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Industries & Practices

Environment, Energy & Natural Resources

Government mandates and stakeholder expectations force businesses to interpret and comply with a broad range of environmental, energy, and natural resources laws. These businesses rely on legal counsel to navigate potentially hazardous scenarios and explore new opportunities. Clark Hill Environmental and Energy attorneys use industry-specific expertise and deep legal knowledge to provide practical and responsive advice.

Environmental Regulatory and Litigation Practice

Industrial, real estate, and financial clients work with Clark Hill to define, defend, and mitigate environmental liability risks and ensure regulatory compliance.

We provide permitting and compliance counsel to regulated facilities, environmental due diligence in transactions, and defend environmental claims and government enforcement actions.  Manufacturing, transportation, retail, utility, oil and gas, chemical, construction, and project development companies receive guidance from our team in daily compliance matters,  make-the-company transactions, and in bet-the-company litigation.

In corporate mergers and acquisitions, real estate sales, and financing, our EENR attorneys design and perform due diligence reviews and audits, negotiate and structure transactions to ensure compliance and minimize environmental liabilities, and direct post-Closing compliance corrections and remedial actions.  We counsel financial lenders and guarantors on liability risks and regulatory obligations arising from foreclosure and collateral management.

In Superfund-type environmental cleanups and Brownfield developments, we assist in site assessment and remediation strategy, and we retain and direct remediation consultants and negotiate closure obligations with governmental agencies.  In large scale or complex remediation enforcement cases, we have represented large-share/Lead PRPs and act as joint counsel to PRP groups in group formation, remedial response negotiations, cost allocations and settlements, and cost-recovery actions against non-cooperating PRPs.  We regularly represent individual PRPs in site cleanup enforcement cases and cost-recovery claims.

Clients regularly seek assistance from our EENR permitting and compliance attorneys to assess the applicability of rule and permit obligations and to negotiate, obtain, and defend State and Federal permits issued under the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and RCRA. We also help demonstrate compliance during governmental inspections and environmental audits. Our team assists clients in developing wetlands and protected habitats by providing CWA jurisdictional analyses, negotiating Corps-issued Clean Water Act permits, defending wetlands-related enforcement actions, replacement and restoration orders, and representing property owners in drainage and riparian rights disputes.

We defend regulated companies in State and Federal agency administrative and judicial enforcement actions under the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, RCRA, nuclear waste and radiation-licensing statutes, the Endangered Species Act, and toxic substance laws such as the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) and the Federal Insecticide Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) (PCB, pesticide, and asbestos abatement).

Energy and Renewables Practice

Due to our experience in wholesale and retail energy markets, all segments of the energy sector are included in our client list, ranging from renewable energy developers/operators and large energy users to natural gas pipelines and shippers to liquified natural gas developers and offtakers.

Regarding wholesale electricity markets, we regularly advise clients on their efforts to interconnect with and participate in the markets administered by independent system operators (ISOs) and regional transmission organizations (RTOs), as well as any regulatory needs raised by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). We represent many of the nation’s largest renewable energy developers, as well as several prominent energy trade associations.

In the retail energy market, we counsel clients on project development, energy procurement, energy contract negotiation, regulatory risk and opportunities, policy and legislation, compliance, enforcement, and the energy-related aspects of facility expansions. We also regularly assist clients as they evaluate and implement projects involving energy efficiency, demand response, onsite generation, renewable energy projects, and energy infrastructure.

Our team handles transactions unique to the natural gas pipeline and LNG industries, and we regularly advise our clients on commercial contracts, offtake and shipper agreements, project development and finance, joint ventures, commodity purchase and sales, leases, throughput agreements, tariff agreements, and M&A.

We also assist where energy and environmental law intersect on such issues as greenhouse gas emissions, climate change regulation, and environmental and natural resource assessments of energy infrastructure projects.