Lausten & Co., LLC offers the services of “Big Law” with the personalized attention of a boutique firm. Businesses, attorneys, insurers, and individuals facing significant environmental disputes should contact Kristin M. Lausten for her scientific knowledge, one-on-one attention, and unique, fact-based strategies.
Failing to quickly and effectively address environmental disputes can lead to significant financial and reputational damage. Kristin helps her clients obtain the best possible results in their cases based on the facts and relevant law and prepares her clients to avoid future disputes and litigation.
Common Types of Environmental Cases
As an environmental dispute litigator, Kristin routinely handles many issues, including but not limited to:
- Government enforcement actions
- Investigation and clean up of contaminated soil, surface waters, groundwater and/or air
- Competing claims by owners and operators of neighboring parcels of land, manufacturing sites and businesses over who caused the contamination, to what extent, who should pay to clean up the contamination and apportionment of costs
- Violations of the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts
- Issues relating to natural disasters and fires (hurricanes, wildfires, sinkholes, etc.)
- Cost recovery actions
- Citizen enforcement actions
- Insurance coverage claims
- Contract disputes
- Commercial claims
Depending on your circumstances, Kristin can represent you during regulatory investigations, administrative hearings with the EPA and other government agencies in charge of environmental regulations and enforcement, enabling you to cooperate with authorities while protecting your privacy and rights.
Kristin can also represent you during civil litigation, including fighting injunctions and mitigating any potential civil penalties. She is not afraid to go head-to-head with your opponents in state or federal court or during appellate litigation.
Federal Environmental Regulations
Kristin is experienced in handling claims involving significant federal environmental regulations, including:
- Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. §7401): This is a comprehensive air quality law that is intended to control and reduce air pollution by enabling the EPA to create emission standards, known as maximum achievable control technology standards.
- Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. 1251): This statute established regulations for pollutant discharges into U.S. waters and gave the EPA the authority to establish and enforce pollution control programs. Municipal, industrial, and other commercial facilities must obtain EPA permits to discharge pollutants into navigable waters.
- Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA aka Superfund) (42 U.S.C. §9601): This law provides superfunds to clean abandoned or uncontrolled hazardous waste sites, spills, and other environmental emergencies. Under this law, the EPA has the power to seek out the parties responsible for the site and require cooperation and/or recover costs.
- Endangered Species Act (ESA) (16 U.S.C. §1531): This federal statute protects species and ecosystems that are in danger, including by listing certain species as endangered or threatened. The regulations are enforced by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service.
- National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. §4321): This law requires all branches of the government to consider the environmental impact of an action before that action takes place, such as the construction or renovation of highways, airports, and military complexes. Federal agencies are required to prepare Environmental Assessments and Environmental Impact statements describing the proposed activity and potential impacts of the project being considered.
- Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) (42 U.S.C. §1976): This statute allows the EPA to control hazardous waste sites for the full life of those sites and includes comprehensive regulations on underground storage tanks.
In addition to in-depth experience with federal environmental regulations, Kristin is knowledgeable in the environmental laws of Louisiana and its neighboring states. Kristin keeps a close eye on state-level environmental litigation and developing case law as well. By working with Kristin on your environmental legal matter, you can be sure your attorney understands the relevant environmental laws and regulations, ensuring you can reach the best possible outcome in your case and moving forward, continue to remain compliant with all applicable environmental regulations.
As an environmental litigation attorney, Kristin has a deep understanding of how environmental regulations impact a wide range of industries. She represents businesses, government entities, insurers, and individuals associated with:
- Chemical industry
- Oil and natural gas
- Pulp and paper
- Hazardous waste treatment
- Green technology
- Commercial real estate
- Maritime industry
- Environmental services companies
Whether you are a local maritime business in New Orleans, or you are part of an international oil and gas company, Kristin has the knowledge and experience you need. Kristin has been involved in several large scale environmental contamination cases and has represented owners and operators, both nationally and internationally. She also is highly experienced in representing foreign and domestic insurers during environmental defense matters.
Scientific Knowledge and Resources
When facing an environmental dispute, it is essential that you work with an attorney with the technical knowledge and necessary to fully understand your case. Kristin has the scientific knowledge necessary to take a deep dive into the facts of your case, understand all sides of the dispute, and create a unique, trial-ready strategy. In addition to having personal knowledge and insight into the science behind your case, she has established relationships with industry experts. She is prepared to handle even the most scientifically complex environmental litigation.
A Track Record of Success
As an environmental litigation attorney, Kristin conducts an in-depth assessment of the circumstances surrounding your case. This includes a full review and analysis of the evidence that may support or detract from your argument. Kristin prides herself on her aggressive preparation and strategy development, including a proactive approach to investigating the situation and pursuing additional evidence through discovery.
Through such a comprehensive analysis of the claim and applicable law, Kristin determines the best possible outcome in a case and develops an appropriate, one-of-a-kind strategy. Her clients are never handled with a one-size-fits-all approach and are never pushed toward a disadvantageous settlement.
Kristin M. Lausten has experience representing companies and individuals in environmental litigation, covering claims that involve all major environmental statutes and regulations, including but not limited to the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), Endangered Species Act (ESA), National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA and related state statutes), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), and more.
Kristin brings a strong command of contract, corporate, commercial, and tort litigation, combined with the necessary scientific knowledge required to represent clients in environmental litigation defense. Whether your case involves environmental claims filed by private parties or civil enforcement actions, federal or state law, she has the knowledge and technical expertise to defend corporate clients who work in chemical, oil, and gas industries, coal, pulp and paper, hazardous waste treatment, asbestos manufacturing, green technology companies, building complexes, government entities, insurance companies, and more. Kristin has also successfully represented parties involved in multi-million-dollar cleanup cost issues.
Kristin has handled cases involving injunctions, civil penalties, investigations, notices of noncompliance, and more. In this capacity, Kristin has represented corporate clients in state and federal court, appellate litigation, and in administrative hearings involving the Environmental Protection Agency. Kristin understands the complexity associated with these cases and the importance of careful public messaging surrounding them.
Each case has its own unique set of circumstances. That said, many proposed development projects initially involve NEPA (and sometimes the associated state statute), as well as many other relevant federal laws, depending upon whether the project may affect a threatened or endangered species, or water or air quality. Examples of these types of cases might include defending a local, state or federal government agency for the environmental assessment or environmental impact statement associated with a project that was approved, or defending a private party against a class action lawsuit brought over environmental contamination and degradation, or property damage, etc.
Kristin has litigated cases involving groundwater contamination, underground aquifer contamination, mercury poisoning, arsenic, asbestos, lead, benzene, and exposure to other environmental hazards.
Experienced Environmental Litigation Representation
Whether you are a business that needs to address a regulatory enforcement matter, an insurer prepared to defend your policyholder, or an individual who wishes to pursue a significant environmental tort claim, you need to have the right attorney by your side. Kristin M. Lausten has the knowledge, experience, and drive to obtain the best possible results in your case. She is also considerate of the political and public relations aspects of environmental cases as well as the importance of crafting a strong message to the public.