Environmental

Shumaker has counseled clients on federal, state and local environmental law since the early 1970s.  Our practice is national in scope, and includes representation before the United States Environmental Protection Agency, several state environmental agencies, and federal and state courts.  We have handled cases in the United States Supreme Court, The United States Court of Appeals for the Districts of Columbia, Sixth, Third, Fourth, and Seventh Circuits.  We have handled many significant US EPA enforcement matters in the United States District Court for the Northern and Southern Districts in Ohio, the Northern District in Illinois, and the Northern District of Indiana.  We regularly represent companies in several state trial and Appellate Courts across the nation, including the Ohio Supreme Court. 

We assist a large number of Fortune 500 industrial companies, including the electric utility, petrochemical, coke manufacturing business, automotive, glass, defense, agribusiness, rubber, and mining industries, as well as midsize and small corporations who face difficult regulatory problems with their compliance strategies in all areas of environmental law.  We assist clients in regulatory intervention -- seeking changes to regulations which impact their business -- and we handle sophisticated permit issues including permits under the Title V and New Source Review Provisions of the Clean Air Act, the NPDES program under the Clean Water Act, construction and operation permits under RCRA and State Solid Waste Acts, including several problems concerning groundwater contamination and remediation.  We have represented companies in resolving federal and third party claims under CERCLA (the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation & Liability Act) and RCRA (the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act), and we counsel clients on compliance problems under FIFRA and TSCA.

On the corporate side, we have negotiated several environmental assumption and indemnity provisions, and handle disputes, both in federal court and arbitration, between parties as to the allocation of liabilities which arise after a transaction.  Finally, we handle due diligence matters on a national basis for real estate companies, and have assisted in several Brownfield remedies to put property back to use in a cost-effective manner.

What Makes Us Different and Why You Benefit

Several things make us different.  First is our four decades of experience.  Because our lawyers have been involved in virtually every key US EPA rulemaking and leading enforcement initiatives, we understand these environmental regulatory programs and enforcement strategies and how they impact your business.  Second, we know your industry, and we seek creative solutions to protect the integrity of your business operations and reputation.  We have strong relationships with the nation’s leading environmental consultants and bring those resources to bear quickly to assist company managers and engineers.  If possible, we avoid environmental disputes by focusing on sound permit or regulatory development.  Third, when it is necessary, we understand environmental litigation, its risks, benefits, and consequences to your company, and we routinely appear in court to defend complex environmental claims  Finally, we understand the importance of your good name and the value of corporate social responsibility, and strive to leave our clients on good relationships with the agencies that regulate them.

Our Clients

  • Electric utilities
  • Petroleum refiners
  • Industries in the agribusiness, auto, chemical mining, defense, food product, furniture, glass, rubber, and real estate development business
  • Interstate pipeline companies
  • Integrated oil and gas producers

Examples of Core Services

  • Clean air regulation development and permitting, including making changes to state implementation plans, and acquiring major PSD and nonattainment permits for major refinery and coking industry facilities.
  • Clean Water Act permitting and defense actions, including negotiation of NPDES permits for utility and refining companies, involving issues such as standard setting,  bypass, thermal and 316(a) problems.
  • Defense of federal and state enforcement actions, including several major NSR “look back” and other significant allegations.
  • Federal Court litigation of several buyer/seller disputes, as the allocation of pre- and post-sale remediation costs, and other environmental compliance.
  • Defense of Class Actions and third party civil suits, based on Clean Air Act violation and seeking multi-million dollar awards in damages.
  • Due diligence on environmental liabilities in the sale of companies and properties.
  • Use of Brownfield clean up statutes to limit remediation liability, and comply with CERCLA/RCRA obligations, negotiation and litigation of groundwater contamination claims, including the rate and extent of contamination.
  • Negotiation and administrative defense of federal and state notices of violation and other orders seeking penalties or halting site construction.
  • Negotiation of variances, compliance orders, permits, groundwater monitoring plans.

What you can expect from Shumaker

You can expect that our lawyers will understand your industry, your business, and your environmental problems.  Environmental claims and obligations can be expensive, disruptive and impose obligations that inhabit your ability to do business.  Shumaker lawyers can assist with your problems and concerns, whether at the agency level or in litigation.  We react fast and flexibly to demanding situations.  We will know your business, set early strategy and goals to protect your financial interest and business reputation.

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