Background - Practices (Details)

Environment and Natural Resources


Anticipating and responding under pressure

Crowell & Moring’s Environment & Natural Resources Group navigates a complex landscape where businesses are under increasing pressure to improve their environmental performance and achieve sustainability goals. We draw on our lawyers’ experience in and positive relationships with federal and state regulators and lawmakers to anticipate and resolve disputes, to develop and demystify environmental legislation, and to shape regulation. Chambers USA, The Best Lawyers in America, Super Lawyers, and other publications include our group and its lawyers among the very top environmental practices and practitioners nationwide.

Relevant, cross-disciplinary knowledge and strategic end-to-end counsel

Our lawyers have the in-depth knowledge of environmental market conditions, the law, and policy-making processes to provide effective, nuanced solutions to businesses, trade associations, and other clients across traditional and rapidly emerging areas, including:

  • Strategic Counseling—Advising business and legal leadership on current and emerging environmental risk and opportunity areas, including climate change, environmental justice, planning considerations and requirements related to major energy, water, and industrial projects.
  • Investigations and Enforcement– Providing discreet and efficient risk assessments, determining how best to respond to minimize potential liability, and responding to federal or state government investigations and enforcement actions relating to compliance with federal and state environmental laws and regulations in areas ranging from industrial emissions to aftermarket parts issues to PFAS and other chemical contamination issues.
  • Regulatory Development, Challenges, and Compliance–Shaping environmental laws and regulations to best suit our clients’ needs through engagement with lawmakers and policy makers, preparation of effective comments on proposed rules and other agency actions,  and challenges to or defense of final agency actions in the federal courts.
  • Litigation—Creatively litigating our clients’ most important projects and interests in the federal and state courts, whether by defending key regulatory permits or approvals from attacks under the environmental statutes, affirmatively seeking to clear the path for the next phase of an important project through preemption litigation, or pursuit/defense of remediation cost recovery and contribution actions, particularly those involving high exposure, complex megasites or remedies, or federal government liability.
  • Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Policies and Practices—Advising on issues including, greenhouse gas footprint, “greenwashing” and other advertising issues, compliance with public and private ESG-related regulations and policies, ESG and environmental justice auditing and due diligence.
  • Site Remediation Strategy and Counseling—Counseling on response strategies and risks resulting from alleged contamination or legacy liabilities, preparing environmental emergency and crisis response plans, and negotiating favorable site-wide settlements with the Department of Justice and other Potentially Responsible Parties.
  • Monitoring and Tracking—Tracking and reporting on ongoing multi-jurisdictional environmental, health, and safety compliance topics ranging from requirements imposed by federal environmental laws, to PFAS, to greenhouse gas emission regulations.

Firsthand regulatory and enforcement experience

Prior to joining our firm, many of our lawyers held senior leadership positions in key federal agencies and legislative committees across both Democratic and Republican administrations, including the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Justice, Consumer Product Safety Commission, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Northeast Fisheries Science Center, U.S. Senate, and the U.S. House of Representatives.

Our work with key decisionmakers enables us to craft solutions that achieve our clients’ goals while harmonizing them with the priorities of government regulators. Even during contentious litigation, our former federal prosecutors and defense attorneys have earned the respect and appreciation of today’s law enforcement and agency officials. Clients also draw on our extensive knowledge of the Administrative Procedure Act, which governs much of the federal decision-making process, to develop and deliver innovative rulemaking arguments that help our clients achieve their interests and protect their products and projects.