Environmental Crimes

Crowell & Moring has a successful record of defending environmental criminal and civil cases involving alleged violations of the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and other federal and state regulatory schemes. Our ability to team lawyers and litigators from our White Collar & Regulatory Enforcement, Product Liability & Torts, and Environment & Natural Resources groups means that our clients benefit from the extensive combined subject matter knowledge of these accomplished professionals. This teaming approach also ensures that our clients gain the insights of former high-ranking officials in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of the Interior, as well as former Department of Justice lawyers. 

Our environmental crimes matters have ranged from federal jury trials and grand jury investigations to internal compliance and counseling. Clients regularly turn to us for advice on existing systems and practices, development of remediation plans, and defense of anticipated or active proceedings.

Our environmental crimes team also has extensive experience guiding clients successfully through congressional investigations. Working closely with professionals in our Public Policy Group, we bring our clients the right mix of subject matter background, congressional knowledge and savvy, and a 360-degree perspective on the potential jeopardy that flows from such probes. 

Representative Engagements

  • Defended a major construction company on felony charges, obtaining an acquittal following a month-long jury trial involving Clean Air Act and related allegations
  • Defended several mining companies in high-profile investigations of alleged criminal violations of the Mine Safety Act, including conducting the necessary internal investigations, managing subpoena responses and document productions, and defending the companies during resulting congressional inquiries and hearings and grand jury proceedings
  • Represented a barge hauler that carried scrap metal on the Mississippi River, and a chemicals manufacturer in Louisiana, in grand jury Clean Water Act investigations of a joint venture engaged in dam construction on the Ohio River
  • Defended a Texas oil refinery in a federal grand jury investigation involving allegations of Clean Air Act violations
  • Defended an asbestos remediation company and its chief executive on federal charges of defrauding EPA and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in their licensure, oversight, and enforcement functions
  • Defended several individuals in a three-week jury trial alleging criminal violations of the Lacey Act in connection with the importation and distribution of mislabeled seafood
  • Defended an owner of a wholesale seafood company in a five-week jury trial concerning allegations of illegally harvested striped bass under the Lacey Act