Environmental Law and Litigation

Ring Bender’s environmental attorneys have over nine collective decades of experience as environmental and natural resource counselors and litigators.  That experience encompasses the full range of federal, state and local administrative and regulatory matters, as well as environmental and natural resource litigation in administrative forums, federal and state courts, and in similar forums abroad.  Our clients are as diverse as our practice and include private and public corporations and businesses of all sizes from major industries, property and energy developers, miners, municipalities, water districts, tribes, trade associations, non-profit organizations and potentially responsible party (PRP) groups.

Environmental and natural resource issues can be some of the most complex that a client will face.  Effective environmental counsel must be able to assist clients with exploration, investigation, facility siting and expansion, project development, litigation, insurance recovery, complex alternative dispute resolution processes involving dozens of parties, coordination of expert witnesses and consultants, remedial investigation/feasibility studies, and counseling on numerous other issues.  Ring Bender assists clients facing all of these issues, with strategic and cost-efficient service backed by years of experience and proven results.  Several of our attorneys have been practicing in this area since the advent of environmental laws in the 1970s and their depth of knowledge about the evolution of such laws and experience negotiating with regulatory agencies is invaluable to clients as they navigate the complex and often confusing requirements applicable to their industries or issues.

Ring Bender’s environmental attorneys are skilled litigators who aggressively defend our clients in environmental lawsuits, administrative enforcements proceedings, and in the appellate courts. We have successfully litigated, by way of example, multi-party contamination cases, disputed mining claims, contested water rights, hazardous waste enforcement actions, defended complex criminal environmental prosecutions, and pursued civil recovery on behalf of property owners whose property was damaged by spills.

Likewise, we have extensive experience assisting clients in commercial transactions involving environmental and natural resource issues, such as brownfields redevelopment and financing, timber harvests, water rights permitting and transfers, prospective purchaser agreements, environmental due diligence and chemical labeling, licensing and distribution.

The geographic scope of our practice includes clients and matters in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, California, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, New York and other states throughout the country which have in the past included Montana, Florida, Arizona, New Mexico, Alaska, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, the US Virgin Islands and Hawaii.  We recognize the often urgent nature of environmental matters and are completely accessible to our clients at all times.  We can be where you need us, when you need us.

The range of subject matter handled by Ring Bender attorneys includes all major federal and state environmental and natural resource regulatory schemes, including:

  • The Clean Water Act;
  • The Clean Air Act;
  • Federal and State Superfund;
  • Solid & Hazardous Waste Management and Disposal;
  • NEPA and SEPA;
  • The Endangered Species Act;
  • Energy Exploration, Development and Siting;
  • Environmental Management Systems and Due Diligence;
  • Property Development, Land Use and Submerged Land Use;
  • Municipal Utilities;
  • Toxic Torts;
  • Environmental Criminal Enforcement and Prosecutions.

Whether it is negotiating with regulatory agencies, managing environmental and natural resource permit applications, providing advice about the management of environmental liabilities or arguing your case in the courtroom, the Ring Bender team has the experience you need.

Representative Matters

  • Representing a former ship repair company and property owner in negotiations with EPA and other potentially responsible parties at  the Portland Harbor Superfund Site, in both the response cost allocation and NRDA allocation processes;
  • Defending a chemical distributor in a complex groundwater contamination case in the Complex Case Courts;
  • Representing a coalition of municipal water providers in an appeal involving review of a contested administrative order granting their municipal water rights extensions;
  • Representing numerous municipalities on issues related to their water delivery systems, including the development and preservation of water rights;
  • Representing a municipality with a combined sewer system regarding compliance with its NPDES permit;
  • Represented a municipality in negotiations with state regulatory agencies and private stakeholders in a major public works project involving the replacement of an aging sewer line with a state of the art buoyant line through a lake, including advising the municipality regarding public contracting and insurance issues;
  • Counseling the former owner of a contaminated property in one of the nation’s largest cities regarding transfer of remedial obligations to the new owner;
  • Representing a chemical company named as a potentially responsible party at a former drum reconditioning Superfund Site in a major metropolitan area;
  • Defended a multinational food processing corporation in OSHA enforcement proceedings brought  and providing ongoing counsel regarding compliance with OSHA;
  • Defended a mining contractor in enforcement proceedings brought by the federal Mine Safety & Health Administration and provide ongoing counsel regarding compliance with MSHA;
  • Represented a private developer of an urban brownfield that converted vacant contaminated property into an upscale downtown mixed-use project in cooperation with local and state authorities.
  • Represented and counseled a multinational pharmaceutical manufacturing company in negotiations with EPA regarding wastewater pretreatment issues at its facilities in rural communities;
  • Represented the developer of a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal on various aspects of local, state and federal permitting issues and consultation under the Endangered Species Act;
  • Represented a tribal corporation regarding tax implications of an online business;
  • Represented a natural gas pipeline developer on local, state and federal environmental permitting, including under the Clean Water Act and state equivalent, the Endangered Species Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and state land use requirements;
  • Represent golf course owner on sale of water to natural gas developers;
  • Represent large industrial manufacturer of products produced with reclaimed waste materials on wide range of environmental permitting, compliance and project development issues;
  • Represent green technology client that developed new recycling process for waste;
  • Represent a municipality in actions to obtain compliance at industrial landfill site, including litigation in state court and federal bankruptcy court;
  • Counseled solar energy developer on various aspects of environmental law at multiple sites, including endangered species issues, site contamination problems and transfers of liability for current and future site conditions.