Numerous federal, state and local agencies require permits for business operations that affect the environment.
Often, the requirement of a permit is neither obvious nor intuitive. For instance, it may not occur to a client that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has permitting authority over a proposed project that includes dredging in a river, or that a pond in a corn field is a wetland that requires state (and possibly federal) approval before it is disturbed. A client planning to expand its production facilities may not realize that, in some instances, air permits must be completed before certain construction activities may begin.
Ice Miller's environmental attorneys work with clients to identify required permits, create realistic permitting timelines and, if necessary, help obtain required permits so that projects and business operations move forward smoothly, efficiently and on time.
We also have experience challenging permits that impose unrealistic or impractical conditions. For example, a municipal wastewater utility may conclude that the limits imposed by its NPDES permit are not technically or economically feasible. Our environmental attorneys are in the forefront of total daily maximum load/water quality-based effluent limits challenges to NPDES permits issued by state environmental agencies.
Ice Miller's environmental lawyers also have experience helping our clients ward off challenges to valid permits obtained by our clients from federal, state and local agencies. We have helped clients whose permits have been challenged for a variety of reasons by neighbors, competitors and public interest groups.
Environmental laws invest federal, state and local governmental agencies with the authority to enforce laws designed to protect natural resources and the environment. When environmental incidents occur, these agencies may bring administrative or judicial enforcement actions. Our team of environmental lawyers pro-actively assists clients with understanding their legal obligations, developing strategies for reporting environmental incidents, working with agencies to create appropriate corrective actions and creating long-term plans to assure that such incidents do not recur.