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Environmental Litigation

Ice Miller lawyers have extensive experience in all types of environmental litigation.

We can vigorously defend and protect you, your company or your community when you are sued, and we can aggressively pursue environmental actions to hold polluters responsible if your property is contaminated by another party.

Environmental disasters can threaten the existence of a company and the health and welfare of an entire community. Ice Miller lawyers have an established reputation for assisting clients during environmental crises. In those situations, you need experienced lawyers able to help you minimize exposure and manage relationships with local media, law enforcement and regulators.

Watch our environmental video here.

Lawsuits involving damage to the environment can arise under a number of complex state and federal environmental statutes, rules and regulations, as well as the common law. Ice Miller has been handling such cases since the advent of environmental law. We routinely defend and prosecute lawsuits on behalf of both public and private entities seeking cost recovery from liable parties for the expense associated with investigating and remediating contaminated property, including claims involving CERCLA (Superfund). Ice Miller acts as counsel for plaintiffs, defendants and third parties, including groups of potentially responsible parties (PRPs), in both federal and state court.

Ice Miller also has significant experience handling administrative appeals of environmental matters, such as orders issued by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM), the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA), the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the appropriate administrative agencies and administrative law judges. We also have experience seeking judicial review of administrative rulings.

Ice Miller lawyers represent businesses and individuals under investigation for environmental crimes, including alleged violations of the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, and Resources Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). We have the knowledge, skill, and experience to represent clients at every stage of criminal enforcement actions, including search warrants, grand jury proceedings, internal investigations, trials and appeals.

Representative Experience

  • City of Indianapolis, Indiana:  The City of Indianapolis has engaged Ice Miller to handle its Brownfields litigation and redevelopment.  Ice Miller has litigated several such claims for the City that sought the recovery of millions of dollars in past and future environmental remediation costs.
  • Irving Materials, Inc.:  Irving Materials has asked Ice Miller to assist it with regard to various environmental rights and liabilities on several occasions.
  • City of La Porte, Indiana:  Assisted the City of La Porte with regard to the redevelopment of the former Allis-Chalmers site, including a lawsuit that sought to recover the cost of environmental remediation.
  • Vertellus Specialties, Inc.:  Ice Miller has represented Vertellus and its predecessors in environmental litigation for decades.  Our representation includes defense of toxic tort actions and defense and pursuit of CERCLA contribution claims, some of which involve contamination that occurred almost 100 years ago.
Additional Experience
  • Ertel Manufacturing Site:  When Ertel Manufacturing Company went out of business, it left behind extensive soil and groundwater contamination from its valve guide and engine parts foundry and manufacturing operation on the near North side of Indianapolis.  The City of Indianapolis and nearby neighbors sought to abate the nuisance, remediate the contamination and redevelop the site.  Ice Miller's environmental attorneys represented the City of Indianapolis in a large environmental cost recovery action against Ertel and its historic general liability insurers, and successfully obtained a refund of the environmental response costs and legal fees that had been expended to address the problem.
  • White River Fish Kill:  When the White River experienced a massive fish kill that spread for over 50 miles, Ice Miller's environmental attorneys were engaged to defend the company accused of triggering the event.  We assisted the company with all aspects of the resulting cases, which included civil and criminal cases, and lawsuits brought by both private citizens as well as state and federal regulatory agencies.  We also assisted the client in pursuing its primary, excess, and excess umbrella insurance carriers to enforce its defense and indemnity rights under the policies.
  • Dry Cleaners:  Dry cleaners have long provided highly valued and needed services.  Unfortunately, many of these historic dry cleaning operators have inadvertently created large environmental problems, including plumes of chlorinated solvent contamination.  Ice Miller has a large practice devoted to the dry cleaning industry, and we represent a significant number of owners and operators.  We help them investigate and remediate their properties, where necessary, and obtain funding to recover or reimburse environmental response and removal costs as well as attorney's fees.
  • Service Stations:  Ice Miller has assisted a number of clients in the oil and gas industry with environmental liabilities arising from current and former gas station sites.  These sites, often embedded in residential neighborhoods, are very often involved in cost recovery actions under federal and/or state law, and Ice Miller's litigators have significant experience defending such claims.
  • CERCLA/Superfund:  Our environmental litigators have extensive experience in CERCLA (Superfund) litigation.  In one recent case, we represented a company that was alleged to have contributed lead from batteries and scrap metal to a Superfund site.  The company was targeted as a third party defendant by the primary PRP (potentially responsible party) group, but we were able to show that our client was immune from suit under an exemption for arranging for the recycling of recyclable materials found in the Superfund Recycling Equity Act.  We obtained a dismissal of the case and an award of attorneys' fees.

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