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.
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 is representing a large fuel terminal and asphalt manufacturing company as lead litigation counsel in historic PCB contamination issues under CERCLA and RCRA.
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.
Articles Authored by Lawyers at this office:
Bear Head LNG Feeder Pipeline Receives Environmental Approval
, January 06, 2017
On December 22, 2016, the Nova Scotia Minister of Environment approved the environmental assessment authorizing construction of Bear Paw Pipeline Corporation Inc.’s (Bear Paw) 62.5 mile pipeline to provide gas to the proposed Bear Head LNG export facility in Point Tupper, Richmond County,...
Environmental Assessment for Petronas Project Due Next Monday
, September 27, 2016
CBC News reports that the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency’s final environmental report on Petronas’s proposed Pacific NorthWest LNG (PNWLNG) export terminal near Prince Rupert, British Columbia is due to be released October 3. According to its website, PNWLNG announced a...
In Case You Missed It, A New Act Amends Wisconsin’s Managed Forest Law
Evie M. Hightower, August 19, 2016
On April 14, 2016, Governor Scott Walker signed into law Wisconsin Senate Bill 434, a bill that significantly amends the Managed Forest Law (Sections 77.80 to 77.91, Wis. Stats.), thereby enacting the 2015 Wisconsin Act 3581 (the Act). Wisconsin legislators created the Managed Forest Law (MFL)...
White House Issues Guidance Advising Agencies to Assess Climate Change in NEPA Reviews
Reginald J. Clark,Jay Holloway,Susan G. Lafferty,Peter Ligh,David M. McCullough, August 11, 2016
On August 1, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) issued its final guidance for federal agencies on considering greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the effects of climate change in National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) reviews.1 This final guidance comes after the first draft...
EPA Denies Request to Reconsider MATS Startup-Shutdown Rules
, August 09, 2016
Last Friday the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) denied a petition filed by environmental groups requesting that the EPA reconsider changes it had made to its Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) rule. The specific regulations at issue, which are now final, allowed certain operators of...
Maritime Administration Releases DEIS for Delfin LNG Application
, July 15, 2016
The U.S. Maritime Administration has released its Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for Delfin LNG’s application for a license to construct and operate a deepwater port LNG export terminal and interconnected pipeline. The proposed Delfin LNG export terminal would be located in...
TSCA Reform Presents Solutions and Questions for Industry
Samina M. Bharmal,Jay Holloway,Susan G. Lafferty,David M. McCullough,Liz Williamson, June 28, 2016
On June 22, 2016, President Obama signed into law the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, the first amendments to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) since its passage in 1976. The amendments significantly change the way that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency...
Alaska LNG Files Monthly Status Report
, May 26, 2016
Alaska LNG has filed a report with FERC covering through April 2016 the status of pre-filing environmental review activities for its proposed liquefaction and LNG export terminal at Nikiski, Alaska and 800-mile interconnected pipeline. The report states that due to ongoing pre-Front End Engineering...
PHMSA Announces Proposed Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Rules
Paul F. Forshay,Allison E. Speaker,Michael A. Stosser, March 22, 2016
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has issued a proposal to implement regulations that would add new safety measures designed to raise existing safety standards applicable to pipelines currently regulated by PHMSA. The Administration also proposes to make those...
Woodfibre LNG Receives Favorable Environmental Decision
, March 22, 2016
The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, announced that the proposed Woodfibre LNG export terminal (Woodfibre), located near Squamish, British Columbia, is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects. The Environmental Assessment...