Environmental Law

Schneck Legal represents landowners, businesses and local governments throughout Florida and Pennsylvania on all aspects of environmental law. Our Environmental Law practice is rooted in a dozen years of handling numerous issues and cases before local, state and federal regulatory agencies. On the federal and state levels, Schneck Legal possesses the institutional knowledge and established relationships at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the South Florida Water Management District, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Locally, Schneck Legal has practice before several county, municipalities, water control districts and conservation districts that have established regulatory requirements concerning protection of their local natural resources.

This multilayered regulatory scheme is continuously changing. Schneck Legal draws upon its in-depth knowledge and experiences to assist our clients on how to comply or secure the desired approval under these ever-changing conditions. Proactive planning and early engagement of agency staff is critical when establishing compliance or seeking a regulatory approval. Schneck Legal has substantial experience in guiding clients through the myriad of regulations with upfront, strategic representation. This proactive approach often saves invaluable time and reduces costs on a development project. Additionally, clients that engage early in the regulatory process are well positioned to defend against third-party challenges when their project receives agency approval. If necessary, Schneck Legal is equipped to defend clients against third-party challenges, government enforcement actions, or pursue challenges to protect clients from the adverse impacts of a nearby project. Environmental compliance issues are often highly technical and require opinions from engineers, ecologists, hydrologists, and other professional consultants. Schneck Legal has the proven ability to gather, and lead, a team of highly qualified technical experts that are necessary for environmental permitting or compliance issues.

Schneck Legal has significant experience in numerous areas of environmental law, including but not limited to:

Regulation of coastal construction, beach nourishment and dredging;
Development in wetlands and surface waters;
Establishing mitigation areas/banks;
Regulation of agriculture and equestrian operations and facilities;
Regulation of water quality and quantity;
Regulation of utilities, including water wells and drinking water facilities, sewage treatment plants and wastewater discharges;
Regulation of Brownfields and contamination claims;
Regulation of indoor and outdoor air pollutions, including asbestos and mold contamination claims;
Regulation of environmentally sensitive facilities, including gas stations, landfills, incinerators and sewage sludge disposal facilities;
Regulation of hazardous and solid waste facilities; and
Conducting due diligence for project location and real estate transactions.
Regulatory Project Support

Schneck Legal has a proven track record of obtaining and defending agency approvals for public works projects. Breaking the permitting “log jam” has been a cornerstone of Schneck Legal’s practice. Schneck Legal has gained this experience, in large part, through litigation related to agency permit denials or third party challenges in administrative proceedings. However, the costs and delays of this type of litigation can often be avoided with an upfront, proactive approach to securing the desired permit. Schneck Legal provides strategic counsel early on in the permit application process in an effort strengthen the application, and greatly limit the merits of any third party challenges. Additionally, Schneck Legal has demonstrated the ability to resolve potential disputes on critical infrastructure quickly in an effort to ensure timely commencement and completion of the project. Below are a few samples of regulatory and project support accomplishments.

Policy Support

Schneck Legal’s project support and advancement capabilities are enhanced by its in depth knowledge of local, state and regional water policy. Mr. Schneck is deeply familiar with the development and implementation of water policy, programs and initiatives that directly impact citizens, farmers, landowners local governments in Florida and Pennsylvania, both at the state and federal levels. These include, among others:

The Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (“TMDL””) Watershed Implementation Plans (“WIPs”)
Regulation of the development and recovery of Marcellus Shale natural gas reservoirs (“hydraulic fracturing“)
Regulations of concentrated animal feeding operations (“CAFOs”)
Implementation of Numeric Nutrient Criteria for waterbodies
Northern Everglades Estuaries Protection Program Act, and the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie Watershed Protection Plans
Caloosahatchee River TMDL for Nitrogen and its Basin Action Management Plan (“BMAP”)
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (“Corps”) Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule (“LORS 2008”)
Central Everglades Planning Project (“CEPP”).
Herbert Hoover Dike Rehabilitation Project;
Lake Okeechobee TMDL for Phosphorus and its BMAP
Over a decade’s worth of local government representation has given Schneck Legal extensive experience in drafting position papers, talking points and strategy white papers on these types of policy and regulatory issues and programs of interest to its clients. This type of insight is invaluable when developing and prioritizing private projects or capital improvement plans in that clients can better estimate the permitability and costs of projects proposed in environmental sensitive areas.

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