Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. has long-represented the iron and steel industry on a wide variety of environmental regulatory, litigation, and legislative issues. This representation has been undertaken on behalf of both the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), one of the principal trade associations for the industry, and the largest iron and steel companies in the United States. The Firm has also represented environmental service providers to the industry on regulatory matters directly impacting the management of hazardous wastes generated by the industry. Much of our work has involved matters arising under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), or Superfund. These matters have typically involved comments on rulemakings proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), judicial challenges to final EPA rulemakings, assistance in legislative policy development and advocacy with Congressional committees, RCRA facility-wide corrective action issues, and liability under Superfund for federal and state agency response costs and natural resource damage claims.
With large manufacturing sites dating in some cases back to the 19th century, the iron and steel industry has long been a focus of environmental regulators and citizen groups alike. In responding to the various environmental challenges they face, representatives of the industry have often turned to Beveridge & Diamond for assistance. Although the nature of our work has been far-ranging, a particular focus has been responding to, and helping shape, legislative and regulatory initiatives regarding hazardous wastes and wastewaters generated by iron and steel plants. The Firm has also been active in negotiating and litigating enforcement actions regarding the cleanup of hazardous substances. More recently, we have assisted clients with the successful redevelopment of closed or underutilized portions of iron and steel plants for alternative beneficial use.
Among other things, our work has included participation on behalf of AISI on federal advisory committees formed to advise the EPA on rulemakings under RCRA, commenting on proposed RCRA rulemakings, meeting with senior EPA officials regarding proposed rules, and challenging in federal court rulemakings adverse to the industry’s interests. Our efforts have resulted in a number of successes, including a broad exclusion from RCRA regulation for coke byproducts recycled to coke ovens or used to produce coal tar, and the overturning in court of both the original “mixture” and “derived-from” rules under RCRA and EPA’s efforts to assert unlawfully broad jurisdiction over the recycling of secondary materials. We also participated heavily in the industry’s prominent advocacy regarding the Hazardous Waste Identification Rules for process wastes and contaminated media, rulemakings regarding the Corrective Action Management Unit concept, and development of the regulatory framework for the RCRA corrective action program. In addition, the Firm has been extensively involved in helping to shape federal environmental legislation affecting the industry. This representation has included development of, and advocacy on Capital Hill and within EPA regarding, industry positions on RCRA, Superfund and brownfields legislation.
Finally, the Firm has represented individual companies on a variety of matters involving remediation of iron and steel plants and other properties impacted by iron and steel plant wastes. Among other things, this work has included representation in substantial Superfund cost recovery and natural resource damages cases, RCRA corrective action permit and administrative order proceedings, and “imminent and substantial endangerment” citizen suits under RCRA. The Firm has also advised companies on various environmental issues posed by efforts to redevelop inactive, contaminated iron and steel plant properties for other productive use.