7 Things You Should Know About Environmental Lawyers

What comes to mind when you think of an environmental lawyer? The answers can be complex, because the field of environmental law is a broad area of practice. An environmental attorney can argue cases involving a variety of environmental issues, including the quality of water and air. Working as an environmental lawyer can also mean taking on investigations dealing with hazardous waste, species protection, waste management, agriculture, and wetlands. As more and more companies begin to take a serious look at sustainability issues, those working in environmental law will have to examine issues surrounding green initiatives, sustainability strategies, and alternative energy sources. An experienced environmental attorney will need to be able to advise clients on green standards as regulated by the government. The field of environmental law is generally considered one of the newer legal specialties, but lawyers have been working in the field of environmental law since the 1970s. This decade marked the start of the United States legislature passing multiple regulations regarding the environment. Since then, the Environmental Protection Agency, as well as state and local legislature, have succeeded in enacting additional federal regulations and state regulations. These regulations were passed in order to protect the land, air and water from future contamination, but have resulted in serious legal battles. These battles are expected to grow as the demand for sustainability increases within our society. The demand for experienced environmental lawyers is expected to grow, as well. This article will explore 7 things you should know about the growing field of environmental law and the lawyers who practice it.

1. Regulatory Compliance

One of the aspects of environmental law that experienced lawyers must be able to deal with is regulatory compliance. This aspect of the responsibilities of an environmental lawyer require counseling clients on various issues relating to the environment. Lawyers must be well versed in federal regulations, state regulations, and any local laws that can be a concern for their client. The goal of lawyers who offer counseling over compliance is to make certain that all relevant laws are followed and that litigation is prevented. Another major step of attorneys who are dealing with regulatory compliance is assisting clients who already have a potential internal investigation pending and need assistance in determine which voluntary disclosure protocols they should follow. In understanding the role of an environmental lawyer in regulatory compliance issues, you should note that these lawyers must constantly stay up to date on the new state, federal, and local regulations. These laws change on a consistent basis and clients who do not have an experienced attorney can end up paying a price, because their attorney may be following older laws. Not being up to date on the relevant state, federal and local laws can result in heavy fines. If you need legal assistance you can also find additional legal aid here and you can search for a lawyer here.