Environmental Regulation

Kean Miller represents local, regional, and global companies in a wide variety of Louisiana and federal environmental matters.  The Environmental Team represents clients in water issues such as LPDES permitting, SPCC requirements, TMDLs, and compliance monitoring.  We have a special expertise in assisting clients with  air issues such as major and minor source air permitting, New Source Review and PSD permitting, NSPS and NESHAP programs, Title V compliance and reporting, acid rain and  CAIR/CSAPR compliance, Combustor MACT, ozone non-attainment regulation, EPA Risk Management Program (RMP) requirements, greenhouse gas issues, and stratospheric ozone regulation. The team regularly counsels clients with regard to issues involving solid and hazardous waste (RCRA/HSWA), the Toxic Substances Control Act, the Oil Pollution Act, Corps of Engineers dredging and wetland matters including, mitigation banking, state and local coastal use permits, radiation and NORM issues, underground injection control (UIC) issues, permitting of commercial saltwater disposal wells and E&P facilities, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) offshore regulations, LNDR pipeline regulations, FIFRA issues, and Safe Drinking Water Act programs. The Kean Miller team is well versed in all federal, state and local release reporting requirements under CERCLA, EPCRA, SARA, DOT, LDEQ, and State Police HAZMAT reporting matters for both fixed facilities and transporters. Kean Miller has a great deal of experience in NEPA and state environmental assessments or impact statements for new or expansion projects and in conducting due diligence for mergers and acquisitions. We regularly assist with compliance audits, training programs and provide advice on environmental management systems. We frequently defend clients in state and federal enforcement actions including defense of criminal enforcement actions.   

We have developed particular expertise in management of complex remediation under state and federal programs such as Superfund (CERCLA), Louisiana RECAP (risk based remediation program), Louisiana DNR oilfield waste remediation programs, and natural resource damages actions. We have special expertise in mass tort and class action litigation arising out of Superfund cases and environmental releases or accidents.
 
We are experienced in the development of new greenfield energy projects, chemical manufacturing projects, LNG projects, and hydrocarbon storage in salt-domes. We work in collaborative teams designed to assist in acquisition, permitting, taxation, financing, and other aspects of start-up projects. We have a particular dedication to helping companies perform due diligence associated with environmental issues in contracts, complex settlement agreements, financial responsibility mechanisms, and in legislative development. 

Kean Miller represents both corporate and individual clients in environmental criminal matters. We also conduct client training sessions concerning environmental criminal laws and investigations. One of our partners is a former Assistant United States Attorney and assists with many of our white collar criminal matters. 

Kean Miller regularly assists clients in regulatory development at the federal and state levels by working with stakeholder groups, proposing regulations, analyzing proposed rules, and preparing official comments and supporting administrative records in rulemaking actions.  In a number of instances, we have represented clients in judicial challenges to agency rulemaking actions.

Kean Miller actively assisted clients on environmental matters during and in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav, and Ike. This included assistance with reporting, obtaining variances, hearings, emergency orders, and other regulatory relief. We assist clients in the development of standard protocols and training programs for hurricane response and other emergency response measures. We also assist clients in OSHA matters related to environmental issues such as HAZWOPER compliance and PSM, chemical security regulation, and DOTD transportation of hazardous materials.

Representative Experience

  • General counsel to the Louisiana Chemical Association (LCA) in connection with development of ozone control programs, state air toxics regulation, the state Title V and PSD permitting programs, the initial RECAP rules, solid waste rules, release reporting rules and proposed revisions to those rules.  In addition, we have represented the LCA in rulemaking and litigation on the development of the Louisiana SIP, the federal Cross State Air Pollution Rule, Louisiana Ambient Water Quality Standards, development of an implementation policy for application of water quality standards, TMDLs, air issues, hazardous waste issues, agency administrative practice/procedure issues, and state environmental legislation development
  • Project local counsel for a $10 billion Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) export terminal in Cameron Parish, Louisiana.  The facility will process 1.7 billion cubic feet per day.  Kean Miller represented the owner in the transaction as Louisiana real estate counsel, Louisiana energy regulatory counsel, and Louisiana and federal environmental counsel.
  • Successfully obtained Title V, PSD, and LPDES permits for a $4 billion ethylene cracking and derivatives complex and an adjacent gas-to liquids complex in Calcasieu Parish. Kean Miller represented the owner as Louisiana real estate counsel, Louisiana and federal environmental counsel, Louisiana tax and environmental incentives counsel, Louisiana energy regulatory counsel, and Louisiana construction law counsel. Kean Miller acted as Louisiana counsel representing the client in connection with financing of the ethylene/derivatives complex.
  • Representation of a global energy refining company in litigation and regulatory proceedings involving an attempt by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals to revoke our client’s exemption from continuous chlorination of a chemical plant water system.  If upheld, the revocation would have required a multi-million dollar reconfiguration of the water system.  The Administrative Law Judge ruled, based on the strength of the Kean Miller team’s hearing presentation and argument in post-hearing briefs, that the Department improperly revoked the exemption.

  • Representation of a new greenfield plant (producing activated carbon from coal) in North Louisiana with respect to environmental assessment and permitting
  • Successfully obtained air and water permits for a greenfield merchant power plant (cogeneration) in Ascension Parish, Louisiana
  • Representation of the Louisiana Ammonia Producers Association with regard to environmental legislation and regulation development
  • Representation of a major global oil company in the development of legislation and rules regarding oil field legacy site remediation
  • Representation of a major energy company in two projects for underground salt-dome storage of hydrocarbons, including UIC, Corps of Engineers, and coastal permits
  • Successfully represented Louisiana chemical manufacture in obtaining opinions from EPA, LDEQ, and TCEQ that certain wastestreams were not hazardous wastes
  • Successfully obtained air permits for major Louisiana paper mill expansion.  After issuance of the permit, the permit was challenged in the 19th Judicial District Court.  The permit was upheld by the district court after a hearing and rehearing. 
  • Successfully obtained air permit and water permit modification for a global chemical company for the addition of new Polyolefins production unit to existing facility in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  The permits were subsequently upheld by the 19th Judicial District Court, the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Louisiana Supreme Court.  In addition, the related request to EPA for objections to the permit on environmental justice grounds was rejected.
  • Representation of numerous petrochemical, energy, steel, and paper facilities with respect to air permit and water permit issuance and modification in East Baton Rouge Parish, St. Bernard Parish, Ouachita Parish, Calcasieu Parish, Ascension, Parish, St. James Parish, Iberville Parish, Pointe Coupee Parish, St. Mary Parish, East Feliciana Parish, and in multiple geographic locations for pipeline expansion projects and related compressor stations.
  • Representation of numerous facilities with respect to hazardous waste (RCRA) permit issuance and modification in Convent, Louisiana, NORCO, Louisiana, Calcasieu Parish, East Baton Rouge Parish, Beauregard Parish, Ascension Parish, and North Louisiana.
  • Conducting training classes for plant personnel at several facilities in preparing for agency inspections, release reporting, triggers for New Source Review or air permitting requirements associated with turnarounds and construction projects, Title V deviation reports and annual compliance certifications, OSHA-PSM/EPA-RMP developments, preparing for OSHA special emphasis inspections, preparing for environmental criminal investigations, compliance with stratospheric ozone rules, and short course for new environmental managers and plant supervisory personnel on unique aspects of Louisiana environmental law and reporting requirements
  • Representation of numerous manufacturers and refineries in connection with toxic tort cases involving alleged exposures including: benzene, 1,3 butadiene, sulfur dioxide,  sulfuric acid, mercury,  asbestos, EDC, and other chemicals
  • Represented numerous Fortune 500 and international companies in asset purchases and/or merger/share acquisitions of whole industrial plants or significant operating units, including due diligence auditing, assistance in drafting and negotiating purchase and site services agreements, and transfer of environmental and non-environmental permits.  These projects include the following:
  • Representation of international firm (buyer) in acquisition of two major process units that are part of an existing Fortune 500 chemical manufacturing complex as well as associated warehousing facilities;
  • Representation of international firm (buyer) in acquisition of large fish oil/meal processing facility;
  • Representation of Fortune 500 company in merger with another Fortune 500 company involving three chemical manufacturing plants in Louisiana and associated support facilities;
  • Representation of refinery (seller) in divestiture of assets in Louisiana;
  • Representation of Fortune 500 company (buyer) in its acquisition of the major chemical manufacturing complex with over 8 process units, significant RCRA corrective action.
  • Representation of a paper facility in the remediation of its wood treatment site in Shreveport, Louisiana under RECAP, and representation of its facility in the remediation of a site in Shreveport
  • Representation of two separate major pipeline companies on a statewide basis regarding the remediation of PCBs
  • Representation of Louisiana Interstate Gas in the remediation of mercury from manometers
  • Representation of a major Louisiana port with respect to Corps of Engineers permitting of a channel dredging project in Vermillion Bay and in obtaining summary judgment dismissing a citizen litigation on the permit
  • Successfully obtained temporary authorization under RCRA for a petrochemical client to burn napalm shipped to Louisiana from a United States Navy site in California.  A lawsuit was filed in United States Middle District of Louisiana to enjoin LDEQ from issuing the temporary permit.  Kean Miller represented facility in connection with the permit and was successful in obtaining dismissal of the lawsuit