Beveridge & Diamond anticipates, advises on, and proactively manages sensitive multi-stakeholder interactions and risk management related to environmental justice.
We represent multinational companies, regulated utilities, and municipal clients in identifying, assessing, and managing EJ risks and opportunities through tailored EJ audits, specialized project management counseling, policy development and implementation, and guidance during environmental permitting and enforcement matters with heightened EJ-related risks.
Our focused EJ practice brings together a group of seasoned litigators and regulatory attorneys who have helped clients proactively identify and address EJ risks and opportunities as they have evolved over the decades. Many of our practitioners worked on EJ matters while serving as high-level government officials during tenures at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), including: overseeing civil settlements and criminal actions centered around EJ issues; serving on the Obama Administration’s White House Task Force on Environmental Justice; assisting with the reorganization of EPA’s External Civil Rights Compliance Office, which oversees civil rights enforcement for EPA; and advising on and supporting EPA’s response to the Flint drinking water crisis and related congressional hearings.
In addition to our specialized EJ expertise, the depth and breadth of B&D’s capabilities in environmental law and policy —including ESG, air and climate change, project development and permitting, water quality, and waste management—gives us the comprehensive knowledge necessary to guide clients on the complex circumstances underlying EJ considerations and effectively design risk mitigation strategies.
Our substantive experience is complemented by our relationships with various stakeholders, including government agencies, NGOs, and industry groups, which enable us to strategically coordinate and manage the complex dynamics and issues that EJ presents. We regularly organize and participate in EJ conferences, bar and industry initiatives, and webinars, including organizing an annual CLE panel on EJ at the National Bar Association’s Annual Convention for over a decade, sponsoring the National Environmental Justice Conference and Training Program, and leading the American Bar Association’s Special Committee on Environmental Justice. We co-produce “Groundtruth,” an EJ-focused podcast series, with the Environmental Law Institute, regularly publish articles on EJ developments, and are frequently quoted in trade press that assess EJ-related developments.
“We must advance environmental justice for all by implementing and enforcing the Nation's environmental and civil rights laws, preventing pollution, addressing climate change and its effects, and working to clean up legacy pollution that is harming human health and the environment.”
— Executive Order 14096 (2023)
Our services include:
- Internal corporate audits (conducted under privilege) and independent EJ reviews to meet increasing stakeholder demand for greater transparency
- Identification of emerging compliance risks, based upon definitions of EJ communities under federal and state law
- Site-specific and enterprise-level EJ assessments and risk mitigation strategy development under privilege
- Development of corporate EJ policies, implementation plans, and governance counseling in alignment with corporate ESG programs and policies
- Defense of and strategic counseling for enforcement actions, investigations, audits, and crisis management related to EJ issues
- Identification of opportunities for engagement with federal and state government officials overseeing EJ matters and representation during outreach
- EJ-focused counseling during the project permitting process
- Federal funding application preparation, including the development of Community Benefits Plans
- Development and deployment of EJ training for corporate leadership, legal teams, and other relevant employee groups addressing issues relevant to EJ
- Tracking and reporting on federal, state, and international EJ developments, including a 50-state survey
Corporate Environmental Justice Network (CEJN)
B&D facilitates a members-only industry forum dedicated to fostering education, resources, candid discussion, and solutions-focused strategies for companies that wish to meaningfully consider and incorporate EJ in their work. For more information about CEJN benefits and membership, please email [email protected].