Responding to EPA Information Request Letters: Mitigating Further Agency Scrutiny

Assessing Response Options, Meeting Confidentiality Requirements While Demonstrating Compliance With CERCLA, CWA, CAA and RCRA

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A


Conducted on Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Recorded event now available


This CLE webinar will provide guidance to environmental counsel on responding to EPA information request letters, understanding key considerations, and assessing the alternative responses. The panel will offer strategies to overcome common concerns and issues under environmental laws.

Description

Under most environmental laws, including CERCLA, the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Clean Air Act (CAA) and RCRA, the EPA has the authority to evaluate a company’s compliance with those statutes. The EPA can use the information request letter to gather information in its efforts to assess compliance. The request letter is often the first step in an EPA enforcement action.

A company’s response to an EPA inquiry establishes the groundwork for how the matter will proceed and ultimately be resolved. The company and counsel should formulate an approach by which the EPA receives the information it seeks while protecting privileges and confidentiality.

Counsel and their clients must understand the common concerns and red flags for the EPA and must develop proactive legal strategies for responding to information requests, investigations and, if necessary, defending against EPA claims.

Listen as our authoritative panel of environmental counsel discusses the scope of the EPA’s information gathering authority, examining provisions under CERCLA, CWA, CAA and RCRA, and will address common concerns and issues under environmental laws. The panel will offer practical guidance for responding to EPA Information Request letters.

Outline

  1. Scope of EPA authority
    1. CERCLA
    2. CWA
    3. CAA
    4. RCRA
  2. Common concerns and issues
  3. Strategic considerations for counsel before responding to an EPA request letter
  4. Do’s and don’ts of responding
    1. Timing
    2. Privileges and confidentiality
    3. Voluntary compliance vs. litigation
    4. Managing scope of the request
    5. Preparing for production
    6. Drafting narrative response

Benefits

The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What are the key considerations for environmental counsel when responding to an EPA Information Request letter?
  • What are the areas that have proven to be red flags for the EPA?
  • What steps should counsel take to ensure privileges are protected?

Faculty

Jeff C. Miller, Counsel
Miller Nash Graham & Dunn, Vancouver, Wash.

Mr. Miller concentrates his practice on environmental law, with a particular emphasis on hazardous waste cleanup, enforcement issues, and CWA permitting issues. A secondary focus of his practice is insurance coverage work on behalf of policyholders, usually in conjunction with environmental claims. A significant portion of Mr. Miller’s work involves the Portland Harbor and Lower Duwamish Waterway Superfund sites, representing clients in private allocation processes, reviewing technical documents, and analyzing client liability and potential defenses.

Freedom S.N. Smith, Partner
Ice Miller, Indianapolis

Ms. Smith concentrates her practice in the areas of environmental and toxic tort litigation, environmental insurance coverage, product liability and general business litigation. She has experience managing environmental liability in business transactions, hiring and working with environmental consultants to achieve client objectives, litigating cases for both public and private clients involving environmental clean-ups, and handling environmental insurance and coverage claims.


Recordings

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CLE On-Demand Video $297.00

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Program Materials

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Environmental Law Advisory Board

John J. Allen

Partner

Allen Matkins

Albert M. Cohen

Partner

Loeb & Loeb

Aaron Courtney

Of Counsel

Stoel Rives

Andrew N. Davis

Partner

Shipman & Goodwin

David R. Gillay

Partner

Barnes & Thornburg

Paul E. Gutermann

Partner

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

Brian D. Israel

Partner

Arnold & Porter

Thomas J. P. McHenry

Partner

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher

Reed D. Rubinstein

Partner

Dinsmore & Shohl

James B. Slaughter

Principal

Beveridge & Diamond

Jeffrey A. Smith

Partner

Crowell & Moring

E. Gail Suchman

Special Counsel

Stroock & Stroock & Lavan

Gregory D. Trimarche

Partner

Wrenn Bender

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