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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to increase its enforcement role in industrial accidents, at times overshadowing the role traditionally played by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). EPA often takes tougher enforcement actions than OSHA and is more willing to bring criminal charges. This trend is reflected in a recent case affirming EPA’s authority to bring criminal charges for alleged violations of the General Duty Clause (GDC) of Section 112(r)(1) of the Clean Air Act (CAA), U.S. v. Margiotta, No. CR 17-143-BLG-SPW-2, 2019 LEXIS 156994, 11 (D. MT. Sept. 13, 2019).

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Photo of Casey A. Shpall Casey A. Shpall

Casey A. Shpall focuses her practice on environmental matters. Prior to joining Greenberg Traurig, she served in the Colorado Department of Law for over 20 years, most recently as the Deputy Attorney General in the Natural Resources and Environment Section.

Photo of Michael T. Taylor Michael T. Taylor

Michael Taylor is Chair of the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice’s OSHA group. He focuses his practice exclusively on representing employers regarding Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Chemical Safety Board (CSB) matters across the country. Over the last eighteen years, Michael

Michael Taylor is Chair of the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice’s OSHA group. He focuses his practice exclusively on representing employers regarding Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Chemical Safety Board (CSB) matters across the country. Over the last eighteen years, Michael has defended scores of employers during enforcement litigation before federal OSHA, Cal-OSHA, SC-OSHA, WA-DOSH, as well as other state plan states. Many of these representations have involved a significant injury, fatality, or catastrophic event in the workplace.

Currently, Michael is providing guidance to employers regarding appropriate engineering, work practices, administrative controls, and personal protective equipment when dealing with COVID-19 in the workplace. Michael also provides OSHA compliance counseling, OSHA inspection counseling, OSHA whistleblower representation, and OSHA due diligence reviews, and CSB investigations for clients.  Michael has wide-ranging experience in the workplace safety field, including his prior public service as General Counsel to the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, the federal agency in charge of the trials and appeals of workplace safety and health disputes between federal OSHA and the regulated community. In 2013, EHS Today named Michael as one of the Top 50 People Who Most Influenced Environmental, Health, and Safety. A highly committed advocate, Michael’s clients can rely on him to be present and engaged regarding any workplace safety and health issue in any state across the country.

‡ Admitted in the District of Columbia. Not admitted in Virginia. Practice in Virginia limited to federal OSHA and proceedings before federal agencies.

Photo of Christopher Bell Christopher Bell

Chris Bell represents clients in civil and criminal enforcement and investigations, litigation, compliance counseling, emergency incident response, and legislative and regulatory advocacy (including appellate challenges to rulemakings) under all of the major environmental, health, safety and natural resource laws. His enforcement experience includes…

Chris Bell represents clients in civil and criminal enforcement and investigations, litigation, compliance counseling, emergency incident response, and legislative and regulatory advocacy (including appellate challenges to rulemakings) under all of the major environmental, health, safety and natural resource laws. His enforcement experience includes internal investigations, responding to grand jury investigations and agency information requests, and negotiating consent, probation, and debarment agreements. He is currently the EPA Independent Monitor overseeing the nation’s largest investor-owned energy company’s compliance with complex debarment and probation agreements arising from the resolution of a criminal enforcement case brought under the Clean Water Act.

Chris assists buyers, sellers, investors and financial institutions on the environmental aspects of transactions, including conducting due diligence, negotiating the environmental provisions of transactional documents, and identifying and executing insurance-based risk management opportunities. His transactional experience has included upstream, midstream and downstream energy projects, alternative energy projects, and transactions in the manufacturing, logistics, consumer products and chemicals sectors.

He helps clients evaluate and implement compliance and ethics programs (e.g., under the Sentencing Guidelines), and environmental, health and safety management systems (including based on ISO 14001). Chris advises clients on sustainable development, climate change, product and chemical stewardship and regulation, and value chain management. He recently served on an independent committee advising the senior management of a Fortune 50 company on its global sustainability strategy and reporting.