We represent clients in a broad range of environmental matters. Almost 30 years ago, our firm developed the first full service environmental practice in Tennessee. Our environmental attorneys represent clients in litigation, transactional and regulatory matters concerning:
- Air and water pollution
- Hazardous and solid waste
- Toxic and other regulated substances
- Underground storage tanks
- Superfund, RCRA and UST remediations
- Brownfields and land use restrictions
- Drinking water treatment and source protection
- Water rights
- Health and safety
- National Environmental Protection Act
- Climate change and sustainability
Our practice includes helping clients develop a variety of comprehensive strategies to manage environmental risks and disputes including:
- Litigation (including enforcement and permit appeals, citizen suit defense, toxic tort defense, cost recovery and contribution, FEMA funding appeals, water rights, and environmental indemnity litigation)
- Permit negotiations and appeals
- Compliance and enforcement matters
- Administrative actions and contested cases
- Representing buyers, sellers and lenders in corporate and real estate transactions
- Environmental assessments and due diligence
- Environmental and safety compliance audits
- Superfund listings and Superfund, RCRA and UST remediations
- Drafting, lobbying and commenting on proposed environmental legislation and regulations
In addition to having extensive experience with environmental laws and regulations, we also have strong contacts and good working relationships with key technical personnel in all divisions of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), including permitting and enforcement staff and the office of General Counsel, as well as personnel at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), particularly U.S. EPA Region IV in Atlanta.
We pride ourselves on achieving the best possible results through negotiation, but when negotiations do not produce an acceptable resolution, we are always prepared to litigate. Our attorneys have experience with environmental litigation in federal court, state court and before administrative agencies. We understand that in most cases our clients will continue to be regulated by the agency and regulators with whom we are dealing. Whether a resolution is reached through negotiation or litigation, our environmental attorneys are experienced in successfully resolving matters in a way that works for our clients and allows them to have good working relationships with the regulators going forward.
Understanding relevant regulatory history is critical to developing a strategy for any current environmental issue. In Tennessee, many decisions are not formally of record or in a form that is easily reviewed, which is why we stay current on regulatory developments and decisions by attending the meetings of each of TDEC's oversight boards and being actively involved the environmental sections of the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry. We also regularly contact each TDEC division regarding current developments and have a database of all enforcement orders and remediation orders issued by TDEC during the last 20 years.
We routinely play an active role in the creation and reform of environmental laws and regulations, including portions of Tennessee's air and water pollution regulations, Superfund laws, state hazardous and solid waste laws, state UST laws and regulations, state groundwater classification rules and the state drycleaner's environmental response program.
Our goal is to allow our clients to focus on making their businesses a success by using our experience and our approach to address environmental matters by managing risks, complying with applicable requirements and resolving any issues in the least imposing manner possible.