Find a Natural Resources Law Lawyer

Natural Resources Law applies to the protection of all resources belonging to and regulated by the government. These resources include wildlife, water, air, fish, minerals, oil, and trees. Specific information regarding the use of many of our natural resources can generally be found within the context of Environmental Law. For this reason, these two laws are inextricably bound, which is why many attorneys will categorize their specialty as “Natural Resources and Environmental Law.”

There are many reasons why a particular agency might require the services of a Natural Resources and Environmental Law attorney. On the flipside, individual concerns about the environment are quite common and can often be resolved without pursuing legal action.

The Role Of A Natural Resources and Environmental Law Attorney

Natural Resources and Environmental Law attorneys counsel clients in a wide variety of areas. They assist business owners in interpreting the complex nature of today's environmental and natural resources laws. They also oversee reviews of the environmental aspects of proposed real estate transactions, counseling lenders on how to avoid liability for contaminated real estate.

In some cases, they help safeguard your drinking water by investigating contamination claims and selecting expedient solutions. They also assist clients with a variety of hazardous waste management activities and matters pertaining to recycling and mineral rights ownership.

Natural Resources and Environmental Law attorneys may represent cities, counties, municipalities, and water districts as well as utility and railroad companies and a variety of other clients involved in such natural resource industries as oil and gas.

Resolving Your Environmental Concerns

We are all concerned about the environment. Sometimes, problems arise that we don't quite know how to deal with on our own. Is it necessary to contact a lawyer? Below, you will find answers to some common environmental concerns.

- I think I may be living near the source of some potentially hazardous material. What can I do?

It is important to double your efforts. You want to voice your concerns, but you also want to investigate at the same time. Place a call to your local Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) so that they can issue a permit to the business in order to find out the name of the project's contact. Next, make an appointment to tour the facility. Contact other organizations that may also be affected by the potential waste and solicit their input.

Once you've researched the matter and gotten others to realize the importance of the cause, you should organize a public meeting. All concerns and suggested alternatives should be expressed in writing and delivered to your contact at the facility.

- As a private landowner, am I prohibited from clearing trees in an area containing Northern spotted owls because they happen to be an endangered species?

You are not necessarily forbidden to do so under the law. In accordance with the Endangered Species Act, if your action is likely to result in the "taking" of an endangered species, you will need a permit from the Fish and Wildlife Service. In this sense, “taking” is defined as killing, wounding, capturing, or in any other way, harming an endangered species.

- What exactly constitutes an environmental emergency and whom do I contact in such an event?

As with all emergencies, environmental emergencies should be reported by calling 911. You may also notify the National Response Center Hotline, the federal government's centralized reporting center, at 1-800-424-8802, which is operated by U.S. Coast Guard personnel twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Examples of environmental emergencies may include chemical spills and accidents involving the release of pollutants.

By Lindsay Rech           

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