Waterways and Navigation Issues
Waterways and Navigation Issues
Navigable waterways provide vital transportation networks and resources for the national and global economy.  Kelley Drye offers a rare understanding of the operational, commercial, and environmental issues impacting users of navigable waters and waterfront terminals. 

We have acquired a great deal of knowledge about our clients in these particular sectors through years of representing them in matters involving contaminated sediments and waterways, tariff construction and enforcement, commercial litigation and contract disputes, pipeline easements and related disputes, catastrophic accidents, spills, derailments and allisions, emergency prevention and response actions, internal investigations, and a wide variety of other operational matters.  We also work with and represent clients before federal and state agencies, including the United States Army Corps of Engineers and United States Coast Guard, on matters impacting navigation and commerce.

Regulatory and Operational Issues

Kelley Drye provides valuable service and advice on the laws and regulations governing the nation’s waterways.  Our regulatory representation spans a wide spectrum including advising clients on regulatory compliance, negotiations with regulators to resolve administrative and enforcement actions, and securing permits and approvals for development in and around navigable waters.  Our firm also evaluates permitting requirements and secures permits for air emissions, waste water discharges, and waste generation, storage and disposal.

Our team also routinely advises clients with issues involving projects requiring Corps of Engineers’ permits and approvals.  Recently, for example, we assisted a client in defending against claims arising out of a large landslide that closed a federal channel.  We have also represented clients in obtaining permits to modify or alter federal projects or construction in navigable waters.  Kelley Drye works with the Corps of Engineers to gain authorization and appropriations to expand and deepen federal channels.  Our efforts have led to maintenance dredging of federal channels as well as the removal of military munitions from waterways.  We also regularly deal with sediment and dredge material issues affecting terminal operators.

Moreover, our team has rare experience in representing the interests of governmental entities at all levels, including states, municipal and local governmental entities, public port authorities and airport systems, and criminal and environmental enforcement agencies.  Our lawyers served as Special Counsel to the Attorney General of New Jersey and represented the state of New Jersey in litigation associated with the contamination of and natural resource damages to the Passaic River, one of the most significant and high-profile water pollution cases in the country.  Our lawyers also represented the state of Louisiana through the Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator's Office (LOSCO) in assessing and responding to the unprecedented natural resource and economic damages caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  The firm currently represents the state of New Mexico in cutting-edge litigation stemming from the Gold King Mine spill into the Animas River in the Southwestern United States.  At the same time, the firm represents the District of Columbia related to the Anacostia River and the San Diego Unified Port District in connection with PCB-related contamination in and around San Diego Bay.  These types of representations, particularly in high-stakes environmental matters, provide our attorneys with an unparalleled understanding of the diverse concerns and perspectives that influence complex environmental matters.

Waterway Spill, Damage and Incident Response

At Kelley Drye, we have represented port authorities, maritime terminal operators and waterfront industrial users in spill response, other environmental matters, allisions and dock damages and incident response across the country.  We represent clients in preparing for and responding to environmental and waterfront incidents.  We appear before regulatory agencies and represent clients in the subsequent prosecution of and/or defense of claims for damages and response costs incurred in dealing with incident response.  We have experience representing our clients as plaintiffs and defendants in a wide variety of actions, including cost recovery actions, contribution actions, CERCLA, RCRA, CWA, and OPA litigation, nuisance and property damage litigation, natural resource damages litigation, and many other matters relating to contamination and impaired real property.

Environmental Matters

Kelley Drye is involved in many of the most complex environmental matters in the country, often navigating a unique blend of state and federal environmental laws and regulations.

We have substantial experience in representing our waterfront clients in environmental and land use matters, including claims directed at remediating contaminated properties and submerged lands, responding to releases, managing dredge material and dredge disposal facilities, and prosecuting claims designed to recoup economic and property damages resulting from a nuisance or trespass impacting commerce, or created by hazardous materials.  We also advise clients in air, water and industrial activity permitting, permit compliance and enforcement actions.

 
 

Overview

Navigable waterways provide vital transportation networks and resources for the national and global economy.  Kelley Drye offers a rare understanding of the operational, commercial, and environmental issues impacting users of navigable waters and waterfront terminals. 

We have acquired a great deal of knowledge about our clients in these particular sectors through years of representing them in matters involving contaminated sediments and waterways, tariff construction and enforcement, commercial litigation and contract disputes, pipeline easements and related disputes, catastrophic accidents, spills, derailments and allisions, emergency prevention and response actions, internal investigations, and a wide variety of other operational matters.  We also work with and represent clients before federal and state agencies, including the United States Army Corps of Engineers and United States Coast Guard, on matters impacting navigation and commerce.

Regulatory and Operational Issues

Kelley Drye provides valuable service and advice on the laws and regulations governing the nation’s waterways.  Our regulatory representation spans a wide spectrum including advising clients on regulatory compliance, negotiations with regulators to resolve administrative and enforcement actions, and securing permits and approvals for development in and around navigable waters.  Our firm also evaluates permitting requirements and secures permits for air emissions, waste water discharges, and waste generation, storage and disposal.

Our team also routinely advises clients with issues involving projects requiring Corps of Engineers’ permits and approvals.  Recently, for example, we assisted a client in defending against claims arising out of a large landslide that closed a federal channel.  We have also represented clients in obtaining permits to modify or alter federal projects or construction in navigable waters.  Kelley Drye works with the Corps of Engineers to gain authorization and appropriations to expand and deepen federal channels.  Our efforts have led to maintenance dredging of federal channels as well as the removal of military munitions from waterways.  We also regularly deal with sediment and dredge material issues affecting terminal operators.

Moreover, our team has rare experience in representing the interests of governmental entities at all levels, including states, municipal and local governmental entities, public port authorities and airport systems, and criminal and environmental enforcement agencies.  Our lawyers served as Special Counsel to the Attorney General of New Jersey and represented the state of New Jersey in litigation associated with the contamination of and natural resource damages to the Passaic River, one of the most significant and high-profile water pollution cases in the country.  Our lawyers also represented the state of Louisiana through the Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator's Office (LOSCO) in assessing and responding to the unprecedented natural resource and economic damages caused by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  The firm currently represents the state of New Mexico in cutting-edge litigation stemming from the Gold King Mine spill into the Animas River in the Southwestern United States.  At the same time, the firm represents the District of Columbia related to the Anacostia River and the San Diego Unified Port District in connection with PCB-related contamination in and around San Diego Bay.  These types of representations, particularly in high-stakes environmental matters, provide our attorneys with an unparalleled understanding of the diverse concerns and perspectives that influence complex environmental matters.

Waterway Spill, Damage and Incident Response

At Kelley Drye, we have represented port authorities, maritime terminal operators and waterfront industrial users in spill response, other environmental matters, allisions and dock damages and incident response across the country.  We represent clients in preparing for and responding to environmental and waterfront incidents.  We appear before regulatory agencies and represent clients in the subsequent prosecution of and/or defense of claims for damages and response costs incurred in dealing with incident response.  We have experience representing our clients as plaintiffs and defendants in a wide variety of actions, including cost recovery actions, contribution actions, CERCLA, RCRA, CWA, and OPA litigation, nuisance and property damage litigation, natural resource damages litigation, and many other matters relating to contamination and impaired real property.

Environmental Matters

Kelley Drye is involved in many of the most complex environmental matters in the country, often navigating a unique blend of state and federal environmental laws and regulations.

We have substantial experience in representing our waterfront clients in environmental and land use matters, including claims directed at remediating contaminated properties and submerged lands, responding to releases, managing dredge material and dredge disposal facilities, and prosecuting claims designed to recoup economic and property damages resulting from a nuisance or trespass impacting commerce, or created by hazardous materials.  We also advise clients in air, water and industrial activity permitting, permit compliance and enforcement actions.

Partner
Email (713) 355-5050(713) 355-5050
Bill Jackson is managing partner of the firm’s Houston and Austin offices and co-chair of the Environmental Law practice.  Bill has one of the most sophisticated and successful environm...
Partner
Email (713) 355-5055(713) 355-5055
Micheal Dobbs has nearly two decades of experience in commercial, environmental and tort litigation matters, with an emphasis on environmental litigation and regulatory matters.  He has serve...
Partner
Email (713) 355-5024(713) 355-5024
Ann Al-Bahish litigates environmental, commercial and tort matters across the country and has tried cases in state and federal courts.  In addition to general litigation experience, Ann thoro...
Partner
Email (713) 355-5006(713) 355-5006
Kenneth Corley’s practice is focused on litigation and trial advocacy, with an emphasis on environmental and business disputes in state and federal trial courts. Kenny’s environme...
Partner
Email (713) 355-5005(713) 355-5005
John Gilmour co-chairs the Environmental Litigation section.  His practice encompasses significant commercial, tort and environmental matters from coast to coast, including some of the larges...
Partner
Email (713) 355-5023(713) 355-5023
Will Petit represents clients in the litigation and trial of environmental, commercial and general civil matters.  He also provides practical, cost-effective legal advice on general business ...
Special Counsel
Email (713) 355-5017(713) 355-5017
Melanie McDonald’s practice includes civil and complex business and commercial litigation, including insurance coverage disputes, multiparty environmental disputes, and the defense of person...
Associate
Email (713) 355-5002(713) 355-5002
Mark Donatiello is an associate in the firm’s Houston office. His practice concentrates on environmental and natural resources law.  He also works in regulatory law. Previously, Ma...
Associate
Email (512) 391-1627(512) 391-1627
Allison Lowry is an associate in the firm’s Austin office.  Her practice concentrates on environmental and natural resources law, with an emphasis on environmental litigation and regula...
Associate
Email (713) 355-5021(713) 355-5021
Jordan Rodriguez is an associate in the firm’s Houston office and represents clients in the litigation and trial of environmental, commercial, and general civil matters. He concentrates on en...
Associate
Email (713) 355-5009(713) 355-5009
Lauren Valastro is an associate in the firm’s Houston office. She represents clients in general civil, complex commercial, and environmental litigation matters, at the trial and appellate le...

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