Practice/Industry Group Overview
Liskow & Lewis is nationally recognized for its environmental law practice. Our experience encompasses all areas of federal and state environmental law, at the federal level including the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Clean Air Act (CAA), the Superfund Law (CERCLA), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the Oil Pollution Act (OPA), the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) and the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA), and at the state level including the corresponding Louisiana and Texas statutes.
Our environmental attorneys’ practice areas include:
In state environmental law matters, we enjoy a sizeable and distinguished track record. Our attorneys represent energy, chemical and manufacturing companies in a broad range of environmental and worker health issues. We also advise onshore and offshore oil and gas operators in environmental issues and health and safety issues.
Environmental Advice and Counseling
A significant part of our practice is devoted to counseling clients across a broad range of environmental law issues. We strive to keep our clients abreast of significant new laws and regulations that may affect their business practices. Our attorneys frequently comment on agency rulemaking and other proposed public agency activities.
We help clients work through permitting requirements and other regulatory compliance issues that often complicate new industrial construction projects or ongoing operations. In addition, we structure real estate transactions to enable our clients to intelligently assess and plan for associated environmental liabilities.
When questions about reporting requirements for the release of hazardous substances arise, we know the value of providing a quick response. In addition, we help identify those situations where a proactive, voluntary cleanup of contaminated properties may best serve our client’s interest, such as opportunities arising under the new Brownfields programs.
We can help identify the criteria that restoration activities must meet, particularly under the Louisiana Risk Evaluation/Corrective Action Program standards. We also guide businesses through the air, water, and waste law permitting processes associated with repair and rebuilding projects. Our experience includes advising clients in transactions involving properties with past contamination issues.
Environmental and Regulatory Litigation
Our litigators represent clients in a broad range of environmental litigation matters, including administrative hearings and litigation in state and federal courts.
We have successfully defended numerous companies in environmental penalty proceedings involving the Environmental Protection Agency, Minerals Management System, the U.S. Department of Justice and Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality. We also have represented permit applicants in cases where citizens challenged the permitting of chemical companies and hazardous waste facilities.
The firm represented the American Petroleum Institute and its member companies in cases before the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, the Fifth, Sixth and Ninth Circuits. These matters involved the judicial review of Clean Water Act effluent limitations regulations and permit decisions affecting the offshore exploration and production industry. We also have handled numerous cases in Louisiana courts involving tort allegations arising out of damage to land from industrial operations, as well as private toxic tort claims involving Louisiana "Superfund" sites.
Environmental Criminal Defense
Over the last two decades, our firm has successfully defended corporate and individual clients in a wide range of matters involving state and federal air, water and hazardous waste laws.
Our environmental criminal defense practice group combines the talents of our environmental lawyers with the experience of the firm’s white collar criminal attorneys. We help clients with internal investigations, search warrant response planning, compliance programs, grand jury investigations and the defense of criminal charges.
For companies involved in criminal investigations, we advocate communicating early with prosecutors to effect a speedy and successful resolution. When charges are unavoidable, our attorneys are adept at handling procedural and substantive environmental regulatory defenses.
Environmental Insurance Litigation
We frequently represent individuals and companies facing significant environmental liabilities in coverage litigation against insurance carriers.
Our attorneys handle coverage actions and issues involving pollution exclusions, owned property exclusions, waste disposal exclusions, late notice, policy triggers, occurrences and damages.
When clients face complex environmental insurance coverage disputes, our attorneys represent them in state and federal courts at both the trial court and appellate levels.
The interpretation of insurance policies varies from state to state, and even within courts of the same state. Because of our reputation and experience in this area, out-of state counsel, on behalf of clients, seek our advice on the selection of appropriate forums and legal analysis of coverage issues.
In the event of a natural disaster, businesses can face environmental challenges in three phases: immediate response and remediation; repair and rebuilding; and long-term restoration of production capacity. Our environmental team helps in all these areas.
Our counsel assists clients in their understanding of the potential legal consequences of spills or releases caused by natural disasters and the legal standards that apply to responses.