Environmental Litigation

Our team of litigators and experienced trial lawyers represents clients in federal and state courts and before administrative tribunals in enforcement proceedings involving natural resources and other media under all environmental laws and statutes.

Our attorneys take a risk assessment approach to litigation, while also rigorously defending against criminal and civil challenges to our clients' projects. We represent corporations and individuals throughout the United States in government enforcement actions arising under federal and state programs regulating waste streams, hazardous materials, water, air, and other natural resources. We assist clients in the mining, oil, gas, and other natural resource industries in the defense against citizen suits that arise in the absence of, or supplemental to, government actions. We are particularly experienced in defending against claims brought under the citizen suit provisions of such federal environmental statutes as the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the Toxic Substances Control Act, the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act, and others.

As members of one of the most active and respected product liability practices in the country, our litigators also represent clients in toxic tort and liability matters related to environmental hazards and have won verdicts in some of the toughest jurisdictions. We assist clients in administrative litigation over proposed regulations that may impact their businesses. Through our frequent engagement in administrative litigation defending (or attacking) agency records related to energy and other project developments, we know how key agencies make decisions and are meticulous in the maintenance of comprehensive administrative records throughout the process to defend those decisions. No matter how great the challenge facing our clients, Venable's skilled and experienced environmental litigators are armed with solutions.

Criminal Enforcement

Venable’s Environmental and White Collar Litigation Practice Groups leverage extensive, first-hand experience to guide clients through all facets of environmental enforcement, including high-stakes criminal matters.

With team members who have held positions in the Justice Department Environment Division and in a major U.S. Attorney’s office focusing on investigation and prosecution of environmental crimes, we have handled enforcement matters as both prosecutors and defense counsel.

In an effort to avoid civil or criminal cases, our team can assist clients with responding effectively and efficiently to government requests for information and investigations. Our multi-disciplinary approach combines detailed knowledge of complex state and federal environmental regulatory schemes with extensive trial defense and appellate court experience to help keep enforcement matters from becoming criminal investigations. In the instances where an investigation or enforcement action does turn into a criminal matter, our team is fully prepared to defend clients at all stages of the investigation and prosecution.

Equally important, disciplined implementation of a risk-based compliance plan is often the best defense to demonstrate an organization’s commitment to environmental compliance and corrective action to a potential prosecutor if violations are revealed. Well-crafted and executed internal compliance plans can also promote meaningful community engagement to establish positive relationships between an organization that must manage environmental risks and its neighbors. We assist clients in the development of internal auditing and compliance plans that can identify potential problems before they develop into a government enforcement matter.