Environmental Law

EnvironmentThe experience of Saunders Law in the area of environmental law enables us to bring a synergy to a wide range of issues related to this highly diverse practice area. We have crafted solutions for commercial, industrial, governmental, institutional and individual clients and assisted them in navigating the complex, interrelated and frequently changing mix of federal and state environmental laws. As it relates to our Oil and Gas Practice, our services are provided exclusively to land owners or owners of mineral rights and not to the oil and gas industry.

Representation of Property Owners, Municipal Governments and Businesses

With regard to our Oil and Gas Practice, our environmental experience is a significant value-added component to land owners and mineral rights owners in connection with contractual agreements for leases, pipelines and other ancillary facilities and mineral rights litigation and contractual disputes with third parties and the natural gas industry. Potential harm to our clients’ natural resources, whether water, air or land, can be prevented by legal counsel with the knowledge, experience and understanding of the full range of federal and state laws and regulations that protect these resources and the agencies that enforce them. For over 20 years we have practiced, spoken on and represented the interests of clients whose natural resources have been threatened or placed at risk by the conduct of others.

Saunders Law provides practical guidance and counseling to its clients on a full range of environmental legal matters. Our firm responds to and defends our clients in state and federal administrative enforcement actions, assists them with regulatory and compliance counseling and facility and internal environmental audits, and counsels parties in responding to pollution events causing contamination of soil, air and groundwater. We also conduct negotiations with federal and state regulators and administrative agencies over fines and civil penalty assessments and assist clients in obtaining facility operating and discharge permits for wastewater treatment plants, public water suppliers and manufacturing companies. Our experience also includes assisting with sewage facility planning, remediation of contaminated sites, providing counseling to clients with real estate-based transactions including due diligence investigations, risk assessment and transactional documentation, developing lender liability policies, and providing representation in toxic tort and Superfund litigation in state and federal courts and before administrative tribunals.

Ready to Litigate, Whatever the Claim or Venue

When a matter cannot be resolved amicably, Saunders Law litigates cases and engages in dispute resolution involving environmental issues in federal trial and appellate courts, before administrative boards, and various commercial arbitration and mediation services involving a variety of federal statutes including CERCLA, RCRA, the Clean Water Act, the National Environmental Policy Act and the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund. In the state arena, we have defended claims in the Courts of Common Pleas, the Pennsylvania appellate courts and before the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board.  Our experience extends to legal actions brought by governmental and private parties under Pennsylvania’s Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act, the Storage Tank and Spill Prevention Act, the Clean Stream Law, the Solid Waste Management Act and others. We have represented a regional municipal authority in first impression litigation involving NPDES permitting and the interpretation and enforcement of Pennsylvania’s Chesapeake Bay Tributary Strategy.

Steve Saunders has been appointed to and continues to serve in leadership positions on statewide environmental organizations and boards. He has served as General Counsel for Environment and Planning to Lackawanna County and as Special Environmental Counsel to Luzerne County.