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Environmental Law

Our Practice

Pedersen's environmental lawyers have a broad range of experience representing our clients in connection with environmental issues. We regularly represent clients in environmental litigation, transactional due diligence, regulatory compliance, and controversial facility siting matters. In addition, we counsel clients regarding sustainability issues and green building projects. Our extensive experience with environmental matters enables us to assist clients in navigating the shifting intricacies of environmental law and the unique challenges they present. Our clients count on us for practical, cost-effective advice, and for our ability to resolve complex environmental disputes involving regulatory agencies as well as private parties.

Environmental Litigation

Our lawyers have represented a diverse group of clients in a wide range of environmental litigation matters. We regularly counsel clients in managing their litigation risk relating to environmental issues. Our experience in environmental litigation includes matters in state and federal trial and appellate courts, in administrative tribunals, and in alternative dispute resolution forums. Among the environmental litigation matters we have handled are civil and criminal regulatory enforcement matters, Superfund litigation, cost recovery and allocation cases, toxic tort and nuisance claims, and land use and permitting proceedings. We have succeeded in obtaining numerous pollution control facility siting approvals for our clients.

Because proactive measures can often prevent costly disputes from arising, we help our clients comply with an evolving landscape of stringent environmental rules and regulations. When environmental disputes arise, our team delivers aggressive and effective resolution of our clients' disputes both in and out of court. When we are involved in environmental litigation, we support our representation with comprehensive discovery and diligent case preparation. Truly collaborative partners, we encourage our clients' active involvement through every stage of the trial and appellate process.

Transactional Due Diligence

Our clients appreciate our ability to provide creative solutions to complex environmental problems that can arise in the context of transactions including real estate purchases and sales, mergers and acquisitions, and credit transactions. Any of these transactions can involve significant environmental risks and liabilities, and we regularly assist clients in addressing and managing these environmental transactional issues. By applying our extensive experience, we are able to help clients identify, understand, quantify, and account for these issues.

We have assisted clients in connection with the negotiation of contracts addressing a broad range of environmental issues including contaminated soil and groundwater, potential and actual liability relating to historic off-site waste disposal practices, facility permitting and other regulatory requirements, and toxic tort liability. In addition, we have helped clients secure insurance products to address environmental liabilities.

Regulatory Counseling

Environmental statutes, regulations, and other requirements at the federal, state, and local levels continue to increase in complexity. As a result, achieving and maintaining compliance with the pervasive and interconnected network of regulatory requirements continues to grow more difficult. We routinely assist clients in interpreting and meeting these requirements.

We help clients understand their regulatory obligations, and provide assistance so they can consistently comply with the requirements that apply to their operations. We regularly develop and review plans and procedures for documenting compliance. We identify and help clients obtain the permits they need to establish or maintain compliance with regulatory requirements. We assist clients in preparing for and provide support in connection with regulatory inspections. We have experience with self-reporting programs under federal and state audit privileges. Finally, if a client must defend an alleged violation, we provide assistance with internal investigations and defense of the matter through negotiation or litigation.

Our regulatory counseling services address all major federal environmental statutes as well as state and local requirements. We regularly advise clients regarding wastewater, stormwater, air emission, and hazardous and toxic waste issues. We also counsel clients concerning asbestos issues, worker safety (OSHA) requirements, hazardous material shipping regulations, wetlands issues, and underground storage tank matters.

Facility Siting

We have extensive experience and have achieved significant victories for clients in facility siting matters. This experience includes matters involving solid waste landfills, incinerators, waste treatment facilities, large agricultural facilities, waste transfer stations, and other locally unpopular land uses. In addition to many other projects, we have represented clients in landmark Illinois Supreme Court cases concerning the siting of a large agricultural livestock facility and a regional solid waste landfill.

Our Experience

  • Defeated a state's attorney's action to shut down a client's regional solid waste landfill, and secured legal authority to continue operating landfill through completion of filling.
  • Obtained local government approval to remediate a leaking landfill near St. Louis, Missouri by expanding its capacity and incorporating state-of-the-art features to ensure safe site operation.
  • Obtained numerous land use approvals and permits for commercial projects, residential developments, and pollution control facilities.
  • Successfully prosecuted an action protecting the client's right to continue operating its agricultural feed manufacturing business.
  • Successfully argued before Illinois Supreme Court on behalf of pork producer in landmark decision regarding land use regulations applicable to large confinement farming operations.
  • Secured dismissal of all felony counts in criminal environmental prosecution charging one of country’s largest privately held companies with water and soil contamination.
  • Represented major electric utility in successful defense of appeal of state environmental agency’s issuance of operating permit for coal-fired power plant.
  • Successfully negotiated consent decree on behalf of defendant in first nationwide settlement of a Clean Air Act enforcement action relating to ethylene oxide emissions.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of defendant in private cost recovery action relating to PCB contamination.
  • Defended manufacturing company, which avoided civil and criminal liability, in matter involving employee’s intentional falsification of federally mandated records.
  • Obtained approval of an environmental remediation for an open chemical and material storage area, and of an expansion of a special waste disposal unit over a closed RCRA hazardous waste site.
  • Prosecuted federal civil RICO claims against conspirators in bribery cases and schemes to fraud, and obtained substantial six-figure recoveries for the victimized corporation.
  • Obtained turnover of assets and property of a multi-million dollar company established through theft and conversion of target corporation assets.
  • Defended a chemical manufacturer in a toxic tort action claiming personal injury and economic harm as a result of an accidental hazardous chemical release, and obtained a jury verdict in an amount less than 10% of the claimed damages.