- EU Chemicals, REACH & CLP, Biocides & Pesticides
- Food & Dietary Supplements
- Pesticides & Antimicrobials
- Transportation of Hazardous Materials (DOT, IMO)
Steptoe attorneys provide effective representation for their clients in defending civil environmental enforcement actions by federal, state and local agencies. Steptoe attorneys aggressively advocate available defenses and look for opportunities for creative and cost-effective settlement where possible. Our range of experience includes:
- Self-reporting violations for maximum penalty mitigation, often including zero penalties
- Civil penalty defense and negotiation
- Economic benefit analysis and ability to pay defenses
- Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) offsets
- Comprehensive, multi-agency settlements and releases
For example, Steptoe recently negotiated an innovative Supplemental Environmental Project with EPA Region 2 that reduced our client’s penalty payment by hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Steptoe has a national practice in defending against white-collar, environmental, and health and safety criminal claims. Steptoe attorneys include former federal prosecutors from a wide variety of backgrounds including the Environmental Crimes Section of the Department of Justice, other sections of the Department of Justice, and various US Attorney’s offices. Steptoe attorneys defend both corporate and individual clients against state and federal environmental and health and safety criminal claims.
The following are examples of matters in which the firm has been involved:
- Defending a cement manufacturer in an investigation involving alleged storage, treatment and disposal of recycled materials constituting hazardous waste
- Defending an airbag manufacturer in a grand jury investigation and in plea negotiations involving an explosion that killed one construction worker and severely burned another
- Defending a company under investigation for alleged burning of hazardous wastes without required permits
- Defending an individual accused of hazardous waste violations
- Defending an employee of a large company suspected of violating an NPDES permit
- Defending individuals accused of fraud in the testing of generic drugs
- Representing a drug manufacturer’s employees in connection with a grand jury investigation of the manufacturer
- Representing a chemical company whose employees were accused of illegal disposal activities
The firm’s strong background in criminal law and knowledge of the underlying substantive areas have combined to provide the best possible representation in these cases. The firm has concentrated on applying the Federal Sentencing Guidelines for Organizations to environmental offenses and investigations and has worked with clients to assess the adequacy of the clients’ compliance programs under the Sentencing Guidelines.
The firm has also served as counsel to corporate clients conducting independent reviews of the adequacy of their environmental compliance programs. Projects have included compliance system investigations for manufacturers in the following fields: major electronics, petrochemical, chemicals, and cement.
The firm has also represented many clients in dealing with debarment and suspension from federal and state programs arising from environmental prosecutions.