Hazardous Substances and Wastes

Farella Braun + Martel's Environmental Law Department has substantial experience advising and representing clients in all areas involving hazardous substances and wastes, including regulatory compliance counseling, site remediation and cost recovery, health and safety, and enforcement defense.  Our Hazardous Substances and Wastes practice combines compliance-focused attorneys and litigators whose collective depth allows us to meet our clients' needs in any engagement, large or small, public or discrete.  Farella Braun + Martel is one of the few firms able to offer clients a multidisciplinary team of attorneys to handle the many facets of a hazardous substances and wastes matter.  We seamlessly integrate attorneys within our environmental practices as well as toxic tort litigation, white collar criminal defense, insurance coverage, land use, real estate, construction, employment, and corporate practices.

Farella environmental attorneys have counseled and defended a variety of industrial and other corporate clients on hazardous waste and hazardous materials administrative, civil, and criminal matters.  Several of our partners prosecuted Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) actions during their tenure at the U.S. Justice Department's Environmental Enforcement Section.  Our hazardous waste/hazardous materials regulatory counseling work ranges from seeking permits and permit revisions, appeals of permit decisions, to analyzing complex hazardous waste regulatory interpretation issues.  We have advised clients regarding negotiating, and implementing RCRA corrective actions, and defended federal and state enforcement proceedings in California, Oregon, Arizona, New Mexico, and Hawaii.

We have represented Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs) at federal and state Superfund sites around the country, advising PRPs regarding site remediation as well as cost recovery.  We have managed consultants, located and organized PRPs, negotiated the terms of administrative consent orders, devised strategies for responding to administrative directives for investigation and remediations, negotiated and participated in cost allocation proceedings with other PRPs to devise workable cost allocation schemes, negotiated with federal government PRPs to obtain funding, and crafted strategies for the pursuit of recalcitrant parties.  We have successfully prosecuted and defended cost-recovery actions in a variety of Western states.  Through this work, we have developed substantial experience in the technical issues affecting allocation of liability for chlorinated solvent plumes, including fate and transport, groundwater modeling, risk assessment with an emphasis on vapor intrusion issues, and natural attenuation or degradation product liability claims.

Our Health & Safety experience covers a range of environmental health and safety subspecialties, including OSHA and Cal/OSHA compliance counseling, due diligence reviews, regulatory representation, and defense of civil and criminal enforcement actions.  We have conducted and overseen investigations of workplace accidents and defended clients against citations issued by OSHA (or state equivalents).  We have also investigated and defended "whistleblower" allegations involving power plant facilities, power transmission facilities, geothermal plants, the natural gas industry, radioactive waste and disposal facilities, and oil refineries.  We work with our white collar crime attorneys to defend clients against criminal prosecution of occupational safety violations by state and local authorities.  We also have more than a decade of experience relating to pipeline safety, including U.S. Department of Transportation regulatory issues surrounding the safe operation of natural gas and hazardous liquid pipelines.