We regularly represent clients facing complex issues under federal, state and local environmental and natural resource laws and regulations. The scope of our practice ranges from early planning and day-to-day questions to representation in contested cases and court appeals. Our lawyers have substantial experience with the CWA, CAA, TSCA, RCRA, OSHA, Interior Department statutes, California Proposition 65, EU REACH, EU RoHS, emergencies raised by spills or accidents, and other emerging regulatory programs.
Clean Air Act (CAA) We assist clients with EPA and state agency rulemaking proceedings and follow-on judicial review proceedings; obtaining permits with advantageous conditions and defending those permits against third-party and EPA challenges; and developing and implementing systems, programs and tools to ensure compliance with the CAA, including tracking CAA developments, and developing process flow charts and checklists that guide clients through CAA requirements.
Clean Water Act (CWA) Our lawyers counsel clients on a variety of compliance and permitting issues, having successfully obtained variances, special rules and favorable permit terms under sections 402, 404 and 316 of the CWA. We have developed reference manuals and other guidance materials to assist clients with their CWA obligations. In addition, we have advised many clients respecting the jurisdictional issues arising under both sections 402 and 404 of the Act.
Chemical Regulation Sidley helps clients evaluate and develop chemical management systems under Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and a variety of European and state programs. We advise clients on compliance with the obscure and often misunderstood PCB regulations established under TSCA. We also assist companies in navigating the boundaries between TSCA and other chemical management statutes, including FIFRA, the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act, California Proposition 65, Europe’s Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals Regulation (REACH), and chemical security requirements.
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Sidley represents clients in RCRA regulatory and counseling matters. Our work in this area has included: representing a variety of industrial clients in RCRA rulemaking challenges; appealing RCRA administrative decisions, including permit issuances, closure plans and other RCRA administrative actions; assisting clients with corrective action obligations; and drafting and negotiating RCRA permits.
Release Reporting Our lawyers are well versed in advising clients with respect to the many reporting obligations in environmental laws that can be triggered by the release or discharge of substances, including obligations under CERCLA, the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), the Oil Pollution Act (OPA), CWA, and their state counterparts. Some states, like California, have dozens of disclosure laws, and we have the experience to provide sound and timely advice on these complex provisions.
Permitting Regardless of the size of the project, Sidley’s Environmental lawyers are aware of the care that is required in maneuvering the complex labyrinth of permitting authorities and stakeholders to obtain required authorizations on favorable terms that will allow a project to proceed. We have decades of experience in strategically addressing the full range of state, regional and federal issues that arise when expanding or modifying an existing facility or product line, building a new facility, or developing a brownfield site. We help clients successfully manage all phases and aspects of the permitting process, from the earliest stages of pre-permit and pre-construction planning, to negotiating and obtaining flexible permit terms, to appealing permitting actions and defending permits or projects against third-party challenges. Our lawyers are skilled in working with technical consultants as well as internal and external project stakeholders — including permitting authorities and citizen groups — to facilitate successful outcomes for our clients.
Environmental Management Systems Environmental laws exist not only to address environmental problems but to prevent those problems from arising in the first instance. We assist our clients in assessing their environmental management programs and developing and implementing environmental policies and procedures, training programs for both environmental specialists and plant managers, compliance audit programs, chemical management programs and other environmental management systems. We help organize, and have been key players on interdisciplinary teams handling, major plant closures, landfill remediations, multi-site PCB cleanups and other projects involving the coordination of legal, technical, scientific and public relations disciplines. In addition, we counsel real estate developers, lenders, and corporations in developing long-term plans and strategies designed to deal with potential environmental risks arising from property acquisition and divestment.