Watkins & Eager lawyers assist a wide variety of public and private clients with needs related to federal and state environmental and natural resource laws. We assist in transactions, permitting, enforcement actions, environmental and oil/gas litigation, regulatory compliance, emergency response/crisis management, corrective actions, and environmental policy/regulatory/statutory development matters. We also have unique experience involving environmental issues in bankruptcy.
With client advocacy as the focus of our practice, our lawyers consult highly qualified engineers, scientists, and other experts to help achieve our clients' objectives. Our lawyers have prior legal and technical experience in environmental consulting and the oil and gas industry, as well as service as in-house counsel for the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality and the United States Bankruptcy Court. This broad range of experience allows the firm to provide representation with a solid understanding of clients’ needs and goals.
Both state and federal regulatory agencies have changed significantly over the past 30 years. From the early years of developing federal environmental laws to more recent shifts from opinions of agency overreaching, we have consistently found that effective client advocacy requires looking beyond enacted law to the formal and informal policies and procedures agencies use in carrying out their roles. Digging deep into the details and technical understandings of each matter allows us to find solutions for our clients, often without having to resort to expensive and time-consuming litigation.
Our lawyers regularly represent clients before the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, Mississippi Commission on Environmental Quality, Mississippi Environmental Quality Permit Board, Mississippi State Department of Health, Mississippi Public Service Commission, Mississippi State Oil and Gas Board, United States Environmental Protection Agency, United States Army Corps of Engineers, United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as in federal and state courts. Those representations often begin at the agency level, and may advance to administrative hearings and judicial appeals. Regardless of the forum, we strive to find creative, cost-effective solutions that meet the goals of our clients.