Emergency Response & Compliance Counseling
Our experienced team advises clients before, during, and after crisis events—from emergency response and communications planning to boots on the ground in the aftermath of a catastrophic event. We conduct roundtable discussions with key client personnel to identify internal responsibilities and chains of command in a crisis. Beyond the extraordinary, we help clients comply with and maximize opportunities presented by the complex web of environmental, health, and safety (EH&S) regulations. We help to find solutions that are consistent with management and compliance goals as well as regulatory trends and company cultures.
- Working with companies in response to employee injury, employee fatality, and other catastrophic events, including the initial investigation stages through potential litigation.
- Immediately responding to a three-fatality propane gas explosion at client's facility. A multidisciplinary team was rapidly formed comprised of over a dozen lawyers, some of whom spent over a month on-site, assisting the client in the aftermath of the explosion. The environmental and OSHA lawyers on the team managed the regulatory reporting and weeks-long investigations, coordinated inspections and evidence recovery, recovered useable product, facilitated recovery of employee personal belongings (including cars impacted by explosion debris) and oversaw all regulatory aspects of demolition and reconstruction.
- Immediately responding to a major landslide at a client's facility which resulted in significant quantities of a soils and ash, as well as vehicles and equipment being deposited into a navigable body of water. In the immediate aftermath of the event, our multidisciplinary team provided advice and counsel in connection with removal and recovery efforts and environmental reporting obligations. We then coordinated the "root cause" analysis of the event, provided counsel in the assessment of the environmental impact of the event and in responding to governmental requests for information.
- Immediately responding to explosion and fire at client’s chemical plant resulting in hospitalization of two employees and release of chemicals to the environment. We coordinated the root cause analysis, the corrective action requirements and the environmental investigation and remediation. We also represented the client in the related lawsuit brought by the state, negotiated an early return to production and negotiated a favorable settlement that included plant improvements and a more than 70% reduced penalty in lieu of the state’s original penalty demand.
- Assisting a food industry client with evaluation of six-figure penalty demand by USEPA for EPRCA reporting violations, and successfully negotiated with USEPA to reduce the penalty by over 50 percent.
- Assisting clients in dealing with reportable spills and releases, particularly as they relate to adverse impacts to the environment, and the potential for exposure to employees, neighbors and customers.
- Counseling clients for over 30 years on all aspects of environmental law, including the CAA, CWA, CERCLA, EPCRA, ESA, FIFRA, NEPA, OPA, RCRA, SDWA and TSCA. We have represented clients in a wide array of industries, including pulp and paper, electric utility, foundry, steel making, chemical production, general manufacturing and health care.
- Advising clients on broad facility compliance programs, including compliance auditing and implementing corrective strategies.
- Advising clients on a wide range of OSHA compliance matters, including the Hazard Communication Program, lockout tag-out, blood borne pathogens, respirator programs, employee noise exposure, and general injury reporting and recordkeeping obligations.
- Investigating and resolving OSHA citations and enforcement actions.
- Defending employers before both federal and state OSHA agencies.
- Representing clients in front of the OSHA Review Commission and appealed OSHA Review Commission decisions to the circuit courts of appeal.
- Assisting clients in the planning and evaluation of construction projects. Our experience extends from the review and evaluation of environmental impact statements to the quantification of potential increases in emissions or discharges, with a particular emphasis on quantifications required by New Source Review provisions of the Clean Air Act.
- Assisting clients in developing capital project screening tools and checklists to ensure that projects with potential environmental impacts are properly evaluated.
- Representing clients in responding to governmental requests for information and documents under major environmental laws and minimizing the risks associated with such requests.
- Providing immediate advice to a clients in response to requests governmental inspections and conducting post inspection evaluations.
- Assisting clients in identifying and self-disclosing violations of state and federal environmental and safety laws at their facilities.
- Undertaking comprehensive evaluations of client EH&S policies and procedures and participating in internal audits of individual departments and facilities.