Representative Matters - Environmental Crimes

Clean Air Act (CAA)

  • Secured the successful dismissal of an indictment against an in-house counsel accused of orchestrating false reporting of air emissions information.
  • Won acquittal on all Benzene Waste Operations National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (BWON) claims against a petroleum refinery.
  • Won a reversal on appeal of a criminal judgment against a chemical manufacturing client for alleged BWON violations.
  • Represented an automobile technician facing criminal CAA charges relating to allegations of falsifying vehicle emissions arising from a national enforcement initiative titled “Operation Clean Scan.” A favorable probationary sentence was obtained, along with a minimal fine.
  • Represented a third-party operator in the power industry targeted in a combined state/federal criminal investigation of alleged CAA violations at a contract facility.

Clean Water Act (CWA)

  • Secured the first deferred prosecution agreement in an environmental crimes case. Following extensive negotiations, federal prosecutors agreed not to criminally charge our client in connection with its operation of two wastewater treatment facilities and reporting requirements under the CWA. Under the terms of the deferred prosecution agreement, the client agreed to pay a fine and institute changes in its operation and environmental oversight.
  • Represented an engineering company and its president in a grand jury investigation of advice rendered to a real estate company regarding dredging and filling of an alleged wetland. The Department of Justice (DOJ) declined prosecution after a lengthy investigation. Representing a manufacturing company in connection with a multi-facility federal grand jury investigation of alleged CWA and other violations related to the illegal dumping of hazardous waste, bypassing of a treatment system, illegal waste disposal, and failure to report waste releases.
  • Conducted an internal investigation on behalf of a coke manufacturer involving potential noncompliance with certain regulatory requirements under the CWA and CAA.
  • Completed an internal investigation into a matter involving the rupture and substantial release from an interstate oil pipeline. Following an internal investigation, the matter was resolved with a corporate misdemeanor plea and fine. No felony charges were filed against the company or its employees.
  • Represented a county employee accused of falsifying wastewater reports and indicted for CWA violations. Defense resulted in a favorable plea, involving a probationary sentence and a minimal fine.
  • Represented a CEO and a food grease recycling company in a CWA investigation. The matter was resolved with a probation sentence for the executive and a nominal fine for the company.
  • Represented an oil and gas manufacturer in connection with a criminal investigation of water discharges from its terminal. Following an internal investigation where minor civil CWA violations were identified, information was voluntarily disclosed, and the matter was resolved with an administrative consent order and payment of a small penalty.

Endangered Species, Wildlife, and Lacey Act

  • Represented a municipality under investigation for alleged violations of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) involving the taking of four tipton kangaroo rats. The DOJ declined criminal prosecution and entered into a civil settlement.
  • Defended an international wireless telecommunications company against a criminal enforcement action initiated under the ESA, MBTA and Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. Advised the company on possible exposure to liability, counseled company officials through a federal grand jury investigation, and pressed the company’s position to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and DOJ’s Environmental Crimes Division. The DOJ declined prosecution after a lengthy investigation.
  • Conducted an assessment of Lacey Act compliance and key risks for a major multinational company. Retained thereafter to audit roughly eighty suppliers of wood-based products.

Hazardous Wastes/ Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)

  • Secured a declination on behalf of an official with a manufacturing company under investigation for hazardous waste disposal violations. The company pled guilty, but the state declined prosecution of our client following a full investigation.
  • Represented an owner of a real estate development company under criminal investigation for alleged violations arising from abandonment and demolition activities that caused a substantial release of pollutants into a river. Following a presentation to the government, a declination was secured.
  • Conducted an internal investigation for a major energy company facing allegations relating to RCRA violations at an experimental reactor laboratory station. After conducting an internal investigations and overseeing compliance improvements, the company was able to avoid criminal charges, as well as all civil fines and penalties.
  • Represented an oil company in a criminal investigation into a pipeline release.
  • Representing a major chemical company in connection with a criminal investigation regarding potential violations of the RCRA.