Environmental Regulatory Compliance

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Complying with complex federal, state, and local environmental laws is a challenge for many businesses. At Dickinson Wright, our clients look to us for day-to-day practical advice regarding environmental compliance with laws and regulations governing solid and hazardous waste, remediation, air quality, and water quality.


Our philosophy is to assist clients in evaluating and quantifying environmental risks so they can make informed business decisions and facilitate the resolution of environmental issues before a problem arises. However, we also provide education and advice to protect our clients from liability for past contamination and prior non-compliance with environmental laws and regulations.


  • Appearing before regulatory bodies

  • Filing administrative and judicial appeals

  • Conducting internal environmental audits and pursuing audit immunity and privilege

  • Responding to government audits and information requests

  • Pursuing permits for development and operations

  • Coordinating short term and longer term legal responses to industrial incidents

  • Illuminating new and existing regulatory requirements

Enforcement:  We regularly represent clients in enforcement matters before federal and state environmental regulators, challenging allegations of non-compliance and assisting clients in mitigating potential penalties while responsibly addressing agency concerns.  Please see our Site Remediation and Environmental Litigation pages for additional information.      


Environmental Audits: We regularly participate in environmental compliance investigations for our clients in congruence with federal, state, and local laws. As a preventative measure, we evaluate the availability and effectiveness of federal and state audit privilege and immunity laws.  We also advise clients on OSHA requirements, as well as asbestos and lead notice, abatement and operations and maintenance requirements.  Often auditing is an element in assessing potential liabilities associated with the acquisition, merger, or other disposition of companies and properties.  


Permitting: We advise clients with respect to air, water, waste, water interface, and endangered species consulting, permitting, and licensing requirements and help them to obtain and revise necessary permits and defend enforcement actions.


Crisis Management:  We serve on client emergency response teams, coordinating communications with governmental agencies, obtaining expedited permits to assist in response activities, prepare and review written submissions, assist in securing insurance coverage and the resolution of government and third-party claims.

Representative Case Matters


–Provided waste and air quality permitting and compliance assistance to a domestic aerospace manufacturer.


–Represented manufacturing facilities in federal, state, and local regulatory rulemakings regarding air quality.


–Defended manufacturers in state occupational health and safety enforcement proceedings.


–Conducted comprehensive compliance audits for chemical manufacturing facilities in Arizona and California.


–Served as national environmental audit counsel for a chemical manufacturer, overseeing dozens of audits and evaluating audit protections in multiple states.


–Served as counsel to a major metropolitan area on asbestos compliance for urban renewal projects.


–Represented manufacturing facilities in significant federal multi-media enforcement issues.


–Successfully defended federal implementation of Clean Air Act permitting requirements for major greenhouse-gas emitters.


–Successfully challenged the issuance of corrective action permit that failed to account for client’s public comments.


–Successfully challenged the denial of and successfully defended issuance of wetlands permits.


–Assisted client teams in initial responses to major fire and environmental release incidents, including coordination of response to multiple government reporting obligations and longer term responses to damage claims.

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