Covington brings public law advocacy, regulatory compliance, litigation and transactional expertise to global environmental issues through our lawyers resident in our Washington DC, Brussels, New York, California, London, Beijing and Seoul offices. We are former government officials and seasoned practitioners who bring practical solutions to complex issues that arise from the myriad of US and international laws and regulations. We are frequently are asked to serve as advisors or advocates on projects presenting novel and complex issues, often of national and international importance.
Our lawyers include a former General Counsel of United States Environmental Protection Agency, a former Assistant Secretary of the Interior and former Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality, a former Staff Director and Chief Counsel of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, a former Chair of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and long-time, highly-regarded private practitioners, including recognition in Chambers and Best Lawyers and other publications.
We have long represented companies and trade associations in: legislative advocacy; rulemaking proceedings and challenges to regulations; evaluating, negotiating and resolving environmental issues in business transactions; compliance advice; civil and criminal enforcement proceedings and citizen suits; and private party litigation.
Our global environmental practice benefits from the diverse nationalities and educational backgrounds of American, Asian and European lawyers. This allows us in Europe to offer EU and pan-European advice on the legal and policy issues presented by EU environmental, climate change, renewable energies, waste, eco-design, chemical, biocides and nano-materials rules. Where necessary, we also work with an extensive network of local counsel around the world.
We advise non-US clients regarding environmental implications of commercial ventures in the United States, and we counsel US-based multinationals about emerging environmental requirements in the EU, Asia and Latin America. We advise on environmental issues in Latin America and Asia. We assist clients in connection with international transactions of all types, including advising clients seeking funding for international projects in addressing requirements of international lenders. We counsel on compliance with international regimes under the Basel Convention and the OECD for transboundary shipment of waste, the UNFCC, and the Biodiversity Convention.
Our practice is expansive and offers clients solutions in:
- traditional issues of water, air, toxics, and waste management;
- environmental siting and natural resources, including endangered species;
- hazardous substance regulation and litigation, including Superfund-type claims;
- national and international stewardship issues, such as resource management in oil and gas leasing programs in the United States;
- European Union’s chemicals legislation, including REACH, CLP, Biocides, GMOs and emerging rules on nanomaterials;
- European Union’s product stewardship programs for electronic products and consumer goods (WEEE, RoHS, Packaging, Batteries, ErP, EMC, RTTE);
- emerging issues (e.g., fracking and offshore) for oil and gas industry and emerging energy generating activity (wind, solar); and active participation in the development of carbon market schemes in the EU, in the United States and around the world; and
- compliance and fair treatment under the EU’s climate change legislation, including the Emissions Trading System Directive (“EU ETS”), the Renewable Energies Directive, the Fuel Quality Directive, and the upcoming Biofuels Directive.
- Negotiate with U.S. Department of Interior and California Energy Commission relative to environmental documentation (including NEPA) and species mitigation for siting of solar facility.
- Represent American Petroleum Institute in Comer, putative class action alleging industrial activities contributed to global warming, causing a rise in sea levels and adding to the ferocity of Hurricane Katrina, and thereby causing property damage to plaintiffs.
- Advice to large electronic equipment manufacturer on electromagnetic requirements in the EU, Russia, China, and other Asian countries.
- Due diligence advice to investment funds intending to invest in biofuels and other renewable energies in different EU Member States.
- Represent aerospace company at 5,000 acre Superfund site in California involving VOCs, perchlorate and NDMA, including negotiating consent decree for completion of investigations, advice on remedy issues, and negotiating with water entities over replacement water supply claims.
- Chambers USA
- Environment (DC): Theodore L. Garrett and E. Donald Elliott
- Chambers Europe, Environment, Regulatory - Belgium
- The Practical Law Company (PLC) - Which Law Firm? Environment, European Union
- Legal 500 EMEA, EU Regulatory - Chemicals (REACH)
- Best Lawyers
- Environment: Theodore L. Garrett, E. Donald Elliott, Richard A. Meserve, and Allan J. Topol
- Euromoney's Expert Guides to the World's Leading Lawyers “The Best of the Best USA and The Best of the Best.”
- Environment: Theodore L. Garrett