Representative Matters

Oil and Gas Waste Management Company- Civil Lawsuit and Reduction in Penalties

oilslickThe Company was charged with civil RCRA, CWA and CAA violations. Professionals in Burnside Environmental Group assisted counsel by reviewing the federal government’s technical evidence and evaluating regulatory requirements associated with civil counts. Penalty matrix calculations of the government were reviewed and new calculations were developed which reduced the government calculation from $33 million to $3 million.


Container Recycler- Federal Criminal Search Warrant

recyclingA container recycling company was served with a criminal search warrant which allowed federal agents to seize samples of onsite wastes. In support of the Company’s Counsel, professionals in Burnside Environmental Group mirrored the government’s investigation, evaluated evidence and data, and implemented a plan for processing onsite wastes in an innovative manner which reduced liabilities and cost. Cost savings for innovative management of the waste was in the millions of dollars.


Chemical Formulator- Federal Criminal Search Warrant and Investigation- Case Closed

A chemical formulator was served with a federal search warrant which allowed government technical personnel and special agents to seize samples of onsite wastes and chemicals. In support of counsel, professionals from Burnside Environmental Group mirrored the government’s investigation, evaluated evidence and data, and advised on appropriate next steps for the Company. The evaluation of the government’s investigation revealed sampling protocol errors which resulted in the government closing the investigation prior to indictment.


Residential Developer- Potential Civil Lawsuit

apartmentA company was in the process of remodeling an old apartment building that contained large amounts of asbestos containing materials (ACM).  Substandard work performed by a subcontractor resulted in additional contamination in the building which required the client to hire another contractor to perform the work a second time.  Burnside Environmental Group was retained to document the substandard work of the first remedial contractor.  This included viewing each apartment, documenting existing conditions and debris, and providing counsel with a report to be used in future litigation.  Burnside Environmental Group professionals are OSHA safety trained and were able to enter and document conditions in this contaminated building using proper safety protocols.


Mock Inspection

hazmatA retail company which operates distributorships across the U. S. requested Burnside Group to conduct a mock regulatory inspection at one of their warehouse/distribution locations.  Burnside Environmental Group professionals, posing as inspectors, entered the facility and announced they were conducting an environmental inspection to test if facility personnel would follow company protocols for responding to inspections and to document regulatory violations observed.  The result of this exercise was a successful test of internal procedures and the company was alerted of several potential environmental violations.


Residential Developer- Internal Investigation

Internal InvestigationsA large Residential Construction company that had been awarded government contracts was inspected for compliance with the Clean Water Act. As a result of this inspection, the company was required to provide a response to the government regarding possible violations.  Burnside Environmental Group professionals conducted an internal investigation that identified and clarified record keeping procedures which allowed the company to provide the government with an accurate accounting of the issues.  During the course of the internal investigation, an outside contractor was identified who was not following proper protocols and his services were subsequently terminated.


Internal Investigations and Process Reviews – Municipalities

Burnside Group worked with the environmental department of a major US city to conduct an internal investigation and process review of its equipment and parts distribution systems which supported the city’s drinking water and wastewater systems. Burnside Group compiled a complete summary of how the supply operation functioned, identified strengths and its weaknesses of the program and made recommendations regarding personnel matters. This allowed the city to make informed decisions to streamline and maximize the efficiency of the system, resulting in improved service and cost savings to its customers. This review also assisted the City in identifying personnel deficiencies and sources of inventory losses.

Burnside Group conducted an internal investigation of activities within the wastewater department of a large municipality. Problems included historical failures to administer and adhere to requirements outlined in regulatory permits and to accurately report activities and analytical results to regulatory agencies as required. Findings of the Burnside Group report allowed management within the department to make informed decisions regarding future reporting to regulatory agencies, voluntary disclosures if appropriate, changes in operating procedures to ensure these issues do not occur again in the future and potential personnel changes.

Innocent Landowner Harmed by Chemical Trespass- Civil Lawsuits

pcb-labelsA landowner’s property was contaminated by runoff from a Superfund site. Burnside Environmental Group professionals assisted counsel in developing scientific and technical evidence which proved chemical trespass and in development of legal arguments based on this evidence. Expert Reports, depositions, and declarations were provided in support of litigation.


Metal Recycler- Criminal Indictment and Change in Defense Strategy

recycleA metal recycler was charged with improper management of lead munitions. A Burnside Environmental Group professional assisted counsel by reviewing the technical and scientific evidence and comparing the findings against environmental violations which were to be charged. Counsel was advised that there was substantial doubt if regulatory violations had actually occurred and a new litigation strategy was developed prior to Client accepting a plea offer.


Civil Engineering Firm- Federal Grand Jury Investigation and Declination

An engineering firm received a government contract to remove debris from waterways after a hurricane.  In addition to removing debris, subcontractors for the engineering firm also cleared and widened waterways without authorization from the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers.  The government launched a federal grand jury investigation and Burnside Environmental Group professionals assisted defense counsel in conducting an internal investigation, recreating the government investigation, and meeting with government investigators to present investigative findings.  The case was later declined by U. S. DOJ.


Large Manufacturing Facility- Federal Grand Jury Investigation and Declination

A large manufacturing facility was the subject of a Federal grand jury investigation and criminal search warrant.  Probable cause for the warrant included sample results from covert sampling of the facility’s discharge.  During the search warrant, documents were seized and facility personnel were interviewed by government agents.  Burnside Environmental Group was retained to mirror the government’s activities which included reviewing search warrant documents, interviewing personnel who had been interviewed by special agents, evaluating the facility’s process and wastewater treatment facility, and collecting wastewater samples.  Burnside Environmental Group professionals assisted defense counsel in preparing and making a presentation to the U. S. Department of Justice. Subsequently, prosecution of the case was declined.


Liquid Waste Hauling Company- Federal/State Criminal Investigation and Declination

A small grease trap cleaning company was alleged to have improperly cleaned restaurant grease traps.  Burnside Environmental Group was retained to review the government’s case, advise defense counsel on the strength of the case, and attend meetings with the prosecutor.  All environmental charges were declined.


Independent Monitoring

BEG provided expert environmental compliance oversight for Administrative Agreements (AA) concerning a shipbuilding operation, large poultry processing company, and a wire manufacturer. In all instances Burnside Environmental Group auditors conducted onsite visits to include records reviews, interviews of senior and mid-level managers and technical audits of structural improvements and upgrades. Our independent auditors were able to provide the companies and EPA with in-depth technical reviews related to compliance activities required under the agreements. It is the environmental regulatory and ethics expertise of BEG’s monitors that provides EPA with confidence to find that a company is compliant with administrative requirements.


Internal Investigations and Process Review – Contract Labor Company for Oil & Gas Industry- Federal Investigation and Declination

Investigators with Burnside Environmental Group assisted corporate and defense counsel with an internal investigation into employee practices related to potential environmental crimes. The matter was being investigated by the U. S. EPA Criminal Investigation Division. Witnesses were located and interviewed and Burnside Group Associates worked with counsel to prepare a presentation for the U. S. Attorney’s Office. As a result of our efforts, counsel was successful in obtaining a declination from the U. S. Department of Justice for the Client