Overview

Katten's Environmental Civil Litigation group understands the challenges that companies face when navigating the maze of federal, state and local environmental laws in their daily operations. We defend clients ranging from privately owned businesses to Fortune 50 companies in state and federal courts and before environmental and safety regulatory agencies.

Broad capabilities

Our clients operate in a variety of industries, including oil and gas, energy, chemical, refining, manufacturing, construction and transportation. We defend them in agency enforcement, citizen suits and private litigation arising under such statutes as the:

  • Clean Water Act
  • Clean Air Act
  • Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
  • Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act
  • Occupational Safety and Health Act
Managing the aftermath of a significant accident

Following a major environmental or workplace safety accident, companies often face both civil litigation from the surrounding community or injured workers and investigation by various government agencies. Our attorneys recognize that the inevitable surge of civil litigation can have consequences beyond just the financial, and we know how to mount a multifaceted defense that addresses these competing demands, even as our clients return to normal operations.

Government insight

Many of our litigators come from backgrounds in various government agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Justice. This gives us a deep knowledge of the statutes and a good feel for which administrative policies are currently in favor. Because we understand what the agencies are looking for, we have a strong track record of resolving matters out of court. But whether we settle early or try the matter to verdict, our clients rely on us to find the strategy most likely to achieve their goals.

"'They have experience, common sense and strategic smarts,' adds another commentator."

Chambers USA 2018
(Texas, Environment) survey response

Experience

  • Superfund
  • Represented PRP in one of the largest Superfund sites since the enactment of CERCLA. We represented a waste management company, a target PRP, in negotiations with other PRPs and managed private cost-recovery actions against recalcitrant PRPs which contributed to the subject groundwater contamination.
  • Represent joint defense group in state Superfund litigation related to cleanup of construction and demolition waste facility in Texas.
  • Citizen suit defense
  • Represented client in federal court case in Fort Smith, Arkansas, against claims of violation of RCRA hazardous waste requirements against an aircraft refurbishing facility. Resulted in jury verdict dismissing all counts against defendants.
  • Represent client on multi-state Toxic Substances Control Act enforcement case involving alleged violation of PCB rules and disclosure of violations under the EPA’s Audit Policy with no resulting gravity-based penalties.