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What Does an Environmental Lawyer Do?

Environmental lawyers work with the government to ensure your business is following all environmental regulations and that you do the correct studies on the area of land you're building on. If you've been accused of violating an environmental regulation, your lawyer can defend you in court or in any settlement negotiations.

How Do I Know If I Need an Environmental Lawyer?

You may want to consult with an environmental lawyer if you're facing any of the following:
  • You want to build on a plot of land
  • Your business has caused some type of pollution
  • You want to use large amounts of water (for example, irrigation)
  • Your business will affect soil quality
  • You need to dispose of toxic waste
If you're at all confused about how environmental regulations affect your business or your plans to create a business, an environmental lawyer is the best source to go to for advice. Make sure your lawyer is up-to-date though because environmental law is a rapidly changing mixture of federal, state, and local regulations.

How Much Does an Environmental Lawyer Cost?

Not every lawyer chooses to bill in the same way, but many environmental lawyers charge an hourly rate. Your exact rate will vary depending on which industry your business is in, where in the country you're located, and the complexity of your case. Set a rate with your attorney up front so that there are no surprises once the bill arrives.

What Should I Expect When Working with an Environment Lawyer?

Outcomes will vary, but here are some common scenarios you might encounter:
  • Consulting with a lawyer to clear up legal confusion: You should leave knowing exactly which practices are allowed and which are not.
  • Applying to use natural resources: You have a good chance of gaining approval, provided the resource isn't scarce and you pay a usage fee.
  • Sued or investigated for violating a regulation: If you're proven guilty, you'll likely face a fine. Jail time or community service are also possible, but these consequences are reserved for serious violations.
An environmental lawyer is your best source of information regarding the most likely outcome since they have experience and a great deal of knowledge about the most current laws.

This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.

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