Steve Leifer is the firmwide chair of Baker Botts’ Environmental Department. He handles a broad range of environmentally-related litigation, including toxic tort and products liability cases, insurance recovery actions, civil and criminal governmental enforcement proceedings and environmental bankruptcy claims. He is national counsel to petroleum and chemical companies with respect to product liability cases across the country. He handles a number of personal injury and property damage claims, including multiple class actions, arising out of alleged exposure to hazardous substances and litigates CERCLA claims against both the government and private parties.
Mr. Leifer provides counsel to a number of leading chemical, oil and gas, utility and manufacturing companies on remediation and compliance issues arising under Superfund, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act (EPCRA), the Clean Water Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, pesticides and toxic substances legislation, DOT requirements and similar programs, including reporting obligations, cleanup standards, consent decree and consent order negotiations, permitting and all areas of environmental management and compliance.
Mr. Leifer also assists companies in managing environmental liabilities associated with acquisitions, mergers, loans and other business transactions, including conducting pre-acquisition due diligence reviews, drafting indemnity agreements, procuring environmental insurance and resolving disputes.
Before entering private practice, Mr. Leifer worked for eleven years for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In his most recent position at EPA, he acted as director of the Hazardous Waste Enforcement Division, where he supervised policy development and litigation support activities for the CERCLA, RCRA and EPCRA programs.
Publications, Speeches and Presentations
- “CERCLA Section 309, State Law Limitations Periods,”Environmental Law360, July 20, 2010
- “Burlington Northern’s Impact on the Superfund Liability Scheme,” Strafford Webinar, February 2, 2010
- “New Developments Under the CERCLA Enforcement Program,” ACI Expert Forum on Environmental Regulation and Enforcement, January 20, 2010
- “Settlement Policy and Practice as a Centerpiece of the Superfund Program,”Law of Environmental Protection, Environmental Law Institute, 2008 ed.
- “A Safer Environment,”Legal Times, February 4, 2002 (Jamie Conrad, co-author)
- “Nonferrous Foundries in the Cross Hairs: Dealing With EPA’s Tough Stance on Foundry Sand,”The Crucible, March/April 2000 (Michael Slattery, co-author)