Overview

We represent clients in civil lawsuits, criminal and administrative enforcement actions, permit disputes and appeal proceedings. Our environmental litigation experience includes citizen suits, toxic tort claims, common law tort claims, federal and state statutory claims, class actions and cost-recovery cases.

Members of our Environmental practice have defended cases and advised on high-profile enforcement actions involving all major federal environmental regulations including:

  • Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA, or Superfund Act)
  • Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA)
  • Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA)
  • Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA)
  • Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)
  • Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)
  • Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)
  • Clean Air Act
  • Clean Water Act

Our work also involves handling siting disputes for hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal facilities; landfills; utilities; and chemical and manufacturing plants. We also help clients minimize environmental liabilities in bankruptcy proceedings.

Members of our group have established relationships with federal and state regulators and legislators, as well as with peers and technical consultants in the environmental field. Our litigators also have significant trial experience before state and federal courts. We build on this experience to advocate for our clients and provide efficient representation that brings favorable results.

Experience
Representative Experience
  • Defending citizen suits brought under the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) against such diverse entities as a municipal airport, a rubber products manufacturer and a sanitary landfill.
  • Defending chemical manufacturing and aerospace companies in environmental, toxic tort and employee exposure cases.
  • Serving as common counsel in numerous Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA or Superfund) cases involving groundwater, surface water and stream sediment contamination.
  • Defeating proposed national class actions involving the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and other claims.
  • Defending and settling a federal court class action involving persistent chlorinated hydrocarbon contaminating 20 miles of a nearby stream.
  • Representing one of two defendants in the White River (Indiana) fish kill case involving federal, state and class action claims seeking civil damages and penalties exceeding $50 million and federal criminal prosecution under the Clean Water Act.
  • Defending chemical, manufacturing and utility companies in federal and state enforcement actions under EHS laws.
  • Siting of landfills and defeating opposition by neighbors.
  • Defending claims relating to odor, noise, traffic and migrating offsite methane gas allegations made by hundreds of citizens living near a landfill.
  • Assisting a large manufacturer with structuring its reorganization plan to maximize the discharge of prepetition environmental liabilities resulting from confirmation of the plan.
  • Advising a major unsecured creditor during a Chapter 11 proceeding regarding appropriate valuation of the debtor’s prepetition environmental liabilities.
  • Defending natural resource damage claims in numerous states involving sediment, groundwater and related contamination
  • Defending and prosecuting multiphase CERCLA litigation, as well as litigation involving state equivalents of CERCLA.
  • Defending white-collar criminal cases involving plating and refinishing plants, the scrap and drum recycling industries, heavy manufacturing and chemical-handling facilities.
  • Representing a major air pollution control device manufacturer in response to third-party subpoenas in cases involving coal-fired power plants.
Podcasts
Environmental L.A.W.S.: Learning from the Past and Planning for the Future
August 5, 2020

A discussion between Thompson Hine partners Devin Barry and Joel Eagle

In this podcast, Devin shares some observations on clients’ compliance challenges arising from COVID-19, and discusses with Joel how these challenges can be used to develop future COVID-19 compliance and enforcement defense strategies. Join us for this lively discussion that will be of interest to in-house counsel and EHS managers interested in proactively addressing compliance as the pandemic continues to create challenges throughout 2020.

Environmental L.A.W.S.: Manufacturing Plant Closures: Legal Compliance & Strategic Decision-Making for Investigation, Remediation & Sale
September 1, 2020

A discussion between Thompson Hine partners Andy Kolesar and Wray Blattner.

In this episode, Andy shares his insights on strategic considerations for companies closing former manufacturing plants (something happening more frequently as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic) that can lead to favorable outcomes in terms of complying with legal requirements, conducting cost-effective cleanups and maximizing the sale price. Andy and Wray discuss the pros and cons of mothballing former manufacturing properties, the risks and benefits of Phase II sampling to help quantify cleanup costs, long-term risk management considerations, and the key elements of effective corporate-wide plant closing and remediation programs. Join us for this lively discussion that will be of interest to in-house counsel, EHS managers and corporate real estate professionals who are facing (or will face) the challenges presented by plant closures.