Latham is “home to an especially strong team” of environmental lawyers. Their “stellar practice” and “longstanding reputation for excellence and achievement in the field” makes them an invaluable asset in environmental compliance, claims and issues.

- Who’s Who Legal 2016

Water Quality Regulation

Latham & Watkins' Water Quality Practice runs the gamut, from industrial pre-treatment compliance to litigating regional storm drain permits that apply to hundreds of discharges and numerous jurisdictions.

Areas of Latham's Water Quality Practice include:

  • Point source and jurisdiction-wide permitting
  • Total Maximum Daily Load issues
  • Triennial Review and revision of water quality standards
  • Water quality certification, dredge and fill permits
  • Watershed-based programs/regional Best Management Practices

The firm has experience in all facets of traditional point source regulation (industrial, Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations and Publicly Owned Treatment Works), as well as what historically was considered non-point source runoff (urban and agricultural runoff and storm water). Latham has handled numerous matters arising under the federal Clean Water Act, the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, as well as the water quality laws of many other jurisdictions, including California's Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act and Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (also known as Proposition 65).

Latham has defended clients in penalty actions, administrative enforcement proceedings and citizen suits under the Clean Water Act, including major cases in the power generation, automotive, electronics and home building industries; has represented clients in numerous permit proceedings; and has a well-developed legislative practice.

Latham lawyers also have extensive experience in water resource planning and development projects and water rights negotiation and litigation. Chambers USA ranked Latham's water rights practice in the top tier, calling it "a leader of the pack … that [commentators said] deftly demonstrates a 'strong grasp of scientific knowledge'" with lawyers who "maintain an extensive array of expertise when dealing with 'high-risk' matters."

The firm provides counseling on, among other things, water rights, transfer and marketing arrangements, new water infrastructure and privatization of public projects, water needs for Endangered Species Act compliance and restoration projects, federal reserved and Pueblo water rights, water rights adjudication and negotiation, as well as state water code litigation and compliance.

 
 
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