Our Environmental Law Practice Group consists of both a focused environmental regulatory and transactional practice and a litigation practice that includes real estate, environmental, and natural resources. We are committed to effectively and efficiently serving our business clients while responding to shifting regulations and enforcement priorities. We do more than stay abreast of environmental issues; we advocate for our clients, who consider us part of their team of trusted business advisors.

While Bradley attorneys have extensive experience with knotty regulatory issues – such as compliance with the Clean Air Act and enforcement in highly regulated industries – we also provide sound, pragmatic legal advice to companies on transactional matters. We take a hands-on approach, venturing beyond our clients’ corporate offices and into the field – visiting plants, real estate holdings, and other sites – to respond to environmental issues with solutions that meet clients’ immediate needs as well as their long-term goals.

We have relationships with state and federal regulators that allow us to deal effectively to resolve clients’ issues.

Our environmental lawyers represent a broad range of clients in various industries, including:

  • Large corporate clients in manufacturing and heavy industry, with either direct responsibility at their own facilities or properties they are financing or developing
  • Real estate builders, developers, and construction companies in matters such as environmental assessments of property, purchasing and selling property, and related permits
  • Energy companies, such as solar companies, coal miners, natural gas developers and transmissions companies, refineries, electric co-ops, and biomass companies
  • Utilities, independent power producers seeking to put power on the grid, and pipeline companies that are operating interstate and intrastate with huge linear facilities
  • Financial institutions at the development stage, providing advice on brownfields or greenfield development associated with wetlands, and refinancing that may involve environmental assessments, compliance, and managing related risks factors that these liabilities pose to our clients
  • Insurance companies, brokers and policyholders, providing assistance in creating, defining, and obtaining coverage and writing manuscript policies
  • Retail gasoline service stations

For more about our approach to environmental law, see our pages devoted to Environmental Regulatory, Transactional and Litigation, Natural Resources Litigation, and Real Estate.

Notable Matters

  • Crafted amendments to EPA air regulations to allow international clients to build a new facility in Mississippi with new technology.
  • Represented two defendants involved in the Deepwater Horizon oil rig and the largest oil spill in the history of the United States.
  • Successfully defended Anadarko Petroleum in an Endangered Species Act and national environmental policy act challenge in the Southern District of Alabama to the lease of property from the United States in the Gulf of Mexico immediately after the Deepwater Horizon event for the purpose of oil exploration.
  • Represented a nationwide multifamily housing provider in investigating, managing, defending, and resolving environmental claims at its residential properties, including for mold, asbestos, lead, and other exposures.
  • Assisted an international real estate developer in a matter involving environmental contamination of a client-owned apartment complex caused by gasoline station operations of an adjacent landowner, including guidance regarding permitting access to the property for investigation, working with expert consultants for analysis of vapor intrusion test results, and negotiating agreements defining scope of environmental investigation.
  • Represented a client in a multiparty CERCLA cost recovery and contribution action brought by the owner of a contaminated property against prior owners and operators of the property seeking recovery of portions of a multimillion-dollar investigation and remediation costs.
  • Defended a consumer product manufacturer in premises liability asbestos cases in Illinois, Delaware, and California, including drafting motions that ultimately resulted in dismissal of all claims against our client.

Our attorneys work with clients across the country in regard to regulations of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and state equivalents that reflect those rulings, particularly in the Southeast, with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management and Tennessee Department of Environmental Compliance. We have worked with regulators for years, sometimes on opposite sides of the table in negotiating consent orders, and sometimes on the same side, working collaboratively to bring new industries to Southeastern communities. In this area, we handle permitting, compliance issues, and related administrative proceedings regarding notices of violation.

Among the environmental regulations that affect our clients most directly are those related to the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) involving Superfund matters. Given the strict and retroactive nature of CERCLA liability, we educate clients about the unique challenges that defenses pose to work through the process in the most cost-efficient way possible. For matters involving a large Superfund site with numerous different entities, we work toward arrangements among the various contributors with regard to long-term fiscal responsibility. We are prepared for issues that may resurface decades later, requiring further advice and responses on subsequent negotiations.

Our work also includes dealing with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Endangered Species Act, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which governs wetlands or navigable waterways in terms of construction projects. Our involvement regarding development extends to a state’s oil and gas board and, in Alabama, the Surface Mining Commission. If an environmental issue turns into a criminal prosecution, our experience extends to criminal cases that can arise in conjunction with compliance.

Bradley’s coordinated litigation team guides clients whenever any environmental problems end up in the court system. Our attorneys represent all types of industrial facilities, manufacturers, real estate companies and developers, mining companies, oil and gas companies, financial institutions, and others that face myriad legal threats and challenges.

We assist with a full range of matters, from common law issues and nuisance claims of factory pollution to alleged violations of various clean air and clean water acts. Our representation with regard to Superfund issues overlaps with our government enforcement and investigations practice. Some matters pertain to manufacturing facilities and related exposure to chemicals, such as toxic tort, class action suits, and multidistrict legislation. In our defense of two clients involved in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, we handled multiple lawsuits in several jurisdictions that ultimately were combined in multidistrict litigation.

Additional information is available on the following pages:

  • Real Estate Litigation
  • Natural Resources Litigation
  • Environmental and Toxic Tort Litigation

Our attorneys routinely conduct environmental assessments related to property transactions. We perform due diligence activities on mergers and acquisitions, environmental indemnities, and real estate transactions, for both the buyer and seller. On the seller’s side, such as for a bankruptcy or reorganization, our attorneys identify all environmental issues, including those relating to the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and schedules of notices of violations to provide to potential purchasers. On the purchase side, we advise our clients regarding these factors and develop warranties to protect purchasers from environmental indemnities.