Lane Powell is one of the Pacific Northwest’s leading law firms in environmental law, with extensive experience ranging from consulting on compliance matters to prosecution and defense of major environmental claims. The Firm’s environmental attorneys are specialists in the many facets of environment law from the local to federal level, with a proven record of successfully representing real estate, retail, industrial and business clients.
Lane Powell attorneys provide skillful counsel on environmental due diligence in the acquisition of companies, assets and property, including Phase I and Phase II investigations and facility compliance assessments. The Firm’s attorneys — some of whom have engineering degrees — serve the needs of developers, operators of industrial facilities and properties, environmental, engineering and design professionals, and assist clients in all phases of the design and construction process, including:
- Preparation of contracts for private and public projects.
- Allocation of environmental risks.
- Negotiation with regulatory agencies.
- Representation in litigation, regulatory proceedings and other forums.
Lane Powell has considerable expertise in negotiating and litigating on behalf of energy, utility and industrial clients, which typically presents both regulatory and environmental challenges including compliance with the Clean Water Act; Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA); the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA); and state laws, including the Washington Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA), Oregon Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Materials statute, and Alaska’s Hazardous Substances Act. The Firm’s lawyers also had significant roles in the California energy crisis litigation and obtained positive results for our clients.
The impact of environmental law on transportation activities also is familiar ground for Lane Powell. The Firm represents national and regional transportation companies including railroads, intermodal operators, marine operators and builders, commuter rail and regional transit entities and pipeline companies in regulatory and environmental planning, compliance and risk-management matters.
As part of Lane Powell’s environmental law presence, its Sustainability and Climate Change group of attorneys work with businesses seeking competitive advantage through new “green” products offering reduced environmental impact, as well as with companies striving to improve labor, supply chain, distribution and production practices. In this new regulatory environment, Lane Powell helps its clients be proactive instead of reactive.
Lane Powell has a strong record on brownfield site development with public agencies, developers, property owners, and transporters and generators of hazardous materials. The Firm’s attorneys help scope the legal and environmental requirements of clean-up, manage negotiations with regulators and lenders, and protect clients from assuming a disproportionate share of clean-up expenses.
Lane Powell also has assisted clients in resolving disputes, litigation and claims for natural resource damages over large and small oil spills and other hazardous substance releases.
In addition, Lane Powell frequently represents clients in federal Superfund and state environmental clean-up litigation in state and federal courts. The Firm litigates environmental clean-up cases with skilled trial practitioners who have brought numerous federal and state cases to verdict for a broad array of clients, including multi-national petroleum companies, pipeline operators, chemical companies, national truck-stop owners and railroads, as well as commercial and individual property owners.
Air and Water Quality
Lane Powell represents industrial, commercial and insurance clients in litigation arising from exposure to mold, toxic chemicals and “sick buildings.” The Firm litigates complex toxic tort cases with skilled trial practitioners who have brought numerous federal and state cases to verdict. In addition, we advise clients on how to minimize liability at the outset.
Lane Powell is considered at the forefront in representing clients on water quality and wastewater discharge matters arising under state or federal law. The Firm was involved in the first appeals of National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits in the 1970s, and has worked with clients on each round of permit re-issuance since then. The Firm also assists clients on stormwater and non-point source discharge issues, including 60-day notices and lawsuits brought by third parties to enforce state permits issued under the Clean Water Act.
Water rights is another Lane Powell strength, with successful representation of industrial, agricultural, commercial and residential clients on the strategic acquisition, perfection and/or transfer of water rights, as well as related administrative proceedings.
Shorelines and Sensitive Areas
Lane Powell has represented clients in admiralty regulatory changes affecting shoreline property. Also, the Firm has successfully represented operators of industrial facilities from claims of damage to adjoining shoreline properties.
Fisheries and Endangered Species
Lane Powell counsels clients on fishing regulations, Forest Practices Act, Indian treaty fishing rights and other laws affecting land use near fish-bearing waters. The Firm’s attorneys regularly defend fishing vessels in regulatory hearings, defend maritime death and injury claims, manage hull and machinery insurance disputes, and handle banking and financial transactions for the fishing industry.
Endangered Species Act listings have triggered new legal responsibilities for many businesses, landowners, developers and governmental entities. The Firm’s attorneys are experienced in steering clients through the permitting process.
- Managed environmental due diligence for aerospace company in Arizona and Hawaii company acquisitions.
- Represented trustee in environmental due diligence for a distressed plywood company at several major industrial facilities.
- Assisted national petroleum marketer in service station acquisition activities with environmental contamination issues.
- Served as lead plaintiff’s counsel for energy company and truck-stop owner in successful prosecution of cost recovery/contribution claims under the Oregon Clean-up Law involving the largest petroleum clean-up site in state history.