Waste and Contamination REGULATORY AND GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS

For decades, WilmerHale has counseled clients through complex legal issues involved in the management of hazardous and non-hazardous waste streams and the cleanup and restoration of contaminated sites.


Our environmental lawyers help clients ensure compliance with federal, state and local statutes and processes that govern the generation, transportation, treatment and disposal of hazardous and solid waste and the restoration of natural resources, including the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Natural Resources Damage Assessment, and related state programs. We also represent clients in actions, including contribution claims, under the Oil Pollution Act, Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, and Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA)—or Superfund law—brought by federal, state and local agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and private parties. We have extensive experience defending claims for the restoration of public resources and groundwater in all phases of natural resource damage assessments under CERCLA, the Clean Water Act, the Oil Pollution Act, and related state authorities. Our team, which includes a former senior Department of Justice civil environmental prosecutor and skilled litigators who represent individual and groups of potentially responsible parties in disputes over the proper allocation of cleanup responsibility, has developed innovative solutions to difficult legal issues at many of the biggest cleanup sites in the United States.

Contacts

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Kirsch, Robert C.

Robert C. Kirsch

Partner

+1 617 526 6779 (t)

rob.kirsch@wilmerhale.com

Rachel Jacobson

Rachel Jacobson

Special Counsel

+1 202 663 6385 (t)

rachel.jacobson@wilmerhale.com

Gold, H. David

H. David Gold

Special Counsel

+1 617 526 6425 (t)

david.gold@wilmerhale.com

Heiple, Bonnie L.

Bonnie L. Heiple

Counsel

+1 617 526 6745 (t)

bonnie.heiple@wilmerhale.com

nathaniel_custer

Nathaniel B. Custer

Senior Associate

+1 202 663 6013 (t)

nathaniel.custer@wilmerhale.com

Connor, Michael

Michael Connor

Partner

+1 202 663 6063 (t)

michael.connor@wilmerhale.com

Gorelick, Jamie

Jamie Gorelick

Partner

+1 202 663 6500 (t)

jamie.gorelick@wilmerhale.com

Kirsch, Robert C.

Robert C. Kirsch

Partner

+1 617 526 6779 (t)

rob.kirsch@wilmerhale.com

Louis, Frédéric

Frédéric Louis

Partner

+32 2 285 49 53 (t)

frederic.louis@wilmerhale.com

Ratliff, John

John Ratliff

Partner

+32 2 285 49 08 (t)

john.ratliff@wilmerhale.com

Ross, Lester

Lester Ross

Partner

+86 10 5901 6588 (t)

lester.ross@wilmerhale.com

Salazar, Ken

Ken Salazar

Partner

+1 720 274 3131 (t)

Seyfarth, Martin

Martin Seyfarth

Partner

+49 30 20 22 64 30 (t)

martin.seyfarth@wilmerhale.com

Spielman, Andy

Andrew L. Spielman

Partner

+1 720 274 3161 (t)

andy.spielman@wilmerhale.com

Experience

  • Serving as lead counsel for defense groups in three major CERCLA proceedings and continuing to represent clients with significant CERCLA exposure nationally, including matters in New England, California, Florida, Missouri, New York and New Jersey.
  • Assisting a national renewable energy developer on all aspects associated with the permitting, development, financing, construction and sale of utility-scale solar generation facilities located on Superfund and state-listed brownfield sites in the United States, including the first and largest solar project to be developed on a Superfund site in the northeast, which received a development achievement award from the EPA.
  • Providing strategic regulatory advice and litigation defense regarding the expansion of a publicly controversial waste management facility, including navigating complex overlapping legal and political issues and environmental regulatory proceedings under siting and environmental impact statutes and regulations, and managing appeals and potential litigation under state Superfund and federal hazardous waste statutes.
  • Representing a state agency in a series of proceedings before a state utility board regarding an application to relicense a controversial nuclear energy facility and subsequent petitions regarding the decommissioning of the facility, including analyzing and advising on low- and high-level waste disposal, storage and transport; coordinating work with teams of technical and economic experts; litigating multiple rounds of hearings before a quasi-judicial expert panel; representing the client regarding post-closure and waste storage/disposal issues; and overseeing ongoing proceedings regarding the sale of the facility.
  • Advising one of the world's largest consumer goods companies on contamination and Superfund matters.
  • Providing counseling and litigation to a large defense contractor on environmental legal and compliance matters, including Clean Water Act issues, resolution of a contaminated property cost recovery claim, and evaluation of a potential cost recovery case.
  • Negotiating the settlement of CERCLA liability at a federally owned site on behalf of a government contractor that provided services at the facility.
  • Representing an international oil and gas company in litigation regarding the remediation of chemical dumping at a New Jersey river, one of the largest cleanups in the United States. 
  • Defending a former leaseholder against claims of liability for historical contamination at commercial property in Massachusetts.
  • Representing a biotechnology company in connection with cost recovery and property contamination claims, both defensive (against the US Air Force and Department of Justice) and offensive (against the former site owner).