Daniel W. Nelson Washington, D.C.
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Peter E. Seley Washington, D.C.
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The Environmental Litigation and Mass Tort Practice Group has successfully defended corporations, senior corporate executives and public agencies in a wide range of U.S. federal and state environmental investigations and enforcement actions.  In these matters the group draws on the strengths of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher's White Collar Defense and Investigations group and our many lawyers with valuable government experience. 

The Enforcement Defense group includes several lawyers who served at high levels within the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Justice.  When our clients face threatened or actual environmental enforcement actions, we offer a depth of knowledge and reputation that ensures that their interests are represented by lawyers who are recognized leaders in their fields. 

Our lawyers help clients investigate allegations of environmental violations.  If informal attempts to resolve the issues prove unsuccessful, we defend against the charges in any subsequent litigation.  We are also skilled in dealing with the impact of environmental enforcement actions, including communication with the public and with agencies.  


The Environmental Litigation and Mass Tort group has broad experience defending against U.S. federal and state investigations and enforcement actions. 

Recent representations include: 

  • Represented industry-leading retail and aerospace corporations against criminal and civil allegations stemming from the management of hazardous waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).
  • Investigated a U.S. state transportation agency's handling of hazardous substances responding to a threatened federal RCRA enforcement.
  • Representing a client in the pulp and paper industry in a U.S. Clean Air Act New Source Review enforcement action filed against it.
  • Negotiated settlement on behalf of a large metropolitan sewer district against U.S. federal and state Clean Water Act violations associated with wet weather discharges, and defense against a related citizen suit.
  • Represented developers facing criminal and civil allegations of unpermitted filling of wetlands under the Clean Water Act.
  • Defending a large U.S. government contractor against qui tam relators and the United States, who are alleging U.S. False Claims Act violations arising from alleged environmental violations.
  • Defending a former aluminum industry client in a RCRA cleanup action in the State of Oregon.
  • Defended an ordnance-manufacturing client in a California Department of Toxic Substances Control RCRA action.