Representative Matters

Rulemaking

  • Represent the American Petroleum Institute and the National Mining Association (NMA) in federal district court cases challenging the Department of the Interior’s recently-adopted regulations altering the valuation standards for paying royalties on federal oil and gas and federal and Indian coal production. The lawsuits seek to preserve central, long-standing principles of royalty valuation and fairness.
  • Representing the NMA and American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) in challenges to Environmental Protection Agency rulemakings under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).
  • Participating on behalf of NMA and AISI on federal advisory committees formed to advise the EPA on rulemakings.
  • Commenting on proposed RCRA rulemakings.
  • Meeting with senior EPA officials regarding proposed rules

Enforcement and Litigation

  • Served as counsel to a Fortune 500 metals manufacturing company on hazardous waste compliance issues, including a citizen suit regarding waste disposal practices and federal litigation challenging hazardous waste disposal and recycling regulations.
  • Represented a wholly-owned subsidiary, which owned the Lava Cap Mine in California between 1953 and 1989, in a liability suit for the cleanup of the Lava Cap Mine Superfund Site in Grass Valley, where the U.S. and California were seeking in excess of $30 million in cleanup costs. Conducted a trial on the company’s liability under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERLCA) and the court’s jurisdiction, while other issues were addressed by motions, which included the recovery of enforcement costs.
  • Representing industry clients in environmental enforcement cases and federal and state court litigation concerning historic mining and mineral processing properties across the country.
  • Litigating challenges before the Department of the Interior's Board of Land Appeals.
  • Challenging in federal court rulemakings adverse to the industry’s interests.
  • Representing companies in substantial Superfund cost recovery and natural resource damages issues under CERCLA, RCRA corrective action permit and administrative order proceedings, and “imminent and substantial endangerment” citizen suits under RCRA.  For example:
    • Represent an active steel mill, which also owns several historical properties within the Portland Harbor Oregon Superfund Cleanup site, the largest west of the Mississippi, that is one of ten performing parties in the cleanup. The site involves 250 liable parties, ongoing cleanup work, federal litigation, natural resource damages claims, and a 90-party non-judicial allocation process.

Regulatory Counsel

  • Advising purchasers and sellers of mining and mineral processing properties and companies in the hardrock and coal mining sectors of the environmental risks associated with historical mining and mineral processing operations.
  • Counseling senior management and boards of directors regarding historical remediation and natural resource damage issues, and environmental management systems.
  • Advising mining and mineral processing companies on the full range of environmental statutes, including the RCRA definition of solid waste and recycling/reuse issues, the applicability of the Bevill Amendment, Prevention of Significant Deterioration of Air Quality (PSD), and New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) issues under the Clean Air Act, and on various issues under the Clean Water Act and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
  • Representing clients with regard to a variety of issues associated with the development and approval of mine plans of operations, expansion of mining properties requiring federal approval, and the negotiation and defense of land exchanges involving public lands.
  • Providing legal advice on a broad range of issues related to leasing, development, and management of minerals on public lands, including oil and gas, coal, other solid leasables, and geothermal and hardrock mining under the Mining Law of 1872.
  • Advising companies on various environmental issues posed by efforts to redevelop inactive, contaminated iron and steel plant properties for other productive use.
  • Advised a new, West Coast steel facility in conducting due diligence investigations for site acquisition and in obtaining key permits for operations at a brownfield redevelopment site.
  • Advising metals companies on waste generation and management issues, including whether secondary material recycling practices constitute waste management, and how corrective action responsibilities emanating from historic waste management practices can be cost-effectively fulfilled.
  • Advising on the transboundary movement of metal-bearing materials, new environmental requirements imposed by international lending institutions, and assistance with the remediation of historic contamination at properties outside of the U.S.