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“Baker Botts is well known for its prowess in energy and environmental law.”
Chambers USA 2013 - Environmental

Client Quote: “Their work is consistently good, and they are able to design practical solutions.” “We use them for our high-profile and high-importance issues.”
Chambers USA 2013 - Environmental

Waste and Remediation

Baker Botts lawyers have substantial experience addressing a broad range of hazardous waste and toxic substance cleanup matters arising under the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (“CERCLA”), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”) and other federal and related state statutes. Our lawyers possess extensive experience addressing the full array of legal and technical issues associated with contaminated properties and complex environmental cleanups, having been involved in some of the most significant cleanup cases arising under federal and state environmental laws. Based on this experience, we have developed innovative and effective strategies to assist our clients when addressing environmental issues at these types of sites.

Our CERCLA experience includes serving as lead national counsel for Fortune 500 companies at some of the most challenging sites in the country and ranges from defending against federal/state claims to prosecuting private cost recovery actions and providing counsel on brownfields cleanups. One recent matter that brought all of our experience to bear involved representing a national metals mining and refining company in connection with $6.5 billion in environmental bankruptcy claims at more than 90 federal and state Superfund and related sites located in 17 different states and 6 EPA regions across the country. The U.S. Department of Justice describes this case as “the most complicated environmental bankruptcy in United States history.”

Baker Botts lawyers also possess substantial experience managing the wide array of regulatory, permitting and cleanup issues that commonly confront industrial and manufacturing facilities under RCRA. In connection with these matters, we have negotiated the terms of focused RCRA corrective action and post-closure care permits for completing corrective action work, contested and resolved numerous RCRA enforcement actions, challenged and defended RCRA permit decisions by federal/state regulators for hazardous waste facilities, and provided extensive regulatory counseling on RCRA’s complex cradle-to-grave management obligations for solid waste, hazardous waste and hazardous secondary materials.

Moreover, through our work with numerous remediation sites and voluntary cleanup projects we have developed novel and well-proven approaches for performing site cleanups and recovering cleanup costs from responsible parties. We work with technical experts and company leadership in prosecuting cost recovery actions against both private parties and the government, and have a track record of recouping costs from governmental entities that bear responsibility as former site owners/operators. We also help our clients cap and control remediation expenditures. We are leaders in effectuating “liability transfers” where the responsibility for accomplishing cleanup is assigned to a third party. We help to ensure that any such transfer arrangements offer companies better cost certainty, minimal tax consequences and the security that the transferee will stand behind his or her cleanup obligations.

Our waste and remediation experience includes:

  • Federal and state Superfund actions
  • Strategic permitting, counseling and corrective action for RCRA sites
  • Voluntary cleanups under numerous state programs across the U.S.
  • Brownfields redevelopment
  • Enforcement
  • Litigation
  • Legislative and regulatory development
  • Drinking water issues
  • Oil Pollution Act issues