We are at the forefront in helping clients achieve their business goals while maintaining compliance with complex Environmental laws and regulations. The scope of our services ranges from proactive planning and training to representation in contested cases and court appeals. Our global team of lawyers has substantial experience with all of the major and emerging regulatory acts and programs, including: the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, Toxic Substances Control Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Interior Department statutes and Proposition 65. This also includes EU environmental laws, such as the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) and the Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive.
We bring value to our clients in the following ways:
- Integrated services. We assess environmental management programs and assist clients with developing and implementing environmental policies and procedures, training programs and compliance audit programs. Our lawyers collaborate with technical consultants, as well as permitting authorities and environmental protection groups, to facilitate successful outcomes for our clients.
- Deep industry experience. We have decades of experience addressing issues that arise when expanding or modifying an existing facility or product line, building a new facility or developing a brownfield site. Our lawyers counsel real estate developers, lenders and corporations in developing strategies to deal with potential environmental risks arising from property acquisition and divestment.
- Strategic perspective. Our lawyers are well versed in the many reporting obligations in environmental laws that can be triggered by the release or discharge of substances. We help organize, and have been key players on interdisciplinary teams handling, environmental crisis management issues, including major plant closures, landfill remediation, multi-site polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) cleanups and other projects involving the coordination of legal, technical, scientific and public relations disciplines.
Our work; representative matters
We help clients maneuver the complex labyrinth of permitting authorities and stakeholders to obtain authorizations so that a project can proceed. Our lawyers provide tailored advice to successfully manage all phases 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 against third-party challenges.
Relevant matters include representing:
- One of the largest U.S. power plants in a CWA Section 316 thermal discharge variance and intake technology permit proceeding. Directing a team of experts, Sidley helped the client obtain a final permit and incorporated suggestions for wetland restoration, fish ladders and biological research.
- One of the nation’s largest publicly owned treatment facilities in the review and enhancement of its pretreatment permitting and enforcement program.
- A leading California water district on CWA issues, including successful intervention on behalf of the permitting agency in an administrative proceeding upholding a state-issued National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit.
- TransCanada on the environmental issues raised by the high-profile Keystone XL Pipeline and the Gulf Coast Pipeline. We successfully represented our client against efforts to secure a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to block the start of construction.
- A private equity firm in identifying and addressing the environmental issues raised by the acquisition of a specialty chemical manufacturer in Michigan, including an evaluation of compliance with REACH, Proposition 65 and wastewater discharge regulations applicable to the chemicals industry.