In addition to providing key resources that help drive the global economy, the mining and petroleum industries share a number of other attributes. From a technical perspective, they use many of the same chemicals to extract and process raw materials, and both industries produce a number of basic chemicals as feedstocks and co-products. From a business perspective, these industries often take advantage of similar vertical integration, marketing and distribution strategies. As a result, their domestic and international extraction, processing, and distribution operations have become the focus of extensive government oversight and increasingly aggressive challenge and litigation by environmental non-government organizations (ENGOs) and plaintiffs' counsel in the United States and abroad.
The Mining, Petroleum and Related Chemicals team at Hunton & Williams LLP provides sophisticated and effective transactional, regulatory and litigation counsel to mining, petroleum and chemicals companies wherever their operations and investments take them. With offices located throughout the United States and around the globe — including Bangkok, Beijing, Brussels, London and Tokyo — we have advised and defended our clients in matters across North and South America, Asia, Europe and Africa. In addition to our offices in Asia and Europe, our international capabilities are supported by the firm's Miami-based Latin America practice, which is ideally located to help clients in this increasingly important region. Our environmental lawyers often work closely with the firm’s transactional group to perform due diligence, seek governmental approvals, and defend ensuing challenges or litigation associated with large-scale development projects and M&A transactions domestically and abroad.
Our team has more than 30 years of experience in all aspects of environmental permitting, regulatory compliance & enforcement, site remediation and related natural resource damage and toxic tort litigation. Among our number are lawyers with extensive backgrounds in all major legislation affecting the siting and operation of mining, petroleum and chemical processing and distribution facilities. From the beginning, our lawyers have worked directly with relevant government agencies to determine appropriate implementation and enforcement policies relating to landmark legislation such as the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Clean Air Act (CAA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA) and related Bevill Amendment and Exploration & Production (E&P) exemptions so important to mining and upstream oil & gas extraction operations.
When accidental releases and other environmental incidents arise, we draw on our extensive knowledge of relevant emergency response regulations including the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA, or Superfund), and relevant regulations administered by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) and Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) to help clients quickly develop and mount an effective response. We also defend toxic tort, personal injury and property damage claims which often result from such releases or incidents, and represent clients in a range of cost-recovery actions to help recoup related remedial and defense costs.
We have represented mining companies, petroleum and chemicals producers, processors and distributors, and industry associations in environmental and administrative law cases decided in federal and state courts and before agencies at every level. Our extensive knowledge of the relevant statutes, our understanding of the technology that underlies our clients' activities, and our ability to speak the language of juries and judges alike makes us formidable advocates of our clients' interests, in court and across the negotiation table.