Environmental, Natural Resources, & Energy

Regulatory Counseling / Permitting

Stites & Harbison's attorneys have a depth of experience under federal, state, and local environmental laws and regulations, including Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA); Hazardous Waste and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA); the Clean Water Act (CWA); Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA); Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) and the Clean Air Act (CAA).

The group's attorneys . . .

  • Regularly defend mining companies against enforcement actions taken by federal and state regulatory agencies
  • Assist clients in obtaining environmental permits, permit transfers, waivers and variances for mining and mineral development projects
  • Develop comments and participate in legislative and agency rulemaking activities to shape the rights and obligations of mining clients
  • Represent a client regarding the permissible reach of limitations on an owner's ability to mine on property protected by the Kentucky Wild Rivers Act
  • Work with trade associations to clarify regulatory requirements for access to mined property
  • Obtain a federal court injunction against the federal Office of Surface Mining to prevent threatened federal enforcement when an operator was caught in a disagreement between state and federal regulatory agencies
  • Challenge numerous agency regulations and rulemakings at the program level, achieving delays in implementation and favorable settlements in several others
  • Represent a coal company in its successful effort to obtain a permit to construct and operate the largest coal ash landfill in Kentucky despite a determined permit challenge by citizens
  • Oversee RCRA Facility Investigation for a cement kiln, a chemical company, a trustee in bankruptcy for a chemical company, and an airport
  • Assist in licensing commercial hazardous waste facilities.
  • Advise paint company in investigation of accidental release of chemicals into soil and groundwater. Defending the company in enforcement actions by state and federal government and federal citizen suit.
  • Defend enforcement actions and responding to information requests by state and federal agencies regarding RCRA compliance, negotiating compliance schedules/agreements with state and federal agencies
  • Initiate citizen suits on behalf of an industry client affected by an adjacent industry’s contamination of its property which migrated onto Stites’ client’s land.
  • Demonstrated that notices of violation were inappropriate because the wrong waste characterization methodology was used by the state.
  • Successfully defended a Title V air permit issued to a gas-fired peaking power plant challenged by a well-financed citizen’s group through administrative hearing and appeal
  • Advise large aluminum manufacturers about compliance with primary and secondary MACT regulations for hazardous air pollutants and responses to EPA’s information demands
  • Negotiate various Consent Decrees with USEPA and state agencies to settle enforcement actions concerning, among other matters, hazardous air pollutants, new source review allegations, risk management, and operating without a valid permit
  • Advise industries regarding changing requirements, such as EPA's decision to include lead and sulfuric acid contained in fork lift batteries in reporting under Section 302, 311, and 312
  • Advise and defended national client regarding herbicide licensure requirements
  • Advise farm owners on acquisition and sale of agricultural properties and due diligence regarding the environmental regulatory consequences of those transactions, including hazardous waste liabilities, application of appropriate ASTM standards, Clean Water Act compliance, and conservation easements
  • On behalf of farmers and agricultural trade groups and growers, the Firm successfully challenged a state’s wastewater discharge permit for large-scale animal production facilities (concentrated animal feeding operations or CAFOs)
  • Represent metropolitan water authority in challenge of upstream municipal wastewater plant regarding the permitting process’s compliance with regional planning requirements and with effluent limitations
  • Represent industry consortium in developing cumulative impact analysis to support application for Section 404 dredge and fill permits
  • Assist international municipal waste collection and disposal company on issues ranging from landfill expansions and local solid waste management plan amendments to citizen suits, sale of several landfills, including permit transfers, and satisfaction of key personnel reporting requirements
  • Assist in obtaining local government approval for landfills under the Tennessee Jackson Law
  • Represent company in federal citizen suit for alleged violation of subtitle D and imminent and substantial endangerment
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Press Releases

Stites & Harbison Welcomes Walter J. Dunn

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Stites & Harbison, PLLC welcomes attorney Walter J. Dunn to the firm as a Member (Partner).

by Walter J. Dunn March 10, 2021