Contact Info

The Shanker Law Firm, PLC
700 East Baseline Road
Building. B
Tempe, Arizona 85283

Phone: (480) 838-9300
Fax: (480) 838-9433

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Environmental and Natural Resources Law and Litigation

The Shanker Law Firm, PLC represents communities, business interests, lenders, Native American Tribes, grassroots organizations, and environmental groups in a variety of environmental and natural resources matters. Members of the Firm have been on the cutting edge of environmental and natural resource law for over a decade. The Firm, inter alia: created federal precedent for the protection of desert washes (Save Our Sonoran v. Flowers, 408 F.3d 1113 (9th Cir. 2005)); saved the Grand Canyon from a land exchange that would have allowed for large scale commercial development on the southern edge of the National Park (Sierra Club et al v. Dombeck, 55 Fed. Appx. 411, 2002 WL 31887831 (9th Cir. 2002 – unpublished; 161 F. Supp.2d 1052 (D. Ariz. 2001)); helped preserve and create Goshawk habitat in the southwestern United States (Center for Biological Diversity v. U.S., 349 F.3d 1157 (9th Cir. 2003)); and worked to keep the Desert Nesting Bald Eagle from being taken off the endangered species list (Center for Biological Diversity v. Kempthorne, No. CV 07-0038-PHX-MHM (D. Ariz. 2008)). The Firm also, in part, stopped a land exchange that would have put a high power shooting range next to a residential subdivision in Bellmont, Arizona. The Firm has been involved in various cases to try to stop the State from destroying the San Pedro River to benefit a handful of developers and successfully assisted the Center for Biological Diversity in protecting the Verde River. The Firm also stopped the Bella Terra development, a subdivision with its own wastewater treatment plant near Oak Creek.

The Firm represented the Navajo Nation, the White Mountain Apache Tribe, the Yavapai-Apache Tribe, the Havasupai Tribe, the Sierra Club, the Center for Biological Diversity, and the Flagstaff Activist Network in, in part, NEPA litigation to stop the use of reclaimed wastewater to make snow on the sacred and environmentally sensitive San Francisco Peaks (Navajo Nation et al. v. U.S. Forest Service, 535 F.3d 1058 (9th Cir. en banc 2008. The Firm has also represented the Navajo Nation on issues of uranium contamination. In October, 2007, the Firm helped represent a delegation of Navajo testify at a hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on the issue of uranium mining and contamination on the Navajo Nation. The firm has recently argued before the 9th Circuit, representing The Peaks Coalition in its challenge to protect the health and welfare of Flagstaff citizens and visitors from the toxic impact of sewer water used to make artificial snow.

The Firm is on the cutting edge of Environmental Justice issues, in part, representing a minority community and the NAACP in opposing state permitting of a landfill on Title VI grounds and litigating a civil rights claim against Maricopa County, Arizona (NAACP v. Maricopa County, CV 03-2409-PHX-EHC (D. Ariz. 2004). The Firm also represented many of the members of the largely minority communities of Hayden and Winkleman in litigation to redress the negative, disparate impacts of pollution (e.g. Amparano v. ASARCO, 208 Ariz. 370, 93 P.3d 1086 (Ariz. App. 2004). In addition to its work with the Navajo Nation and other Tribes, the Firm previously represented the Black Mesa Trust, a Native American organization made up of Hopi and Navajo trying to protect their only potable source of water from the Peabody Coal Mine.

Members of the Firm have had extensive experience in RCRA, CAA, CWA and CERCLA matters, including negotiations, counseling, and compliance, permitting, transactions, and remediation and have represented lenders and business interests across the Country. The Firm's environmental and natural resources practice is national in scope having worked with parties, as well as state and federal agencies across the Country on myriad issues.

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