Environmental Law and Litigation

Ring Bender’s attorneys have decades of experience as environmental and natural resource counselors and litigators across the full range of federal, state and local administrative and regulatory matters. Our clients are as diverse as our practice. We represent private and public businesses of all sizes, from major industrial corporations to property developers to family-owned businesses; municipalities and municipal entities like water districts and sewer authorities; tribes; trade associations; non-profit organizations; and, potentially responsible party (PRP) groups.

Our attorneys have been recognized by numerous Top Lawyer lists, including partner Christine Hein who was nominated and recognized through a rigorous peer and client review process by Chambers & Partners USA in the area of Environmental Law in Oregon. Ring Bender’s environmental attorneys are skilled litigators who aggressively defend our clients in environmental lawsuits, administrative enforcement proceedings, and in the appellate courts. We have successfully litigated 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.

Ring Bender also assists clients in commercial transactions involving environmental law and natural resource issues. We assist clients with brownfields redevelopment and financing; water rights permitting and transfers; prospective purchaser agreements; environmental due diligence for buyers and sellers; and, chemical labeling, licensing and distribution.

We represent clients all around the country, including in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, California, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, New York, and Florida. Our work includes all major federal and state environmental and natural resource regulatory schemes, including the Clean Water Act; the Clean Air Act; CERCLA  and state Superfund laws; RCRA and analogous state laws; National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and state statutes; the Endangered Species Act (ESA); renewable energy exploration, development and siting; municipal drinking water, wastewater and stormwater systems and litigation; OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Act) and Mining Safety Health Act (MSHA); California’s Proposition 65 statute; property development, land use and submerged land use; toxic torts; and, environmental criminal enforcement and prosecutions.

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 specialty chemical distributor in a complex, multi-party groundwater contamination lawsuit;
  • Representing a coalition of municipal water providers in appeals of contested water rights permits;
  • Representing numerous municipalities on issues related to drinking water delivery systems, including the development and preservation of water rights, combined sewer systems and compliance with NPDES permit and development and upgrades to sewer facilities;
  • 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;
  • Counseling the former owner of a contaminated property in one of the nation’s largest cities about the transfer of remedial obligations to the new owner;
  • 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 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;
  • Representing green technology client that developed new recycling process for waste tires;
  • 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.