Butzel's environmental team defends clients in civil and administrative enforcement proceedings under all major federal environmental laws and their state variants, including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), and the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). We craft creative settlements in enforcement actions and work closely with regulators to obtain favorable settlements for our clients.

We have also successfully defended against individual and class action personal injury, property damage, and nuisance claims filed in connection with alleged release of hazardous substances. Our team has represented clients in private litigation over the allocation of clean-up obligations under environmental laws, common law, and contractual arrangements. We represent clients regarding insurance coverage for environmental liabilities.

Our white-collar criminal defense team defends clients against criminal prosecutions under environmental laws. We represent domestic and foreign individuals and corporations in criminal enforcement investigations, grand jury proceedings, prosecutions, and settlements involving hazardous waste management, asbestos exposure, and Clean Water Act violations.


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  • Represented client in water rate dispute against major municipality; resulting in $24 million rate reduction.
  • Defended against several claims of injury related to alleged mold exposure.
  • Successfully defended client in Superfund cost recover suit brought to recover costs in cleaning up PCB and lead contamination estimated to run as high as $300-500 million
  • Defended against suit filed by MDEQ for alleged contamination of soils and groundwater
  • Defend client in CERCLA cost recovery claim.
  • Defended several class action law suits against waste treatment & disposal clients alleging harm due to odors and other impact from respected facilities.
  • Successfully prosecuted several contested case proceedings related to wetland permit denials.
  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of Huron Valley Steel in an extremely complex, $500 million CERCLA cost-recovery litigation brought by Plaintiff.
  • Defend Client in multiple class action and multi-party lawsuits that were filed in reaction to hydrochloric acid release at Client's property; pursue insurance coverage related to same.
  • Prosecuted several cost recovery actions on behalf of clients seeking to recoup remediation costs against responsible parties.
  • Defended Wolverine in multi-party action filed after Plaintiff experienced 100,000-gal gasoline spill from aboveground storage tank, some of which escaped from Plaintiff's property.
  • Defend various companies against alleged wastewater discharge violations
  • Defended Wolverine in multi-party lawsuit after Plaintiff purchased property through which two pipelines owned by Wolverine traversed pursuant to two recorded easements.
  • Represent client after it was "raided" by US EPA
  • Successfully represented oil pipeline company against environmental contamination claims in Ohio
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