Environmental/Natural Resources Law
Today, environmental laws and regulations impact virtually every business in America, large and small, public and private.
As a result, counseling our clients in the cost effective and sensible handling of environmental matters is of the utmost importance to Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP attorneys.
SGR attorneys have represented clients on environmental issues for over three decades. In 1970, one of our attorneys was the founding chairman of the Environmental Law Section of the State Bar of Georgia. Since that time, the Firm's environmental attorneys have been leaders in responding to the expansion of environmental law at the federal, state and local levels.
Our Environmental Law/Natural Resources practice area includes attorneys with backgrounds in engineering, science and environmental issues. Our attorneys lecture routinely on environmental issues and have been active, through the American Bar Association and other organizations, in shaping environmental laws and policies.
We have experience in environmental litigation, consultation and negotiation under the full range of environmental statutes, state and federal. We have handled a broad variety of permitting and compliance issues, including air quality permitting and compliance, land and water use, solid and hazardous waste management, underground storage tanks, hazardous materials transportation, hazardous material spill response and cleanup, and other matters relating to such statutes as the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and the Superfund law.
Smith, Gambrell & Russell also represents clients in connection with toxic tort litigation, environmental clean up litigation, enforcement actions, hazardous waste cleanups, landfill issues, and environmental citizen suits. Further, we regularly advise clients on environmental aspects of business and financial transactions, such as mergers and acquisitions and real estate transactions. Our clients include manufacturers, oil companies, hazardous materials transporters, real estate developers, lenders, chemical companies, insurance companies, municipalities and numerous other types of businesses, individuals and institutions.
Our environmental practice area's transactional attorneys assist our firm's merger and acquisition and real estate attorneys with environmental issues that regularly arise in mergers and acquisitions and real estate transactions, including substantial experience in the emerging fields of renewable energy development and ecosystem services valuation and monetization. The group's attorneys prepare and negotiate environmental language in agreements, coordinate and assist in the conduct of environmental due diligence, advise clients regarding permit acquisitions/transfers and advise clients regarding the regulatory compliance status of the selling entity.
Toxic Tort Litigation
The attorneys in our environmental group are leaders in the field of toxic tort litigation, including litigation arising out of alleged exposure to or contamination by such substances as benzene, CCA (chromated copper arsenate), MTBE, arsenic, silica, beryllium, gasoline, asbestos, mold and other substances. With offices in Georgia, Florida, New York, and Washington, D.C. our toxic tort litigation is focused in the Southeast and East Coast. However, our lawyers regularly handle such cases, including class actions, in state and federal courts across the country, from Florida to Michigan, and as far west as California. Our clients include chemical and other manufacturers, transporters, lenders, and vendors.
Hazardous Materials Group
The Hazardous Materials Group at SGR handles legal issues arising under federal, state and local laws dealing with hazardous waste and hazardous materials. The group represents PRP's ranging from major generators and owners of sites to de minimis PRPs in the Superfund process. The hazardous waste group also has substantial experience in handling RCRA corrective action orders, ranging from negotiation of consent decrees, remedial action plans and Part B permits to management of legal issues in site cleanups. We also handle regulatory enforcement and cleanup matters under state hazardous materials laws in the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast states. The group also advises clients on OSHA right-to-know compliance, SARA Title III compliance and other regulatory issues in hazardous materials and hazardous waste management, including registrations under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act ("FIFRA"), the control of PCBs and other hazardous materials under the Toxic Substances Control Act ("TSCA"), underground storage tank regulation and removal, and asbestos management and removal. The Firm also assists clients in designing and implementing emergency response plans.
The regulatory practice group handles regulatory work under state and federal environmental laws. This specialty includes: clean air and water, toxic substances, solid waste, energy, OSHA, community right-to-know, wetlands, underground storage tanks, pesticides, permit proceedings, compliance proceedings, notices of violation, legislative efforts and other environmental law and regulation issues. We also work to keep clients abreast of changes in applicable environmental laws and regulations, while regularly advising our clients regarding updates and new legislative and regulatory developments. The regulatory practice group has represented a number of clients before state and federal administrative bodies in matters involving alleged violations of permit terms. In an effort to avoid the necessity of such proceedings, the group works closely with clients to assure compliance with federal and state environmental requirements. When appropriate, our attorneys assist clients in establishing internal procedures for ensuring worker safety and achieving compliance with applicable environmental regulations.