Environmental Regulatory & Compliance


Today's environmental regulatory regime is often compared to the tax code due to its complexity, arcane rules, and byzantine requirements. Waller attorneys partner with our clients' environmental, health and safety, and operations personnel to decipher environmental regulations—regarding air and water standards as well as in other areas—and how they impact businesses.

We care deeply about client outcomes, and strive to find the most efficient and cost-effective way to help clients meet requirements while achieving their business goals. Clients have depended on Waller's deep roster of environmental talent for many years, and expect us to deliver consistent, valuable results when faced with seemingly impossible permitting, expansion, compliance, or other environmental challenges.

Our attorneys have assisted clients in a wide range of areas, including:

Non-applicability letters

In regulatory compliance issues, a critical component of success is the ability to receive a determination from a regulatory agency that a client is not subject to a particular requirement. By helping clients forge strong relationships with regulatory agencies, they can often obtain "non-applicability" letters, or other favorable regulatory interpretations.

Environmental Management Systems (EMS)

Waller attorneys work with clients to develop and implement EMS, and related organizational policies and organizational structures, including obtaining ISO 14000 certifications. We guide clients in self-audits and disclosures under various state audit privilege laws, or under EPA's self-disclosure policies.

Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act ( CERCLA) Litigation

Waller has successfully prosecuted cost recovery actions for clients, and defended against government and Potentially Responsible Party (PRP) cost recovery actions under CERCLA Sections 107 and 113. We have negotiated consent decrees, negotiated de minimis settlements and otherwise resolved impacted sites, under various federal and state Superfund or voluntary cleanup programs. We also represent PRPs on site steering committees and in all aspects of management of site remediation, and have defended CERCLA Section 106 actions, and the potential listing of sites on the National Priorities List (NPL).


Our RCRA practice focuses on counseling hazardous waste generators and treatment facilities on issues concerning compliance with RCRA's tangled regulatory scheme. Our advice has helped clients design or reengineer industrial processes to avoid materials being regulated as solid or hazardous waste. In other cases, our defense enforcement proceedings have saved clients from huge penalties. Waller attorneys serve as counsel on RCRA issues for clients in a wide range of industries, including:

  • Manufacturing
  • Real estate development
  • Transportation
  • Waste management


Waller's Clean Air Act practice is the most comprehensive practice in Tennessee, and one of the leading practices in the region. Working closely with clients to achieve their goals, our attorneys:

  • Advocate for legislative and rulemaking changes at both the federal and state level
  • Counsel companies regarding permits for large greenfield manufacturing facilities
  • Negotiate and defend construction and operating permits, including PSD analysis and greenhouse gas limits

We have extensive experience working with clients in conducting self-audits and disclosures, streamlining permits, and assessing impacts on planned operational changes on permitting requirements. When necessary, we defend clients in the enforcement arena both at the federal and state level and represent clients in litigation matters relating to public nuisance, toxic tort, and other claims related to air emissions.


Waller's environmental attorneys advise clients with respect to the Safe Drinking Water Act and Tennessee's Water Quality Control Act, including the permitting and enforcement programs associated with these Acts.

We assist clients by:

  • Appealing permit denials and unsatisfactory permit conditions
  • Providing advice regarding regulations such as storm water requirements
  • Counseling municipalities and public utilities regarding compliance issues
  • Defending enforcement actions by regulatory agencies
  • Obtaining permits
  • Siting facilities

Our firm has also defended clients against state and federal administrative enforcement actions and citizen suits. We conduct administrative advocacy related to state Clean Water Act programs and appeal NPDES permit denials and permit conditions. Additionally, we perform water-related compliance and permitting for commercial and industrial facilities, including retail developments, paper mills, power plants, chemical manufacturing facilities and Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTWs).

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