Areas of Practice

Across the spectrum of environmental law, we offer advice and representation with practical, results-oriented lawyering in the following practice areas...
Category: Areas of Practice

Light and heavy industries of all sizes and shapes face environmental issues and problems. These range from satisfying regulations to defending enforcement actions. We deal with the maze of environmental laws and rules at the federal, state and local levels. We dedicate ourselves to taking the mysteries out of these requirements and making the most of our experience and expertise in the origin, purposes, procedures, permits and standards of these environmental laws. By virtue of our long history in the field, we easily recruit the leading experts to assist and we easily relate to agency staff who regulate your industrial operations and projects.

In this setting we provide compliance counseling, strategy advice, and legal representation. We offer these services to industrial clients in setting business objectives, considering sites and facilities, conducting environmental audits, performing due diligences, structuring business acquisitions, planning facility expansions, negotiating transactions, renewing permits, coping with agency inspections, responding to administrative orders, and dealing with civil lawsuits and criminal prosecutions.

This work may be to create a game plan to handle an upcoming permit renewal with added scrutiny of government agencies and public interest groups. Or it may involve identifying or solving legal issues in a planned expansion or acquisition. Or it could mean reviewing or writing the company training manuals to stay in compliance. Or it might be researching applicable regulations affecting the choice of new industrial processes or products. Or it may involve rushing to attend an agency site inspection or execution of a search warrant by the Environmental Crimes Strike Force.

These services are especially appreciated by clients who do not have internal corporate environmental staffs. We serve as outside special counsel for these important matters impacting the business.
Typically our clients are coping to comply with the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), Safe Drinking Water Act, Historic Preservation Act, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Emergency Planning Community Right-To-Know Act, Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), Coastal Zone Management Act, or Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA).

Equally our clients need to comply with Massachusetts state statutes such as its Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Wetlands Protection Act, Tidelands and Waterways Statutes, Great Pond Laws, Article 97 of the MA Constitution, General Laws Chapter 21C or Chapter 21D on solid waste, Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA), Massachusetts Oceans Act, Toxic Use Reduction Act, Historic and Archeological Resources statutes, Department of Labor and Industries rules, and local municipal Home Rule bylaws and ordinances.

It follows that we find ourselves regularly before the federal agencies and boards that control the fates of our clients' projects, operations and transactions. These include the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Army Corps of Engineers, Federal Energy Regulatory Administration (FERC), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of the Interior, Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, the Justice Department, and the United States Attorney.

Similarly we work for clients before the state agencies and boards acting on permits, licenses and other approvals, grants, subsidies and other financial assistance, and appeals and enforcement. These include the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EOEEA), Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA), Department of Agricultural Resources, Department of Fish and Game, Department of Conservation and Recreation, Department of Energy Resources, Department of Public Utilities, Department of Public Health, Energy Facilities Siting Board, Hazardous Waste Facility Site Safety Council, Water Resources Board, Environmental Crimes Strike Force, and Office of the Attorney General.

Quite often our industrial clients find themselves as parties in Superfund litigation under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). These cases may arise out of waste disposal practices, property ownership, or parent or subsidiary activities long ago. Often these are about cost recovery from conducting hazardous waste cleanups for which others are legally responsible under these laws.

Sometimes our clients need to bring lawsuits of their own under General Laws Chapter 21E for property damage and related real estate claims, compliance with the MassDEP hazardous waste clean-up regulations known as the Massachusetts Contingency Plan (MCP), or declaratory judgment about corporate legal responsibilities for government cleanups or costs.

We like to say that we efficiently can bring order out of chaos, keep clients out of trouble, and help them get out of trouble if they get in.

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