuits challenging the Renewable Fuel Standard program’s definition of “obligated party,” which burdens refiners with compliance under the RFS program and the annual renewable fuel mandates EPA promulgated for the 2017, 2018, and 2019 compliance years.
Greenberg Traurig LLP handles private litigation, and civil and criminal enforcement matters, many of which have international impact. Led by David Weinstein in Tampa, Kerri Barsh in Miami, and Philadelphia-based David Mandelbaum, the team is adept at handling class actions, mass tort litigation, and cost recovery cases including Superfund litigation. Other key figures in the team include Francis Citera in the Chicago, who focuses on toxic tort and is handling a significant groundwater claim for Lockheed Martin, and Christopher Neumann in Denver, an expert in civil and criminal environmental litigation, who has handled CERCLA claims and multiple Clean Water Act matters over the past year.
Other key lawyers:
‘Strong environmental litigation practice across multiple offices in the US. Knowledgeable in technical details to craft winning legal arguments on complex industry specific litigation.’
‘David Weinstein, David Mandelbaum, Christopher Torres and Ryan Hopper are excellent practitioners.’
‘Associate Will Wagner has an excellent ability to navigate the complex area of Prop 65 litigation. He quickly learned our industry’s technology and toxicology and how these intersect with Prop 65.’
The Mosaic Company
United Refining Company
P. H. Glatfelter
State of North Dakota
El Paso Natural Gas Co.
Orlando Utilities Commission
- Represents Verizon New Jersey in a multi-defendant enforcement action brought by the State of New Jersey concerning contaminated sediment in Atlantic City, where the state is seeking to recover response costs and natural resource damages under the New Jersey Spill Compensation and Control Act and the New Jersey Water Pollution Control Act.
- National counsel in PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) litigation for National Foam and related entities in defense of more than 100 class actions, mass tort actions (>8,000 plaintiffs), multi-district litigation, state or municipal lawsuits, and individual tort claims.
- Represents Mosaic in three lawsuits, including Curd v. Mosaic Fertilizer LLC, involving a large putative class action alleging damages resulting from a release of more than 65 million gallons of acidic process water into the Tampa Bay estuary.
- Representing global chemical company Univar in lawsuits brought on behalf of two municipalities seeking in excess of $1bn due to alleged contamination of groundwater sources.
- Represents aerospace and defense company Lockheed Martin in two cases, namely a groundwater contamination matter.
Based in Chicago, Jenner & Block LLP represents clients in a a variety of environmental litigation, both at first instance and appeal. The team is jointly led by Gabrielle Sigel, who focuses on toxic tort litigation related to the release or exposure to hazardous substances, and Steven Siros, a key contact for CERCLA and RCRA issues and natural resource damage claims. Other names to note include Allison Torrence, who specializes in matters relating to the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act, and Andi Samuels Kenney, who has recently been involved in enforcement actions and cases involving solid and hazardous waste.
Apex Oil Company
Bath Iron Works Corporation
Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Initiative
The National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak)
General Dynamics Corporation
Port of Oakland
John B. Sanfilippo & Son
Advanced Disposal Services
General Dynamics Mission Systems
Belco Industrial Services
General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems
PM Global Services
- Represented Apex Oil Company (Apex) in a multi-party CERCLA cost recovery action in federal court, regarding contamination at an oil refinery located in Hartford, Illinois, that was formerly owned by Apex’s pre-bankruptcy predecessor.
- Defending BIW in an environmental liabilities suit concerning groundwater contamination at an OxyChem facility.
- Acted for Commonwealth Edison in a preliminary injunction action filed by the City of Evanston, Illinois under RCRA, which alleged that residues in gas from a former manufactured gas plant contaminated Evanston parkland, streets and drinking water mains.
- Representing General Dynamics in a CERCLA dispute relating to the activities associated with the Atlas ICBM program at various locations throughout the United States.
- Representing General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems and General Dynamics SATCOM Technologies in a toxic tort lawsuit.
The team at Jones Day is well-equipped to handle environmental litigation, including toxic tort actions, insurance coverage and climate change issues, both in state and federal courts. Kevin Holewinski in Washington DC leads the environmental, health and safety practice; Thomas Donnelly in San Francisco has expertise in toxic tort litigation and administrative proceedings; Daniel Corbett, also in San Francisco, has been especially active in citizen lawsuits and cost recovery actions.
Kelley Drye & Warren LLP
Kelley Drye & Warren LLP has core strengths in environmental cost-recovery matters under the Oil Pollution Act, CERCLA and state Superfund equivalents. In addition, the team is also well-versed in environmental litigation involving remediation, property and natural resource damages claims, as well as legacy contamination and reclamation of mining sites. Predominantly based in the firm's Houston office, the team is jointly led by William Jackson and John Gilmour. Jackson stands out for his knowledge of emerging contaminants and PFAS-related matters, while Gilmour has expertise in issues relating to federal Superfund sites as well as contaminated waterways.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team takes a practical approach to their risk-reward analysis, adopting an approach that is more in-tune with that of a typical GC. They have the experience to gauge a range of outcomes and give good advice.’
‘Ken Corley and William Jackson are two of my favorite subject matter experts in the United States. I value their expertise and experience, in addition to the quality of their work. I particularly appreciate the fact that Mr. Corley is always aware of cost and how this impacts the choices of in-house counsel.’
The State of New Mexico
Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR)
The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
The State of Ohio
San Diego Unified Port District (the Port of San Diego)
Territory of Guam
Key Energy Services
The State of New Jersey
Tex-Mix Partners (d/b/a Tex Mix Concrete)
The Valero Companies
- Representing the Port of San Diego in an action against Monsanto, Solutia, and Pharmacia arising from PCB contamination that impairs the waters and sediments of San Diego Bay.
- Filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Valero Companies against the US Government under CERCLA to recover investigation and response costs related to contamination resulting from World War II era operations.
- Represented BP Products North America in a putative federal court class action and 18 state court cases brought by over 600 residents of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, alleging in excess of $1bn in property damages and personal injuries due to a historical large estimated 17 million gallon oil spill at a former Mobil refinery by the banks of the Newtown Creek that closed in 1964.
- Represents the State of New Mexico in asserting claims arising out of the 2015 Gold King Mine waste water spill—an environmental disaster that released more than three million gallons of mine waste water and tailings into the Animas and San Juan Rivers.
- Assisting UPRR with a multi-faceted campaign in the CERCLA administrative process and potential litigation related to three contiguous Superfund sites spanning more than 300 square miles in Montana and collectively representing the largest Superfund site in the country.
Boasting a proven track record in high-stakes environmental litigation, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP is engaged in a huge variety of matters ranging from multimedia enforcement actions to mass tort litigation concerning multi-party hazardous waste lawsuits. James Dragna in Los Angeles is a key contact for mass tort claims; he is also routinely retained by municipalities in wastewater and water infrastructure litigation. Dragna jointly leads the team alongside Princeton-based John McGahren, who has expertise in defending citizen suit actions, Superfund litigation, and cost recovery matters, as well as Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act proceedings.
Other key lawyers:
Southern California Gas Company
Schnitzer Steel Industries
The Sherwin-Williams Company
D. E. Shaw Renewables
Southern California Edison
Anadarko Petroleum Corporation
- Acting as coordinating counsel for Southern California Gas Company in relation to the Porter Ranch (Aliso Canyon) Gas leak, one of the largest environmental/toxic tort litigation matters in California.
Combining strong trial capabilities with thorough environmental experience, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP provides legal support to domestic and international clients from a range of sectors, namely chemical manufacturing, mining, energy, public utilities as well as wastewater treatment. The firm fields a strong environmental appeals team, and is proficient in cost recovery actions, air and water pollution control, Superfund and toxic tort litigation, as well as matters involving endangered species and climate change issues. Based in Los Angeles, Mark Elliott chairs the nationwide environmental practice. Elliot's experience covers Proposition 65, CEQA as well as property contamination, toxic torts and the Clean Water Act. Co-head Jeffrey Knight specializes in litigation under the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act; he is based in Washington DC. The practice is also overseen by Margaret Rosegay in San Francisco and Amanda Halter in Houston. Cross-border contamination cases are an area of focus for Austin-based Christopher McNevin; while Matthew Morrison is a name to note in the DC office for enforcement defense. Enforcement actions are also an area of strength for Michael McDonough, who is based in Los Angeles.
Other key lawyers:
Valero Energy Corporation
Western States Petroleum Association
- Representing Whittaker Corporation in federal CERCLA litigation over the liability and allocation of response costs to the United States of America resulting from its defense contracting activities over the past 50 years with Whittaker Corporation and its predecessors.
- Representing several clients in defense of enforcement actions instituted by environmental agencies (i.e. the EPA, the California Air Resources Board, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, the South Coast Air Quality Management District, etc.), alleging violation of various environmental laws related to air quality.
Sidley Austin LLP
Acting for clients in sectors including energy, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and manufacturing, Sidley Austin LLP has experience in state and federal litigation relating to air, waste, water and climate change issues. A contact in the team is David Buente in Washington DC; he has handled toxic tort claims, CERCLA matters, and issues relating to the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act.
The environmental and natural resources practice group at Vinson & Elkins LLP acts for clients in administrative claims, and civil and criminal enforcement actions before state and federal agencies. Headed by Larry Nettles in Houston and Washington DC-based Ronald Tenpas, the team also has experience in toxic tort claims and citizen suits. Also in Houston, recently-promoted partner Matthew Dobbins stands out for his experience in handling environmental indemnification claims and industrial incidents. Also recommended is Margaret Peloso in Washington DC, who specializes in complex environmental litigation and climate change risk management.
Blackstone Energy Partners
Enbridge/Valley Crossing Pipeline
Energy Transfer Partners/Trans-Pecos Pipeline
Greer Capital Corporation
NCS Multistage Holdings
Pembina/Jordan Cove Energy Project
PennEast Pipeline Company
San Miguel Electric Cooperative
Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA)
Southwest Business Properties
- Representing Greer Capital Corporation in an asbestos matter; negotiating with EPA regarding the form of cleanup the agency will require and who will implement the remedy in an effort to reduce the cost of the cleanup project.
- Representing IAV GmbH in connection with DOJ’s criminal investigation into the Volkswagen emissions system violations.
- Representing San Miguel Electric Cooperative in citizen-initiated enforcement actions filed under the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Clean Water Act, and Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act.
Baker & Hostetler LLP has expertise in litigation involving the Clean Air Act, CERCLA and RCRA issues. Led by Martin Booher in Cleveland, the team also has experience in the defense of citizen suits. Contacts in the DC office include Robert Steinwurtzel and Thomas Hogan, who is regularly involved in mass tort cases concerning exposure to hazardous substances.
The environmental and natural resources team at Dentons provides legal support to clients in relation to environmental litigation, covering civil and criminal enforcement actions, contamination cases, and matters involving pollution and climate change issues. Todd Silliman in Atlanta heads the department; he has extensive experience in litigation involving water and wetlands violations, endangered species protections, NEPA and CERCLA. Stanley Landfair in San Francisco is a contact for Proposition 65 litigation.
California Rice Commission
USA Rice Federation
Mason & Hanger
- Representing DeKalb Country, Georgia against allegations that the client violated the Clean Water Act by repeatedly spilling wastewater, including untreated sewage, into streams and rivers from a Wastewater Collection and Transmission System.
- Represents Mason & Hanger in a Superfund litigation matter, wherein the client has been identified as a potentially responsible party for the Crab Orchard Superfund Site in Carbondale, Illinois.
- Acting for Fila USA in an Alameda County Superior Court action alleging that certain Fila products contain DEHP in amounts that require a warning under California Proposition 65.
- Representing Dow AgroSciences in a matter involving the regulation of crop protection chemicals in California under the California Food & Agricultural Code and matters involving California Proposition 65.
K&L Gates's environment, land and natural resources team is focused on prevention, helping clients avoid areas that could result in enforcement actions or litigation. The practice is under the joint leadership of three practitioners: Brian Montag in Newark, Craig Wilson in Harrisburg, and Ankur Tohan in Seattle. Montag has particular expertise in Superfund litigation, as well as in matters involving air, water, solid and hazardous waste; Tohan frequently acts for clients in the defense of governmental and citizen enforcement actions; and Wilson has experience in litigation involving environmental rights and liabilities. Another contact in the Newark office is William Hyatt, who is most active in Superfund matters and cost recovery actions. The service offering was further strengthened with the recent addition of four partners from LeClairRyan, including former head of the environmental group Joseph Lagrotteria.
‘Ability to navigate complex projects and work well with a very difficult regulatory agency.’
‘Dave Raphael has provided valuable guidance on air permit litigation.’
Sunoco Partners Marketing & Terminals
Huntley & Huntley Energy Exploration
Bayonne Barrel & Drum Site PRP Group
Chemsol PRG Group
Helen Kramer Landfill
Pennsylvania American Water Company (Trans)
Wind Creek Hospitality
BNSF Railway Company
City of Spokane, WA
- Serving as common counsel to circa 50 companies participating in the Lower Passaic River Study Area Cooperating Parties Group (CPG), which is engaged in a CERCLA remedial investigation/ feasibility study (RI/FS) of the Lower Passaic River Superfund Site in Northern New Jersey.
- Advising Sunoco Partners Marketing & Terminals on third-party administrative appeal before the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board regarding plan approval for air emission sources located at the Marcus Hook Industrial Complex in Delaware County, Pennsylvania.
- Acting as outside counsel for King County on a multi-party private allocation process to divide responsibility for past and future Superfund clean-up costs on the Lower Duwamish Waterway.
- Representing Bayonne Barrel & Drum Site PRP Group, consisting of circa 20 parties currently funding the multi-million dollar remediation of a PCB-contaminated former drum reconditioning facility located in Newark, New Jersey.
- Acting as common counsel to the Chemsol Superfund Site PRP Group of circa 50 companies, overseeing the multi-million dollar remediation of a former solvent recovery and waste reprocessing facility located in Piscataway, New Jersey.
McGuireWoods LLP is sought out by leading corporations from a range of industries, such as energy, transportation, waste management, manufacturing and natural resources. The environmental regulatory and compliance group has experience of state-wide environmental issues, including enforcement and contested administrative matters and litigation. Charlotte-based David Franchina is a contact for Superfund matters, as well as civil and criminal enforcement; while Charles Case in Raleigh is experienced in litigation concerning contaminated property remediation. Contacts in the Richmond office include Dale Mullen, a name to note for enforcement actions and citizen lawsuits, and Vishwa Link and Diane Flannery, who oversee the wider regulatory and compliance service group.
Based in California, Morrison & Foerster LLP handles a variety of environmental litigation, but stands out for its ability to reach successful outcomes in high-profile cases related to Proposition 65. Headed by William Tarantino, the team is also active toxic tort litigation, natural resources damage claims and matters involving the Endangered Species Act and Clean Water Act. Other key contacts include Michael Steel and Proposition 65 specialist Robert Falk. Named attorneys are based in San Francisco.
Coffee Joint Defense Group
County of Santa Clara (California)
Bimbo Bakeries USA
The Hershey Company
National Confectioners Association
Barry Callebaut USA
- Represent Starbucks Corporation, The JM Smucker Company, The Kraft Heinz Company, Nestlé USA, Keurig Green Mountain, and 50 other coffee companies against a high-profile Proposition 65 claim.
- Acting as primary California environmental and Proposition 65 counsel to Masco and its subsidiaries in various matters, including litigation, enforcement defense, and regulatory compliance.
- Serving as outside counsel to Clorox Company in legacy groundwater contamination matters and related regulatory negotiations.
Nationally recognised for the strength of its wildlife practice, Nossaman LLP represents corporations, public agencies and non-profits in civil and administrative proceedings throughout the US. In particular, the team has a proven track record of handling the defense against challenges based on impacts to endangered species and related resources, as well as resolving government clean-up claims and enforcement actions. Paul Weiland in Irvine heads the practice group.
‘Attorneys are knowledgeable about the natural and social science in their fields of legal expertise. They work very effectively in multidisciplinary teams, and communicate legal concepts quite well to individuals who do not have legal expertise.’
‘Nossaman lawyers have a lot of experience in the Environmental and related areas (Endangered Species Act, e.g.), and they are good at using technology to be efficient. They keep us informed of the progress of a case.’
‘Paul Weiland’s knowledge of the law and of associated disciplines (e.g., ecology and environmental science) is outstanding. Weiland often publishes in peer-reviewed scientific journals (in addition to in legal journals). We have worked effectively with teams of professionals in wide-ranging fields (well beyond legal).’
‘Paul Weiland is very competent and is easy to work with. He is respectful of the client’s restrictions and its ultimate goals and is efficient with his time. He keeps the client updated on strategy and respects their input.’
Security National Guaranty
Kern County Water Agency
Southern California Edison (SCE)
Renewable Energy Systems Americas
Lower Colorado River Authority
Williamson County, Texas
California Wetfish Producers Association
Northwest Clean Air Agency
Ash Grove Cement Company
County of Siskiyou
Energy and Wildlife Action Coalition (EWAC)
New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
New Mexico State Game Commission
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
- Representing Security National Guaranty in a 19-year appeal before the California Coastal Commission in which the client has twice achieved court decisions overturning Commission decisions denying a proposed oceanfront resort project
- Represents Ash Grove Cement Company in administrative proceedings with the US Environmental Protection Agency and the State of Oregon seeking to quantify and remediate sediment contamination at a site.
- Representing Hilcorp Allaska in a Ninth Circuit appeal related to the proposed development of the Liberty Project, the first oil field in federal waters offshore Alaska’s North Slope.
- Successfully represented Northwest Clean Air Agency, a local air pollution authority in Washington State, in the state’s appellate court in a matter that concerned the agency’s authority to review the adequacy of air pollution controls on existing emission sources.
- Successfully defended the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish and New Mexico State Game Commission against a citizen suit alleging that state trapping regulations violate section 9 of the Endangered Species Act.
Perkins Coie LLP is recognized by peers for its activity in environmental litigation in state and federal courts. Led by Seattle-based Karen McGaffey, the team is experienced in cost recovery actions, citizen suits and civil and criminal enforcement defense, as well as toxic torts, nuisance claims, and Native American law. Other contacts include Mark Schneider, who stands out for his experience in natural resources damage cases and groundwater contamination issues, and Barbara Schussman, a name to note in the firm's San Francisco office.
Reed Smith LLP
Reed Smith LLP fields an environmental law team that is adept at acting for clients in sector-related litigation, namely mass and toxic tort cases, industrial incidents and insurance recovery. Based in Pittsburgh, Nicolle Bagnell and Stan Perry jointly lead the practice group. Daniella Landers and Ben Patton are standout practitioners in the Houston office, and Todd Maiden is a name to note in San Francisco.
The team at Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP is active in high-stakes environmental litigation throughout the state of California, and is also experienced in representing clients before various governmental agencies. Jointly led from Los Angeles by Jeffrey Parker and Whitney Roy, the practice group is especially strong in issues related to California Proposition 65. In addition, Parker has expertise in toxic tort and groundwater contamination matters, while Roy stands out for her in-depth knowledge of regulatory matters and experience in contamination litigation. Gail Suchman, who recently joined the New York office from Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP, has a wealth of experience in the fields of climate change and carbon emissions.
City of Berkeley
County of San Diego
Davis Chemical PRP Group
Exxon Mobil Corporation
ExxonMobil Oil Corporation
- Defending Soco West and Brenntag Pacific in a large water contamination case pending in Orange County Superior Court brought by the Orange County Water District.
- Represented the Davis Chemical PRP Group in an action by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control seeking to recover more than $2m in clean up costs related to contaminated soils and sediments at the former Davis Chemicals Superfund Site in Los Angeles, California.
- Representing the 10-member PRP group at the Yosemite Slough Superfund Site, the largest contaminated sediment site in EPA Region 9.
- Represent plaintiffs in a CEQA lawsuit challenging the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s adoption of its statewide pest management program and program environmental impact report, authorizing numerous pest management activities, including the aerial spraying of pesticides, throughout California.
- Acting for the County of San Diego in two separate litigation matters—the Valiano Residential Project and Newland Sierra Residential Project—both of which challenge environmental determination and entitlements.
The environmental, safety and health team at Squire Patton Boggs has experience representing clients in government and citizen enforcement actions, cost recovery matters and multi-party and class action toxic tort cases. In Columbus, practice head Karen Winters is a name to note for federal and state enforcement matters as well as public nuisance claims, and Andrew Etter is active in class actions and mass tort cases, as well as enforcement and citizen suits. Carolyn McIntosh in Denver specializes in areas including remediation and cost recovery litigation, while Alexander Arensberg, also in the Denver office, has experience in litigation involving every major federal environmental statute.
Other key lawyers:
Sunny Farms Landfill
Union Pacific Railroad
Waste Management of Colorado
- Served as trial counsel for Cooper Crouse-Hinds in the defense of a CERCLA cost recovery action filed by the Revitalizing Auto Communities Environmental Response Trust in connection with alleged contamination at a creek site spanning 1.7 miles in New York.
- Represented Sunny Farms Landfill (SFL) in the defense of two class actions asserting claims for nuisance and negligence due to alleged odors from SFL’s landfill located in Ohio.
- Acts for Union Pacific Railroad Company in a fifth successful defense of federal court appeals, following defense verdicts in client’s favor, all based on plaintiff’s claims for response cost contribution at the Omaha Lead Site; the Selby Smelter site near San Francisco, California; the Vasquez Superfund Site in Denver, Colorado; and Superfund sites in Southeastern Missouri, and the Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Superfund site.
- Representing Waste Management Company as a co-plaintiff in a suit against the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, challenging its attempted retroactive application of Colorado solid waste laws at a long-closed landfill.
- Defended Cleveland-Cliffs in a multi-facility Clean Air Act enforcement action brought by the US Department of Justice on behalf of the EPA.
Steptoe & Johnson LLP
Combining scientific, regulatory, policy and litigation capabilities, Steptoe & Johnson LLP showcases particular strength in agency actions and enforcement defense. The team also handles Superfund and analogous state matters, as well as remediation issues, CERCLA and related environmental litigation. Practice co-head Robert Shuftan focuses on civil litigation, namely class actions and mass tort matters; he is based in Chicago. Co-leader Seth Goldberg sits in the Washington DC office and is noted for his in-depth knowledge of the chemical industry as well as federal and state regulatory programs. Also in DC, Cynthia Taub leads on work pertaining to National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) litigation. Cal Burnton in Chicago stands out for his expertise in complex mass toxic tort cases.
‘Strong environmental practice.’
‘Deep understanding of relevant issues with an ability to simplify and convey complex information to judges and juries.’
Shell Oil Company
Beazer East, Inc. (formerly Koppers Company, Inc.)
Lonza (formerly Arch Chemicals)
Koppers Performance Chemicals (formerly Osmose, Inc.)
Troy Chemical Corporation
Pebble Limited Partnership
All Aboard Florida LLC / Brightline
Portland Harbor/Time Oil
- Representing Standard Industries in connection with claims arising from Standard subsidiary GAF’s manufacturing facilities, including the defense of a putative class action lawsuit in the Southern District of Alabama arising from neighborhood complaints about alleged noxious odors coming from the client’s roofing shingle and asphalt material manufacturing facility in Mobile.
- Represents EELP in an appeal before the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit concerning the decision issued by the US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan in which the District Court concluded that PHMSA must conduct environmental review under NEPA and consultations with the US Fish and Wildlife Service under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) prior to approving EELP’s emergency response plans for Line 5’s crossing of the Straits of Mackinac.
- successfully represented Enbridge entities in a lawsuit that they filed in the State of Michigan Court of Claims against the State of Michigan, Governor of Michigan, Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority (MSCA), Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), and Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) (collectively “Defendants”), challenging the Attorney General’s opinion concerning the constitutionality of Michigan legislation that underlies 2018 agreements entered between Enbridge and the State that concern the replacement of Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline across the Straits of Mackinac (Straits).
- represents Enbridge in a lawsuit filed by the Michigan Attorney General, Dana Nessel (AG), in Michigan Circuit Court against Enbridge, challenging the continued operation of Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline across the Straits of Mackinac (Straits).
- retained by Koppers Inc. and Beazer East, Inc. in a series of lawsuits in Minnesota federal district court brought by eleven municipalities in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metro region, regarding the contamination of water ponds.
Working in close cooperation with the firm-wide regulatory team, Troutman Pepper's environmental litigation and toxic tort practice acts for clients across a range of industries. Citizen suits, mass tort, class actions and enforcement defense are all typical mandates for the department, which has a proven track record in environmental litigation involving climate change, the Clean Air Act, RCRA and Clean Water Act. Atlanta-based Catherine Little and Fitzgerald Veira jointly lead the team, which also includes Brooks Smith in the Richmond office and Kevin Desharnais in Chicago.
Deere and Company
National Mining Association
City of Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Red River Coal Company
Virginia Coal and Energy Alliance
Southern Company; Georgia Power
Southern Mills (d/b/a TenCate Protective Fabrics)
- Represents the City of Fort Lauderdale in two toxic tort cases, one a putative class action, in which more than 150 plaintiffs contend that residual impacts of municipal incinerator ash have created adverse health effects and warrant relief in the form of damages and equitable relief.
- Representation of specialty chemical company Remet Corporation in a New York State Superfund matter and related contractual indemnification litigation, involving the alleged liability of Remet at the Old Erie Canal Superfund Site, which is adjacent to the client’s facility in Utica, New York.
- Acted for Southern Company and Georgia Power Company in the resolution of the Clean Power Plan case before the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit and the US Supreme Court.
- Lead counsel to a Republic Services subsidiary in a 2,600+-plaintiff mass tort action in Illinois, in which the plaintiffs allege personal injuries, private nuisance and property value diminution caused by odors from a landfill.
- Representing WASCO in litigation regarding its alleged liability for a RCRA corrective action site in the mountains of North Carolina.