Regulatory Agency Advocacy and Rulemaking Challenges Industry faces ever higher expectations for compliance with state and federal mandates. The Bracewell Environmental Strategies Group assists companies to develop, implement, and continually improve strategies for cost-effective compliance under all the major environmental programs, including the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the Toxic Substances Control Act, the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, and the Endangered Species Act, among many others. Our attorneys are widely recognized for their strength in auditing, audit disclosures and compliance management systems. We represent clients in enforcement proceedings and incident investigations, including parallel civil and criminal actions in high-profile matters. Remediation and Superfund We represent manufacturers, chemical producers, energy companies, and others in the full range of contamination matters, including site remediation, Superfund (CERCLA) litigation, cost recovery negotiations and natural resource damages claims. Our experience extends to water and watershed areas; municipal and rural properties; industrial and brownfield sites; energy-sector facilities; landfills; and river, stream, lake and sediment issues. Strategic Permitting The Environmental Strategies Group represents applicants in all aspects of the environmental permitting process, from scoping regulatory and permitting requirements across all media and disciplines during the early stages of project planning, to pre- application counseling and application development, negotiating permit terms and conditions with permitting agencies, working with consultants and stakeholders during the administrative review process to ensure timely permit issuance, and negotiating reasonable settlements with project opponents to help our clients reach project milestones and avoid negative publicity. Throughout this process, we focus on strengthening permit applications and bolstering the administrative record to help bulletproof project permits against potential challenges. Our lawyers regularly defend permits in contested-case proceedings and administrative and judicial appeals. Where appropriate, we assist clients in proactively engaging organizations and communities seeking to slow or derail the permit process. Water and Wetlands The Environmental Strategies Group has particular depth in water quality issues. We regularly assist clients with federal and state Clean Water Act Section 402 permitting, compliance and enforcement matters related to wastewater and storm water discharges, and we provide strategic guidance on evolving regulatory and policy matters that have financial or operational significance for their facilities. We counsel clients in all major industries, including power, refining, chemicals, onshore and offshore oil and gas, terminals, technology and industrial publicly-owned treatment plants. Wetlands law is a major focus in environmental enforcement and permitting and a significant tool for project opponents. We represent clients in wetland compliance, permitting and civil and criminal enforcement matters. Our experience includes litigating and settling enforcement actions; negotiating permits both before and after wetland impacts; and defending our clients’ permits in federal court, both independently and as co-defendants with the U.S. Government.
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