Environmental Law

Overview

Bode & Associatesí environmental practice has achieved an impressive reputation by working on some of the nationís largest and most complex environmental cases. The firm represents clients before the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), state environmental agencies, and in private party litigation. For example, in a Federal court case, the firm represented a buyer of commercial property found to be contaminated by an automobile manufacturer. In that case, the firm obtained a ruling that state law rendered the polluter and seller of the land liable for environmental damage under common law trespass and negligence theories and under CERCLA.

Members of the firm are conversant with CERCLA, RCRA, the CAA, CWA, LUST, and other statutory/regulatory environmental laws. The firm has prepared comments for its clients on proposed rulemakings by various government agencies, including the EPA. The firmís Managing Partner, William H. Bode, has served as General Counsel to the Environmental Business Association.

CERCLA

The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), also known as Superfund, provides broad Federal authority to respond directly to releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances that may endanger public health or the environment. Specifically, CERCLA:
  • Establishes prohibitions and requirements concerning closed and abandoned hazardous waste sites;
  • Provides for liability of persons responsible for releases of hazardous waste at hazardous waste sites; and
  • Establishes a trust fund to provide for cleanup when no responsible party could be identified.
CERCLA authorizes short-term removals, where actions may be taken to address releases or threatened releases requiring prompt response. CERCLA also authorizes long-term remedial response actions, that permanently and significantly reduce the dangers associated with releases or threats of releases of hazardous substances that are serious, but not immediately life threatening. These actions can be conducted only at sites listed on the EPAís National Priorities List.

RCRA

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) places controls on the generation, transportation, treatment, storage, and disposal of hazardous waste, and establishes a framework for the management of non-hazardous waste. Further, RCRA establishes liability for owners and operators of facilities that fail to comply with RCRAís statutory regime.

RCRA has provisions relating to the regulation and enforcement of regulations for Hazardous Waste (Subtitle C), Solid Waste (Subtitle D), and Underground Storage Tanks (Subtitle I). Also, under RCRA, there is a comprehensive program for regulation of underground storage tanks and underground tank systems (USTs).

RCRA provides the Federal government with the authority to authorize states to implement and enforce hazardous waste regulations and requirements as long as the state programs are as stringent or broader in scope than the Federal regulations. As such, most states have their own hazardous waste laws and regulations.


State Environmental Laws

http://www.lawvianet.com/lawsregs.html

Useful Environmental Links

http://www.fulbright.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=weblinks.site&site_id=303

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