Environmental Law


Team Skills & Experience Brief

  • More than 30 years of experience in representing clients in environmental pollution matters.
  • The firm was selected for inclusion in the 2013 edition of Chambers USA, Leading Lawyers for Business as a Leading Law Firm in Litigation: General Commercial.
  • The team served as lead counsel for a major railroad company after a train derailment and toxic chlorine release resulted in more than 9 deaths and over 1000 claims in South Carolina.
  • The team served as lead South Carolina counsel for a chemical manufacturer in connection with the first case to be multi-districted in the state.

Environmental Team

GWB has represented corporations, manufacturers, and insurance carriers in environmental pollution and cost recovery cases for more than 30 years. Environmental Team members are complex litigation attorneys who understand the issues related to environmental matters.  The team’s extensive experience in environmental matters and familiarity with state and federal environmental laws and regulations allow team attorneys to work with clients to prepare effective defense strategies.  Environmental issues often undertaken by the team include:

  • Surface and Groundwater Contamination Disputes
  • Water Rights Disputes
  • Adjacent Land Owner Disputes
  • Federal and State Environmental Enforcement Actions
  • Citizen suits under RCRA, CERCLA and the Clean Air Act
  • Contaminated Property Claims
  • Environmentally-Related Product Liability Cases
  • Federal Clean Air Act
  • Federal Clean Water Act
  • Natural Resource Damages (NRD) Claims
  • Nuisance Claims
  • South Carolina Pollution Control Act
  • South Carolina Safe Drinking Water Act
  • State Permitting
  • Underground Storage Tanks

The team’s clients are located in the Carolinas as well as throughout the United States.  These clients include individuals, well-known publicly traded companies, and privately held entities.

Representative Matters

The Environmental Team has represented clients in a myriad of matters related to environmental issues.  A sample of these matters includes:

  • In 2012, GWB became involved with a case where a South Carolina water utility company alleged ground water contamination against local products manufacturers and the farming community.
  • 248 residents of a local village in South Carolina sued two corporations for injuries and damages caused by exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (“PCB’s”) alleging its discharge by a facility owned by the two corporations.
  • A finishing company discovered extensive deposits of hexavalent chromium in the soils and ground water under its plant that was sold to them by another corporation.
  • A wire, cable, and cord manufacturer leased a parcel of land in Puerto Rico to a printing company in the 1980s.  In 2003, after the printing company had vacated the premises, representatives of wire manufacturer discovered extensive hazardous waste and hazardous substances buried on its property in Puerto Rico.

Team Members

Key Contacts

John T. Lay, Jr.

Columbia, SC