Practice Area

Permitting and Compliance


Permitting And Compliance

Appropriate environmental permitting and compliance measures are essential to the success of our clients. Clients must understand which environmental regulations apply to their activities and facilities and they must be certain that they are in compliance with environmental regulations at all times. It is an ongoing process, as permits must be renewed on a timely basis and, occasionally, they must be modified to reflect changes in operations. The attorneys at Houston Harbaugh, P.C., in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, keep up with the ever-shifting and complex environmental laws and assist municipalities and private entities with their federal, state, and local permitting needs.

We provide guidance in navigating the environmental permitting process for waste facilities, manufacturing facilities, and land development projects, regardless of size. Our attorneys can assist clients in determining which parts of their operation require permitting and which regulatory frameworks are implicated. We are prepared to assist in drafting permits applications and advising on permit modifications and appeals. We have also worked with the in-house engineers of our clients to provide guidance and to streamline the permit application process.

In addition, we are experienced in advising on compliance issues, such as meeting discharge standards or responding to environmental audits. With compliance issues, it is best to be “one step ahead” by proactively structuring internal environmental compliance measures. We help clients create compliance measures and safeguards to avoid costly non-compliance penalties down the road.

  • Representing a remediation contractor in a multi-party, multi-faceted litigation arising from a fly ash land slide that impacted a residential neighborhood.
  • Representing a waste and recycled oil recovery transporter in Superfund litigation arising out of the cleanup of a waste oil recovery facility.
  • The representation of a waste disposal company in various regulatory and permitting matters, including litigation arising out of permitting and civil penalty actions.
  • The representation of a major chemical manufacturer concerning several hazardous disposal sites where its waste was disposed by a transporter.
  • The representation of a municipal water company in an action against the owners and operators of several industrial facilities located near the water company’s water supply wells for damages caused by groundwater contamination by industrial solvents.
  • The representation of a generator of listed hazardous wastes in an action brought by the owner of the disposal company which accepted them for delivery to and disposal at the disposal company’s landfill. The action, which was brought under the federal and state Superfund laws as well as Pennsylvania common law, sought several million dollars in the estimated costs involved in closing the landfill in compliance with Pennsylvania hazardous waste disposal area regulations.
  • The representation of a hazardous waste disposal company which transported industrial wastes to a municipal landfill, in an action brought by the United States Environmental Protection Agency seeking to compel generators and transporters of industrial wastes to finance the estimated $50 million closure of the landfill.
  • The representation of a municipal operator of a sewage collection and treatment system in multifaceted litigation arising out of the alleged contamination of farmland from cadmium contained in sewage sludge used as a fertilizer and soil conditioner on the land.
  • The representation of a coal mining company in an appeal of a compliance order directing the treatment or abatement of a large polluting groundwater discharge emanating from the ground approximately 200 yards off the mine site.
  • The representation of a large real estate development company in an action against the state environmental protection agency and a local municipality challenging a construction ban imposed by DER as a result of the municipality’s failure to enact a sewage facilities plan acceptable to DER.
  • The representation of a municipal drinking water authority involving contamination of the public water supply with MTBE.
  • The representation of the operator of a POTW in a civil penalty action initiated by EPA under the Clean Water Act for alleged failure to enforce pre-treatment standards.