Representative Experience

Represented Teck Metals, Inc. in developing and successfully negotiating transnational agreement with the EPA and DOJ in a cross-border contamination case involving discharges from a mining and smelting facility in Canada.

Defeated a novel attempt by environmental organizations to expand scope of federal environmental laws to claim locomotive diesel emissions at client-operated rail yard violated RCRA.

Handled Endangered Species Act issues of first impression in litigation relating to impacts on two species of sturgeon in connection with relicensing of dams on Yadkin Pee Dee River in North Carolina and South Carolina in connection with two Duke Energy hydropower facilities.

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    • Defended CERCLA cost recovery actions in California, Georgia, Missouri, South Carolina and Texas and multiple other states.
    • Successfully litigated and advocated for defense contractor and other parties in CERCLA actions and related appeals stemming from solid rocket fuels use and disposal on defense contracting sites.
  • Clean Air Act
    • Representing Coalition for Clean Air Implementation, a group of trade associations challenging an environmental organization’s effort to reopen several Clean Air Act regulations affecting the coalition’s members.
    • Won unanimous decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit in challenge to EPA’s stringent new standards regarding permissible air emission levels when incinerating sewage sludge.
    • Assisting Renewable Fuels Association in addressing issues arising under EPA’s Renewable Fuels Program, including a challenge to EPA’s 2014-2016 Renewable Volume Obligations.
    • Represented Air Products in enforcement proceedings initiated by U.S. EPA for air toxics emissions from Air Products’ Calvert City, Ky., facility
  • Clean Water Act
    • Represented the metallurgical coke making industry in challenge to EPA’s effluent limitations guidelines for the iron and steel source category.
    • Defend a forest products company in a Clean Water Act citizen suit in federal district court brought by an environmental group claiming stormwater violations.
  • TSCA
    • Defending Santa Monica Malibu School District in precedent-setting California District Court Toxic Substances Control Act action regarding PCB in school building materials pitting TSCA policies’ compliance against strict statutory interpretation.
    • Representing a multinational defense, security and aerospace client in responding to EPA enforcement action regarding PCB materials regulated under TSCA.
  • Endangered Species Act
    • Successfully represented Brookfield Renewable Energy in litigation filed by environmental groups regarding Endangered Species Act claims at four hydropower plants in Maine.
  • Other Matters
    • Won denial of plaintiffs’ preliminary injunction request seeking shutdown of thousands of California’s oil wells based on contamination risk. This win preserved California’s energy supply and avoided billions in costs.
    • Achieved victory for environmental underdog with a damages award of 3.5 times court-determined restoration costs plus $300,000 in attorneys’ fees, sending a strong warning to would-be conservation easement violators.

Practice Area Highlights

Named U.S. News - Best Lawyers2014 “Environmental Law Firm of the Year”; achieved Tier 1 National Environmental practice and Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, DC metropolitan rankings.

Home to two of the “World’s Top 25 Environment Lawyers,” according to Euromoney.

Pillsbury’s Environmental practice ranked by Chambers USA in the national, California and Washington, DC categories (2016) and The Legal 500 U.S. recognized Pillsbury for excellence in environmental litigation (2016).