At Hessian & McKasy, P.A. we represent businesses, individuals and local units of government in administrative and court proceedings where federal and state authorities, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) are seeking civil penalties or fines for alleged environmental violations. In Minnesota we assist clients in responding to Administrative Penalty Orders (APOs) issued by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). We negotiate civil penalties and corrective actions on behalf of our clients.
We closely scrutinize allegations that have been made against our clients. We also carefully review the statutes or regulatory provisions at issue. We advise our clients as to the relative merits of the government's claims and the legal responsibilities of our clients and affirmative defenses that may be available. We also advise our clients of their right to seek administrative or judicial review of agency determinations, such as Administrative Penalty Orders (APOs) issued by MPCA.
Environmental enforcement actions are often triggered by citizen complaints, information gathered by government agents during an inspection or through the review of documents that may be submitted by a regulated party to federal, state or local environmental authorities. In some cases disgruntled former employees or competitors file complaints that result in inspections.
Environmental authorities often send a Notice of Violation (NOV), an Administrative Penalty Order (APO) or some other document that notifies the regulated party that a violation is alleged to have occurred or been observed. In most instances, the EPA or the MPCA will ask the regulated party to provide a response including any exculpatory or explanatory information. We assist clients in evaluating allegations contained within Notice of Violation (NOVs) and Administrative Penalty Orders (APOs). We provide advice and prepare written responses to the alleged violations.