Environmental Litigation | Practices

Holland & Knight’s Environmental Litigation Team has extensive experience litigating matters in state and federal courts and before administrative law judges. Our lawyers have successfully argued challenges to permits and regulations under the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts; sought injunctive relief under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and the common law for damages caused by petroleum releases; obtained damages for environmental claims under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA); and defended clients in enforcement actions taken by federal and state environmental regulatory agencies and the Department of Justice.

Our firm’s multidisciplinary approach brings together our Environmental Team’s wealth of experience in diverse environmental matters with the hard-won trial know-how of Holland & Knight’s litigators. As a result, our clients benefit from deep industry knowledge as well as wide-ranging experience in trial strategies and tactics.

Defense of Entitlements and Regulatory Litigation

We regularly defend against challenges to permits and other entitlements issued under statutes such as the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Clean Water Act (CWA) the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) and the Endangered Species Act (ESA). We are intimately familiar with NEPA, the CWA and the ESA, both in terms of obtaining necessary entitlements and in defending them from challenges. Our lawyers also have successfully challenged agency rulemakings where they exceed the scope of federal authority. 

For example, we have: 

  • defended entitlements for a wide spectrum of activities, including mining operations, housing developments, off-shore drilling activities, oceanfront communities and myriad commercial projects
  • litigated cutting-edge issues, including the adequacy of NEPA documents, consideration of cumulative impacts, adequacy of permit terms and conditions, adequacy of mitigation for impacts, scope of alternatives considered, wetlands avoidance and minimization, water quality impacts and injunctive relief
  • challenged Corps of Engineers’ jurisdictional determinations and permit denials
  • successfully set aside onerous federal rules related to the scope of federal jurisdiction over activities in waters of the United States
  • filed Supreme Court amicus curiae briefs in the landmark cases under the CWA and the ESA

Environmental Crimes

We have assisted companies and individuals through internal investigations and discussions with the U.S. Department of Justice and a variety of investigative agencies pertaining to compliance with environmental laws. Our lawyers have handled both civil and criminal cases in a variety of forums.

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