At Strauch, Green, and Mistretta, P.C. we routinely handle cases regarding environmental law in Raleigh, Winston-Salem, and throughout North Carolina. From common law cases including nuisance and trespassing cases to the more complex cases regulating surface and ground water, we provide the counsel you need.
Understanding Environmental Law
Environmental law is the compilation of laws, regulations, and common law that protects the environment with regulations for businesses, organizations, and individuals. This is a relatively new subset of the law, mostly arising from civil nuisance laws, which protect an individual from another individual or organization from infringing on his or her property rights. However, in the 1960s, more laws were passed to prevent or punish pollution.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) created the majority of our federal environmental law. These laws are enforced mainly through the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. North Carolina has its own set of environmental regulations and are enforced by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).
Environmental Law Compliance
Our team of environmental law attorneys work with businesses and corporations throughout North Carolina to ensure and maintain compliance with complicated laws regulations, including:
- Clean Water Act regarding wastewater, stormwater, sedimentation, and erosion control.
- Clean Air Act, specifically the prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) and helping organizations obtain permits and maintain certification of compliance with permit requirements.
- Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA)
- Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) specifically regulating the management of hazardous waste and solid waste material.
- Brownfields, which are abandoned and underutilized lands that have been, or potentially have been, contaminated with pollutants or hazardous materials.
- Underground Storage Tanks (USTs)
- Land Use
We also work with businesses and organizations to provide environmental audits and enact due diligence via comprehensive counsel.
Environmental Law Enforcement
Much of our environmental laws are enforced through government agencies, including, but not limited to:
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- National Park Service
- U.S. Forest Service
- Bureau of Land Management
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
- NC Department of Environmental Quality
These agencies monitor compliance and investigate violations. If they feel a violation has been committed, they will take action in the following ways:
Civil Administrative Action
If you receive a civil administration action, you will be given direction to bring your business into compliance. These actions are not taken through the court system.
Civil Judicial Actions
If an organization fails to comply with an administrative order, follow through with site cleanup, or is accused of committing a more serious environmental law violation, a formal lawsuit is filed in court. These are filed by the U.S. Department of Justice on behalf of the federal agency alleging these legal violations. At the state level, the the North Carolina Attorney General files them on behalf of the DEQ.
When you knowingly or willingly commit serious regulation or statutory violations, you may be tried criminally. If found guilty, those charged may face fines or prison time.
Our Environmental Law Attorneys
Our attorneys routinely handle cases involving trespassing and nuisance, as well as the many other environmental laws regulating our surface and ground waters, air, and land. We have extensive experience in the broad area of litigation arising from the presence of chemicals, hazardous substances, and other materials in the environment.
If you receive a notice regarding the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, also known as the Superfund, or Dry Cleaning Trust Funds, we will fight on your behalf.
When you need an experienced litigator to represent you in cases regarding remediation and contribution actions under state and federal laws, civil penalties, permit conditions, and permit non-compliance, we’re at your side.
Let Our Environmental Law Attorneys Help Protect Your Business
If you have been charged with civil administrative action, civil judicial action, or criminal action related to environmental regulations, contact Strauch, Green, and Mistretta, P.C. Our attorneys fight to reduce your charges, fines, and protect your reputation. Fill out our contact form or call our Raleigh office at (919) 278-7453 or our Winston-Salem office at (336) 725-8688 to schedule your consultation. We proudly serve clients across North Carolina.