Environmental law compliance is critical and requires oversight, understanding of permit requirements, and carries the potential for high fines when rules are not met.
WRVB’s environmental and alternative energy attorneys help clients understand and comply with complex and ever-changing federal, state, and local environmental laws. We find cost-effective and sustainable solutions to environmental compliance challenges and disputes.
Our services include:
- Agreements and contracts
- Enforcement matters
- Environmental audits
- Environmental litigation
- Environmental record-keeping and documentation
- Project financing
- Regulatory and statutory interpretation and compliance
We represent clients facing compliance challenges and enforcement actions for violating hazardous waste management regulations and provide guidance on how to best comply with complex regulatory requirements.
Our hazardous materials team advises on:
- Oil and hazardous substance spill prevention programs that adhere to state and federal regulations under the Oil Pollution Act (OPA 90), Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasures plans (SPCC), and Underground and Aboveground Storage Tank regulatory programs (UST and AST)
- Enforcement actions, reporting requirements, and litigation arising from oil spills and hazardous substances releases on behalf of vessel operators and shore facility operators
- Regulatory compliance programs and issues at the federal, state, and local levels concerning chemical storage tank compliance, releases, and collapses
- Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) hazardous and solid waste regulations and permits, enforcement actions, and citizen suits challenging waste disposal practices
- Superfund actions defense, including EPA cost-recovery actions and private party cost-recovery litigation
- Cleanup and reuse of former federal installations, including negotiating with the EPA to craft solutions that support business strategy operations, such as use of Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs) and other alternative compliance strategies
Companies and communities must understand and comply with their stormwater management requirements. We advise construction and industrial companies on stormwater permitting and compliance issues and to residential community associations on stormwater compliance and disputes with developers.
We also have extensive experience helping clients follow the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA), more commonly known as the Clean Water Act. Clients turn to our attorneys for assistance with Clean Water Act enforcement actions, permit disputes, regulatory compliance issues, oil spills planning and response, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wetlands determinations, and defending against Clean Water Act citizen suits. We also advise clients on ship discharge regulations and registration requirements.
We assist water clients with:
- Virginia Water Protection permits
- Virginia Stormwater Management permits
- Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act compliance
- Local zoning boards
- Riparian rights
- Clean Water Act
- National Pollutant Discharge Elimination Systems (NPDES) permitting
- Other local and state water pollution programs
- Wetlands regulations and permits
Companies often need permits and must perform emissions testing to ensure they meet Clean Air Act permit requirements. Our attorneys help with air pollution regulations and permits, including Title V permits and air toxics regulations. We also advise on environmental compliance aspects of federal and state contracts.
We’ve represented industrial facilities in air permits, enforcement actions dealing with unpermitted emissions, and permit emissions violations. We have counseled clients regarding violations of air emission requirements in the import and export of agricultural products, and we’ve handled disputes between industrial facilities over air emissions.
Alternative Energy Experience
Large-scale solar facilities are a relatively new phenomenon in Virginia. With the passage of the Virginia Clean Economy Act in March 2021, we are ready to help alternative energy developers enter the commonwealth and capitalize on opportunities including utility scale solar, renewables, and becoming an economic driver of job creation. We understand the energy and utility sector and the associated real estate and regulatory issues, and its complex tax structure.
From on-the-ground experience with alternative energy development to monitoring Virginia’s legislation around renewable energy, we have experience with land use, zoning and siting; easements and leases; regulatory compliance; purchase and sale agreements for membership interests; and financing in the complex energy industry.
Our attorneys help developers sort through issues from beginning to end while navigating challenges common to development. Our services include:
- Applications for Certificates of Public Convenience and Necessity to Convert
- Applications and permits for independent power producers
- Asset purchase agreements
- Environmental impact studies
- Interconnection agreements
- Review of existing leases
Real Estate and Business Transactions – Environmental Law Issues
You need a team that understands how real estate and land use laws apply to real projects. Our attorneys know land use and development involve a delicate balance between meeting the objectives of the developer and the requirements of the locality and elected officials, while not over-burdening a project and jeopardizing its ultimate success.
Our environmental attorneys have negotiated and reviewed environmental terms in hundreds of commercial leases and business transactions for every size of business. We have a well-versed team in the drafting and negotiation of provisions in asset purchase, sale, and M&A agreements.
Our experience includes corporate purchasing programs for commercial real estate developers, industrial expansions, renewable energy projects, shipyards, and waterfront development. We also counsel clients on complex Brownfield redevelopment projects, including strategies to fully benefit from Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) liability exemptions for prospective purchasers and contiguous landowners.
With diverse backgrounds that includes academic degrees in engineering and natural sciences and previous positions serving for and with federal and state environmental agencies, our environmental law attorneys are dedicated to helping clients meet regulatory requirements. We have prosecuted, as well as defended, civil and criminal environmental enforcement actions at the administrative, trial, and appellate stages.
- Administrative & Public Utilities
- Cannabis Law
- Community Associations
- Government Contracts
- International Trade
- Ship Repair & Construction
- Regulatory Compliance
- Community Benefit Agreements Can Enhance Environmental Justice
- They’re Back! DEQ to Resume Issuance of Landowner Liability Comfort Letters
- New Bat Rules May Affect Future Construction Projects, including New VDOT Tree Removal Limits
- EPA Sets Near “Zero” PFAS Drinking Water Health Advisory
- U.S. Army Corps Reissues Virginia Statewide Permits, but Excludes Mining Activities