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Benjamin S. Lippard

Benjamin S. Lippard Partner, Environmental & Natural Resources

Ben represents clients in a wide range of environmental matters, including civil litigation, civil and criminal enforcement defense, site remediation matters, and administrative proceedings. He also counsels clients regarding environmental issues associated with corporate transactions. 

Ben’s practice focuses on matters involving CERCLA, RCRA, the Clean Air Act, and the Clean Water Act, as well as a variety of other federal and state environmental and regulatory programs. He has represented companies in the electric utility, oil and gas, and mining industries in environmental litigation, regulatory matters, internal investigations, and responses to catastrophic incidents. Ben is also a member of the firm’s Climate Change practice, with a focus on litigation matters related to climate change and greenhouse gas emissions. 

Experience Highlights

  • Lead attorney representing a client in an EPA enforcement action alleging violations of the Clean Air Act’s New Source Review requirements and exceedences of air emissions limits
  • Represented a client in responding to a CERCLA unilateral administrative order regarding a significant sediment remediation project
  • Key member of the litigation team that successfully defended a utility company in a major civil enforcement action brought as part of the EPA’s New Source Review Enforcement Initiative against the coal-fired utility industry
  • Key member of the legal team that obtained summary judgment in defendant’s favor in a CERCLA cost recovery action involving more than $150 million in alleged liability
  • Represented a major industrial facility in developing a compliance strategy to address the requirements of EPA’s regional haze regulations and the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for sulfur dioxide; this engagement involved commenting on proposed EPA regulations, advising the client regarding compliance and air modeling issues, and appellate litigation challenging certain regulatory actions

Environmental Enforcement Defense

  • Key member of the legal team defending against civil and criminal claims under federal environmental statutes arising out of an explosion at an oil refinery
  • Lead attorney representing a client in an EPA enforcement action alleging violations of the Clean Air Act’s New Source Review requirements and exceedences of air emissions limits
  • Represented a client in responding to a CERCLA unilateral administrative order regarding a significant sediment remediation project
  • Lead attorney representing a client in a U.S. Department of Transportation enforcement proceeding alleging violations of federal transportation safety regulations
  • Key member of the litigation team that successfully defended a utility company in a major civil enforcement action brought as part of the EPA’s New Source Review Enforcement Initiative against the coal-fired utility industry

Environmental Litigation

  • Key member of the legal team that obtained summary judgment in defendant’s favor in a CERCLA cost recovery action involving more than $150 million in alleged liability
  • Primary attorney involved in preparing a client for an environmental arbitration regarding allocation of cleanup costs at a number of industrial facilities, including development of legal strategy, preparation of witnesses, and drafting related settlement agreements
  • Principal drafter of amicus curiae brief filed in a federal appeal involving potential civil liability for greenhouse gases emitted by electric utilities
  • Second-chaired an arbitration proceeding under an environmental indemnity contained in a $500 million asset purchase agreement; the claims at issue related to an EPA enforcement action against a large industrial facility in Virginia

Contaminated Sites & Remediation

  • Lead attorney dealing with environmental issues related to the condemnation of a historic hazardous waste site
  • Represented clients in managing and resolving historic liabilities associated with a number of historic mining operations across the United States
  • Represented a client in preparing comments to a proposed EPA remediation plan for a major sediment site where cleanup costs are forecast to exceed $1 billion
  • Represented a client in connection with the management of a voluntary response action at a major Superfund site being conducted by a group of cooperating parties
  • Drafted and negotiated provisions of EPA administrative orders on consent under Superfund, as well as provisions of agreements organizing a group of potentially responsible parties at a major Superfund site

Environmental Incidents & Crisis Response

  • Represented a client in defense of a criminal enforcement action in connection with an explosion at an oil refinery
  • Provided strategic advice regarding the legal risks and risk reduction measures related to serious event scenarios at its industrial facilities

Air Issues

  • Represented a major industrial facility in developing a compliance strategy to address the requirements of EPA’s regional haze regulations and the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for sulfur dioxide; this engagement involved commenting on proposed EPA regulations, advising the client regarding compliance and air modeling issues, and appellate litigation challenging certain regulatory actions

Water Issues

  • Represented a municipality in responding to EPA requests for information and potential enforcement action regarding Clean Water Act compliance for its municipal sewer systems
  • Advising client on EPA’s rulemaking regarding waters of the United States 

Waste Issues

  • Represented a client developing a strategy to respond to EPA proposed rule revising the definition of “solid waste” under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act

Natural Resource Damages

  • Represented clients responding to federal and state natural resource trustees’ claims for damages and assessment costs at various sites
  • Served as coordinating counsel for a group of companies responding to federal and state natural resource trustees’ claims for damages and assessment costs at a significant sediment site

Internal Investigations

  • Key member of internal investigation team that investigated allegations related to mechanical integrity and worker health and safety issues at an oil production facility
  • Key member of an internal investigation team that investigated alleged securities law violations related to municipal bond disclosures by a major city
  • Key member of internal investigation team that investigated allegations that classified information was mishandled at a private research facility


Contact Details

Washington

T +1.202.639.6640
F +1.202.879.8802
blippard@velaw.com
2200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Suite 500 West
Washington, DC 20037
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Benjamin's Practices

  • University of Virginia School of Law, J.D., 1998 (Editorial Board, Virginia Law Review; Order of the Coif)
  • University of Redlands, B.A., English Literature and Political Science cum laude, 1994 (Phi Beta Kappa)
  • Admitted to practice: Virginia; District of Columbia
  • Chambers USA, Environment (District of Columbia), 2017 and 2018
  • Chair: Environmental Enforcement and Crimes Committee, American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, 2014–2015
  • Vice-Chair: Environmental Enforcement and Crimes Committee, American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources ; Special Issues, 2005–2006; Committee Newsletter, 2006–2007 and 2009–2011; Year in Review, 2008–2009
  • Member: Steering Committee, District of Columbia Bar Association Environment, Energy, and Resources Section, 2010–2011, 2014–2015
  • Chair: Standing Committee on Site Remediation and Environmental Liability, District of Columbia Bar Association Environment, Energy, and Resources Section, 2013–2015