Practice/Industry Group Overview
Sutherland’s interdisciplinary approach–regulation, compliance, transactional advice and litigation defense–helps clients mitigate environmental risk.
Sutherland advises clients on environmental regulation, compliance, transactional risk management and litigation, embracing an interdisciplinary approach and leveraging the firm’s broad-based experience to deliver results. We take the time to understand what makes each matter notable and find the best solutions. Sutherland excels at developing persuasive and complete presentations of fact. Our team focuses on both the legal and practical aspects, and provides fresh, creative ideas to resolve environmental matters.
Our 20-plus environmental lawyers bring unique backgrounds, extensive training and legal experience to all our clients’ matters. Our attorneys served at federal and state environmental regulatory agencies and in-house at companies. We also second attorneys with clients to learn our clients’ businesses from the inside. We regularly publish and lecture on emerging environmental issues and participate in trade groups and prominent chambers of commerce.
Sutherland defended a client in the largest environmental case in the history of the United States. Our attorneys have substantial experience in water, air and waste issues arising under the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). We represent clients before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and state environmental protection agencies and authorities. We defend potentially responsible party (PRP) claims and advise clients about clean-up and remedial actions.
Relationships with regulators. We consistently work with federal, state and local regulators, including the EPA, Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Coast Guard, among others. We ensure that our clients’ interests are served during federal and state rulemaking.
Statutory knowledge. We help clients deal with the range of state and federal environmental acts, including the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, CERCLA, RCRA, California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard and other statutes.
Real-world experience. Among our attorneys are those with agency experience, including Teri Donaldson, who served as general counsel for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
Proactive approach. We assist clients with internal investigations, so they may identify potential responsibilities around financial and environmental reporting.
Identifying business opportunities. With a changing regulatory landscape, companies may be able to leverage advantages by building and installing green infrastructure. Sutherland possesses the knowledge, experience and creativity to assist clients with these new opportunities.
NUTS AND BOLTS
- Permitting and enforcement - Our attorneys represent clients before regulatory authorities in permit and enforcement actions involving federal and state air, water, waste and other regulatory programs. We also negotiate administrative orders and manage public relations.
- Regulatory counseling - Sutherland helps clients proactively manage plant level environmental liabilities.
- Environmental litigation - We defend clients in state and federal Superfund actions, citizen suits and environmental litigation arising out of corporate and real estate transactions, including contractual indemnity disputes. We understand allocation of environmental liability under both common and statutory law. We defend clients in civil or criminal enforcement actions, toxic tort claims, property damage suits and related multi-plaintiff actions. We also represent companies in emergency response situations.
- Oil spill litigation and counseling - Our energy and environmental attorneys advise U.S. and foreign refiners, marketers, importers and petroleum commodities trading firms about the implications of the federal Oil Pollution Act of 1990 and related state laws imposing liability upon owners and operators of vessels, marine terminals, shippers and cargo owners, and the ameliorating role of protection and indemnity clubs.
- Facility siting/land use - We represent facility owners and operators in legal issues associated with Greenfield development and facility redesign and modification. We evaluate environmental conditions that present development or operational impediments or risks. We regularly address endangered species and wetlands, as well as cultural and historical artifacts issues. We help clients manage the NEPA process and successfully represent them at each stage of facility siting and land use development, including appeals and civil litigation.
- Climate change - We offer concrete guidance around the material business planning, resource allocation and investment that companies need to address emerging regulatory climate change challenges.
- Fuel specifications and mobile source programs - We assist our clients with every aspect of developing and implementing policies, plans and procedures to comply with the environmental regulations that govern gasoline and diesel fuel specifications nationwide, including the EPA’s Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS1 and RFS2).
- Transaction management - When companies undertake M&A, environmental liability is often a major consideration. We provide focused due diligence efforts to identify and address issues and effectively structure and document the resulting transactions.
Sutherland partners with clients to develop solutions to environmental issues as they arise. Whether litigating environmental claims, handling contested permit or enforcement proceedings, establishing and maintaining regulatory compliance, or managing environmental issues affecting transactions or project development, we facilitate compliance, risk management, sustainability and accountability to shareholders while minimizing cost and operational disruption.
Sutherland advises leading global energy company on range of environmental matters.
A leading international oilfield services provider turns to Sutherland for strategic environmental counseling, litigation and enforcement defense on various environmental matters. Our work includes legal counsel regarding remediation plans for contaminated sites, including Superfund sites, cost recovery suits and advising on regulatory compliance.
Sutherland represents a fuel terminal in CERCLA and RCRA litigation matters.
Sutherland represents a large fuel terminal and asphalt manufacturing company as lead counsel in federal PCB-contamination litigation.
Sutherland represents fuel terminal on Clean Air Act compliance and enforcement.
Sutherland represented a large fuel terminal on all aspects of Clean Air Act Title V permitting, compliance and enforcement.