More About This Practice

Balch & Bingham's Environmental & Natural Resources practice group represents a wide range of clients on an ever-expanding number of environmental and natural resource issues.  In all respects, our practice group provides first-class legal counseling to our clients and vigorous legal representation before governmental agencies and the courts.  With twenty-four attorneys focused exclusively on environmental law, the group constitutes one of the largest full-time environmental practice groups in the South.

We Know Environmental & Natural Resources Law.

For over two decades, the Environmental & Natural Resources practice group at Balch has been successfully resolving complex matters covering a wide range of federal, state and local environmental issues, including:

 Permitting

  • Air Quality

  • Water Quality

  • Wetlands

  • Landfills

  • Hazardous Waste

  • Land Application System
    Permits

  • Dredging

  • Mining

  • Coastal Development

Water Law

  • Interstate Water Disputes
  • Riparian and Non-Riparian
    Water Rights
  • Water Resources
  • Reservoir Permits
  • Navigable Waterways
  • Inland & Coastal Ports

 

Transactions

  • Brownfields 
  • Plant Siting
  • Due Diligence
  • Contracts
  • Land Exchanges

Environmental Litigation

  • Nuisance
  • Enforcement Actions
  • Trespass
  • Property Damage
  • Citizen Suits
  • Toxic Torts

Federal Compliance

  • Environmental Policy (NEPA)
  • Historic Preservation
  • Endangered Species
  • Toxic Substances Control Act
  • Federal Insecticide,
    Fungicide, & Rodenticide
    Act

Client Counseling

  • Operations
  • Compliance
  • Enforcement
  • Public Policy
  • Renewable Energy
  • Sustainability
  • Carbon Management
  • Nanotechnology

Endangered Species

  • Legislation & Regulation
  • Listing Challenges
  • Conservation Plans
  • Incidental Take Permits

Regulatory Litigation

  • Permitting
  • Enforcement
  • Rulemaking

Governmental

  • Legislation
  • Regulation
  • Agency Operations

Forestry

  • Federal and State Compliance
  • Legislation
  • Conservation

Licensing

  • Hydropower
  • Transmission Lines

 

We Know Our Clients.

Balch's Environmental & Natural Resources practice group recognizes that successfully resolving environmental legal matters depends largely on a close familiarity with our clients’ operations. As such, we bring considerable experience to our clients on several fronts. Lawyers in the group devote a significant amount of time providing day-to-day consultation with clients on environmental permitting and compliance, supporting business transactions, and responding to threatened or actual litigation or government enforcement activities. Among our team members is an attorney who worked in-house as assistant general counsel of a large transportation company. Our lawyers also regularly participate in business and trade associations, including the Business Council of Alabama, Alabama Aerospace Industries Association, Alabama Coal Association, Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, Business Alliance for Responsible Development, Alabama-Tombigbee Rivers Coalition, Coalition of Alabama Waterway Associations, Mississippi Manufacturers Association, and various national industry alliances. Our attorneys are committed to staying informed on the issues affecting the operations of our clients.

Our clients include agribusinesses, banks, chemical companies, construction companies, independent power producers, individuals and small businesses, industrial and manufacturing companies, oil and gas exploration and production entities, public utilities, pulp and paper manufacturers, real estate developers, research laboratories, state and local government entities, waterway associations, and the trade associations to which many of these clients belong. These clients range from multi-national corporations to “mom-and-pop” convenience store operators and family farmers. The diversity in age, experience and practice focus of our lawyers allows the practice group to not only meet our clients’ needs, regardless of the size or subject, but also to utilize the firm’s resources in the most efficient and effective manner.

We Know The Southeast.

Balch has the largest environmental practice in Alabama and one of the largest in the Southeast. We regularly handle complex environmental matters throughout the South. Our offices in Atlanta, Birmingham, Montgomery, Jackson, Gulfport, and Washington, D.C., are able to provide local expertise where needed. Our attorneys are licensed to practice in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas, Washington D.C., and California.

We Know The Government.

Our lawyers are actively engaged in both state and federal legislative processes impacting environmental and natural resources issues and related agency rulemaking proceedings. We have extensive experience working with Congress and the state legislatures on a wide range of issues. We regularly represent clients before various federal and state agencies, including:

  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • U.S. Department of Interior
  • Alabama Department of Environmental Management
  • Alabama Office of Water Resources
  • Alabama Department of Conservation & Natural Resources
  • Jefferson County (Alabama) Department of Health
  • Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Environmental Protection Division
  • Florida Department of Environmental Protection
  • South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control
  • North Carolina Department of Environment & Natural Resources
  • Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation
  • Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
  • Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality
  • Other federal, state, and local environmental authorities throughout the United States

Our practice group includes lawyers who have served in the United States Department of the Interior and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Georgia Attorney General's office, and the United States Department of Justice, an attorney with several years of experience serving on the staff of the United States Senate Governmental Affairs and Budget Committees, and another attorney with several years of experience as environmental counsel to a senior member of the U.S. Senate, as well as the Republican staff director of the Senate Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety and Subcommittee on Water and Wildlife.  Our personnel in the state and national capitals (Atlanta, Montgomery, Jackson, and Washington, D.C.) supplement our resources to enable us to successfully achieve our clients’ legislative and regulatory goals.

Our attorneys monitor closely the regulatory actions of the various state environmental agencies and periodically publish "Environmental Updates" to keep our clients informed. 

We Know The Courts.

Our lawyers effectively represent clients in administrative proceedings before local, state and federal agencies in judicial proceedings in state and federal courts.  Lawyers in the practice group have extensive federal appellate litigation experience defending clients in environmental matters ranging from the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act to the Endangered Species Act, CERCLA and RCRA. Our practice group includes former judicial clerks for the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, the Alabama Supreme Court, and the United States Court of Federal Claims.

We Know Our Colleagues.

Environmental issues often arise in the context of other client matters, such as real estate transactions, corporate law, bankruptcy, general litigation, utility regulation, and employment law. Environmental and natural resources law now permeates almost every aspect of business. As a result, our practice group members understand the importance of coordinating our efforts with our resources located in the firm’s other offices and practice groups. In particular, our practice group works closely with the firm’s Environmental Litigation, Real Estate, and Government Relations Practices.

We Know The Emerging Issues.

Environmental & natural resources law is constantly changing to reflect the growing complexity of our society. As a result, our attorneys are continually educating themselves on cutting-edge environmental and natural resources issues, including mercury contamination, chemical safety reform, homeland security and information law, alternative energy sources, aquaculture (on-shore and off-shore), greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, international environmental law, electronic waste and nanotechnology, brownfields development, inland waterways development, and toxic mold.

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