To successfully defend – or prosecute – environmental litigation requires a commitment to historical detail, science-based knowledge of contaminant movement in the environment, and the experience of seasoned litigators. At Polsinelli, we have all three. Our environmental litigators are courtroom veterans and more. We have litigated cases from coast-to-coast involving CERCLA, RCRA, CWA, CAA, NEPA, California’s Proposition 65 and analogous state law statutes. We regularly counsel and defend clients in civil enforcement actions throughout the United States alleging violations of state and federal environmental regulations. We have the in-depth knowledge of manufacturing processes across a broad spectrum of industries to “hit the ground running” as disputes arise.

But our experience also teaches us the importance of focusing on our client’s business objectives and to use our experience to perceive and strategize outcomes and alternatives – beyond the ordinary and obvious. We work closely with the environmental departments and business leaders of our clients to achieve cost-efficient, timely results.

Many of our seasoned litigators also utilize their environmental and courtroom skills in insurance recovery litigation, where the knowledge of historic operational processes, waste control and movement of contaminants in the environment have led to awards and settlements for our clients totaling well over $300 million.
  • Represented a manufacturer of chlorinated solvents in a three-month-long CERCLA cost recovery action, resulting in a judgment of less than one percent of the amount sought by the plaintiff.
  • Negotiated early resolution for national chemical manufacturer of CERCLA and state liability at several multi-party CERCLA litigation sites; early resolution included contribution protection and indemnity from additional settling parties against future costs.
  • Represented multi-party PRP group in cost recovery action involving multiple groundwater plumes and significant potential drinking water impacts in a major metropolitan area.
  • Represented national transportation client that was sued in federal court for $24 million in contribution claims. Obtained court ruling that neither CERCLA 113 or 107 was properly followed, resulting in dismissal of the action.
  • Obtained a complete resolution of all environmental liability for a Tennessee mineral processor at a CERCLA site. The outcome included all environmental liability under any state or federal law, with no re-openers.
  • Resolved litigation brought against an international mineral extractor and processor by a county and flood control district; obtained contribution from a neighboring facility to offset the majority of the remedial costs.
  • Negotiated successful resolution with EPA of cleanup involving a uranium mine.
  • Directed a multi-media audit and response at multiple facilities of a regional mineral processor in response to EPA notices of violations; successfully avoided all but 1% of penalties sought by EPA.
  • Represented local wastewater treatment provider in negotiating an administrative order that resolved all claims without penalties or costs; the successful resolution allowed the client to obtain grants and pass through loans to upgrade its system while continuing to operate until the upgrades were complete.
  • Represented interests of environmental unsecured claimants on creditors’ committee in $1.3 trillion restructuring and fraudulent conveyance litigation.
  • Regularly represent mining companies and construction aggregate manufacturers in contested state administrative proceedings and before zoning boards to operate new mines or expand existing mines.
  • Retained to prevent the removal of wild horses from a federally protected habitat under a proposal issued by the U.S. Forest Service. Successfully prevented the removal and obtained a favorable order that both reaffirms the existence of the Heber Wild Horse Territory and mandates the development of a wild horse management plan.
  • Represented a national manufacturer in resolving a multi-media state enforcement action without the need for an administrative order, judgment or payment of penalties. The settlement allowed the client to conduct its work without the need for multiple submissions or approvals and without the threat of sanctions.
  • Representing a manufacturer of ammunition and explosives in multi-party CERCLA matter involving 32 separate sites, where key issues include liability of federal agencies.
  • Represented manufacturer of pesticides in multiple lawsuits alleging application of the pesticides led to contamination of municipal water wells.  Obtained early dismissal based on detailed chemical processing analysis establishing client’s pesticides did not release alleged contaminant.
  • Represented manufacturer of solvents in multiple CERCLA cases alleging waste products, including oils and solvents, contaminated soils and groundwater throughout Western New York.

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