This week we spoke with Beveridge & Diamond, the largest law firm in the U.S. that specializes in all aspects of environmental law and litigation.
Tell us about Beveridge & Diamond and where the firm specializes.
Environmental law is what we do. Our law firm is the first and largest law firm in the United States specializing in all aspects of environmental law and litigation, and nearly half of our clients are in the energy sector. Since our founding in 1974, we have helped shape environmental law, litigated early and seminal test cases, and served as strategic partners helping clients adapt to the evolving regulatory landscape. We’re the lawyers you call for any of the myriad environmental issues that arise in project planning, construction, drilling, wet gas processing, pipeline operations, etc. Our experience includes upstream, midstream, and downstream project development and permitting, regulatory compliance, risk assessments, worker and process safety, disposition of assets, enforcement readiness, internal investigations, and enforcement defense.
How does your company support clients or customers in the energy space?
For 45 years, B&D has represented energy clients across the country on all aspects of environmental regulatory compliance and litigation. We help companies resolve project development and environmental, health, and safety issues relating to wells, pipelines, facilities, products, and operations in the Marcellus Shale Region, nationally, and globally. We have extensive experience permitting upstream development, major and small pipelines, and downstream manufacturing, and we are well versed in the federal and state regulatory programs governing those projects. Our deep experience with successful project development allows us to provide, when needed, a soup-to-nuts approach to pipeline, road, and other infrastructure projects that prioritizes efficiency and defensibility. Our services include pre-design legal planning to minimize the triggering of federal and state permitting and environmental review requirements; holistic permitting strategies for waters/wetlands, protected species, and other resources; participation in federal NEPA and historic preservation review processes and state analogs; compilation of comprehensive administrative records capable of withstanding judicial review; and appropriate public engagement, including on environmental justice and other emerging issues.
What is a key differentiator for your business?
Continued development of oil and gas resources, regulatory changes, and several high-profile legal challenges have brought pipeline infrastructure and safety issues into the spotlight for regulators and the public alike. At the same time, there has been a renewed emphasis on project streamlining. Our attorneys know about this dynamic regulatory, litigation, and enforcement landscape and have important relationships with key agencies, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE); U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) and its agencies such as the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS); the Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration of the Department of Transportation (PHMSA); Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC); and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). We defend project approvals and litigate agency rules in courts and administrative tribunals across the country. Enhanced by our deep bench of lawyers who focus on related environmental issues, including NEPA, Section 106, hazardous materials transportation, the Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA), the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation & Liability Act (CERCLA), the Clean Air Act (CAA), the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act of 1970, and white collar investigations, we offer experienced, strategic and solution-oriented support on project development, compliance, enforcement, and litigation matters. Representative examples of our current and recent oil and gas work include permitting and litigation defense of major intra- and interstate pipeline projects of MSC members and others in the industry, and successful litigation defense of both BLM’s 2018 final rule repealing duplicative and burdensome requirements for hydraulic fracturing on federally-managed lands and of RCRA suits against operators for alleged industry-induced earthquakes in Oklahoma.
How has MSC membership been of value to your company and the services you provide?
B&D’s longstanding involvement with the MSC through membership, active participation in committees, and sponsorship of member outings has provided a unique opportunity to share ideas, provide updates on late-breaking developments, collaborate on new strategies, and engage on both a professional and personal level. The MSC is a thought leader and a catalyst for policy improvement for the benefit of the industry. We look forward to continuing to support the MSC’s important work.
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