Environmental Law and Litigation​​​

It is an easy thing to add a bullet to one’s website that reads “Environmental Law” or “Environmental Litigation.”

It is something quite different to be able to justify that bullet by having developed, day in and day out, over twenty years of experience at one of the South’s leading law firms in such complex, challenging, and, at times, confrontational topics as brownfields redevelopment, environmental due diligence, landfill siting, environmental justice, the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRKA), the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Clean Air Act (CAA) wetlands permitting, and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

The body of work of the lawyers at Barze Taylor Noles Lowther LLC provides such justification . . . and then some. It is a rare for a firm of our size, for example, that that can claim to routinely handle matters arising under the National Historic Preservation Act and associated federal and state historical and cultural resource laws. But that is one of the areas of practice that makes us unique.

It is also rare for a firm our size to be able to seamlessly synergize environmental counseling with environmental litigation. Here, our abilities and expertise are equally compelling. We received our training and significant experience in a large law firm environment representing some of the country’s largest electric utility companies. As a result, we have national experience defending and advising clients with regard to their environmental exposures. We have extensive experience in all federal environmental regimes. Our experience also extends to the defense of common law trespass and nuisance claims pursued against manufacturing and utility clients.

But don’t take our word for it. Consider the body of evidence.

Our representative experience includes:

Environmental Counseling and Compliance

  • Served as counsel to the Local Redevelopment Authority overseeing the environmental remediation and re-development of property formerly comprising the U.S. Army's Fort McClellan.
  • Counseled city in strategic effort to work with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to reach completion of a National Environmental Policy Act Environmental Assessment and obtain issuance of CWA Section 404 permit for construction of dam and 650-acre drinking water reservoir.
  • Directed and oversaw client’s successful efforts to implement National Historic Preservation Act obligations associated with economic incentives required of construction of steel mill complex in southern Alabama.
  • Successfully resolved impasse associated with negotiation of National Historic Preservation Act Memorandum of Agreement to enable issuance of critical permits and financing for major energy development in Mississippi.
  • Negotiated, with federal, state, and Native American parties, National Historic Preservation Act Memorandum of Agreement to permit development of municipal park in archaeologically and cultural sensitive area.
  • Negotiated settlements with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for various clients at different facilities to resolve inadvertent violations of Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act.
  • Represented property owner in the course of assessing and placing former industrial facility in downtown Birmingham into ADEM’s Voluntary Cleanup Program (Brownfields) and its subsequent sale to a third party).
  • Represented city, as host government, in negotiating host government agreement with landfill operator.
  • Represented landfill owner in efforts to obtain host government approvals for new and modified landfills.
  • Counseled national solid waste company in association with the environmental due diligence component of its transfer of multiple solid waste facilities in Alabama to new owner.
  • Successfully guided completion of completion of environmental due diligence measures and/or completion of Alabama Voluntary Cleanup Program (Brownfields) for various owners and prospective owners of environmentally impacted properties.
  • Successsfully negotiated resolution of National Historic Preservation Act compliance issues on behalf of railroad company in support of permitting of intermodal facility.
  • Successfully guided foreign client in completion of Section 404 permitting process to enable construction of manufacturing facility in southwestern Alabama.
  • Successfully resolved time-critical dispute involving National Historic Preservation Act obligations incurred by developer of large-scale solar farm in eastern Alabama.
  • Developed and oversaw submittal of comments successfully opposing listing of Eastern diamondback rattlesnake as threatened species under Endangered Species Act.
  • Successfully counseled client in environmental due diligence matters associated with purchase of natural gas facility and teamed with transactional team to resolve key contractual issues.

Environmental Litigation

  • Obtained dismissal of claims against plant manager in allegations associated with the inadvertent discharge of wastewater into adjacent river.
  • Obtained dismissal of claims against wastewater treatment works with respect allegations of downstream pollution.
  • Successfully negotiated settlement on behalf of cheese manufacturing facility with respect to downwind and downstream claims of negligence, nuisance, and trespass.
  • Obtained a multi-million dollar settlement for commercial nursery in a Clean Water Act lawsuit filed against neighboring business who were contaminating our client’s irrigation pond with agricultural pesticides and other chemicals.
  • Defended company against Clean Air Act citizen suit resulting in its voluntary dismissal with prejudice.
  • Successfully negotiated settlements with Alabama Department of Environmental Management for municipalities accused of violation state and federal water pollution regulations.
  • Represented company in opposing citizens’ mandamus proceeding under Clean Water Act (NPDES) resulting in denial of petition.
  • Defended fertilizer processor against environmental claims asserted by adjacent property owner (and related EPA claims) in federal court in Virginia.
  • Obtained dismissal of Clean Water Act lawsuit alleging that construction company contaminated the Cahaba River.
  • Obtained dismissal of a toxic tort exposure case alleging exposure to formaldehyde at manufacturing facility.
  • Represented utility companies in asbestos premises liability lawsuits filed by former contractors and their families seeking damages for mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis.
  • Represented commercial developer, as defendant-intervenor, in litigation in district court in Alabama defending issuance of a CWA Section 404 permit to it.
  • Represented host government city in challenging transfer of permit to new owner in violation of Alabama law and host government agreement.
  • Successfully negotiated with federally-recognized Native American tribes on a number of National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) matters sited in the southeastern United States.
  • Represented commercial developer in intervention in litigation in which environmental group alleged improper permitting associated with Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act in endangered Perdido Key Beach Mouse habitat in federal court in Florida.
  • Represented owner and operator of regional landfill against allegations of trespass, nuisance, environmental injustice, and violations of the SWDA and CAA.
  • Represented county, as defendant-intervenor, in defense of CWA Section 404 permit issued by Corps of Engineers for large-scale county road project.
  • Represented city, as defendant-intervenor, in defense of National Environmental Policy Act findings and related issuance of CWA Section 404 permit for construction of dam and drinking water reservoir.
  • Obtained summary judgment for refractory company in asbestos litigation and successfully litigated appeal in which plaintiffs sought to circumvent the Alabama personal injury statute of limitations by arguing CERCLA preemption.
  • After a week of jury trial, successfully resolved lawsuit filed against major nationwide retailer by adjacent property owner claiming property damage as a result of leaking underground gasoline storage tanks.
  • Resolved, for a nominal amount, a case filed against one of North America's largest producers of oriented strand board in which plaintiff claimed damage to his pond and property from storm water runoff and other alleged contaminants.
  • Defended German supplier of mining and tunneling equipment and safety systems in a class action (AL) and a mass action (WV) purportedly involving over 30,000 plaintiffs alleging exposure to polymeric diphenyl methane diisocyanate.
  • Successfully negotiated deferred prosecution of forester accused of illegal take of endangered red-cockaded woodpeckers.
  • Successfully negotiated settlement for landowner accused of violating CWA Section 404 by building unpermitted pond on hunting preserve.

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