Attorneys
Walter Wright

Walter G. Wright

Member
Email:wwright@mwlaw.com
Phone:(501) 688.8839
Location: Little Rock
Bar Admissions: Arkansas

Walter G. Wright, Jr. is a member of the Business Practice Group.  His practice has focused for almost thirty years on environmental, energy (petroleum marketing), and water law.  Mr. Wright's expertise includes counseling clients on issues involving environmental permits, compliance strategies, enforcement defense, property redevelopment issues, environmental impact statements, and procurement/management of water rights.

Mr. Wright routinely advises developers, lenders, petroleum marketers, and others about effective strategies for structuring real estate and corporate transactions to address environmental financial risks.  He also serves as General Counsel and provides legislative representation to the Arkansas Oil Marketers Association, Arkansas Recyclers Association (scrap facilities) and Arkansas Manufactured Housing Association.  A unique part of his practice has been drafting and negotiation of a variety of specialized agreements involving the sale or consignment of motor fuels along with the ancillary agreements associated with the upstream segment of the petroleum industry.

Experience

  • Representation of industrial and commercial companies at various state and federal Superfund sites
  • Advising biofuel and renewable energy facilities in regards to various issues
  • Managing soil and/or groundwater contamination cases including retention and oversight of environmental consultants
  • Advising clients in regards to Clean Water Act wetland and 404 issues including delineation and permit matters.
  • Defending companies served with administrative enforcement actions including demands for investigation/remediation
  • Advice and advocacy regarding ensuring the marketability of recyclables such as steel slag, cement kiln dust, fly ash, scrap and other materials
  • Negotiating environmental agency voluntary and involuntary orders related to site investigations and remediation conducted under state and federal law
  • Counseling companies on environmental audit issues including issues involving disclosure and confidentiality issues
  • Providing advice to companies considering use of Arkansas and federal voluntary or self-disclosure programs.
  • Negotiation and drafting of various petroleum marketing agreements involving sale or consignment of petroleum products
  • Negotiation and drafting agreements allocating environmental liability issues in industries such as food processing, petroleum, natural gas, aviation, utility, wood preserving, convenience store, printing, forest product, solid waste management, chemical processing, hazardous waste management and others
  • Advice regarding state no-discharge and land application water permits
  • Negotiation and assistance in the redevelopment of brownfield properties (including Arkansas Elective Site Cleanup agreements)
  • Advising POTWs regarding NPDES permit and pre-treatment requirements
  • Drafting, lobbying and negotiation of legislation such as the creation of the Arkansas Petroleum Storage Tank Trust Fund and Arkansas Recycling Tax Credit
  • Drafting, lobbying and negotiation of Arkansas legislative amendments removing state barriers to the interstate movement of solid waste
  • Representation and advising various lenders on identification, quantification and/or resolution of potential environmental issues associated with collateral (including the use of environmental insurance)
  • Addressing National Environmental Policy Act and Endangered Species Act issues associated with various public and private development/resource projects
  • Providing advice to public and private entities in regard to common law water rights and/or Arkansas Natural Resources Commission withdrawal permits
  • Advice regarding application of Arkansas Recycling Tax Credit provisions to various projects/activities
  • Advising various owners and operators of aboveground and underground storage tanks in regards to issues associated with Arkansas Petroleum Storage Tank Trust Fund claims
  • Advising purchasers, sellers, lessors, lessees, and lenders of commercial, industrial and office structures regarding issues identified in transactional environmental assessments such as mold, asbestos, radon, lead-based paint, storage tanks, and vapor intrusion
  • General Counsel and legislative representation to the Arkansas Oil Marketers Association, Arkansas Manufactured Housing Association and Arkansas Recyclers Association
  • Advice related to competition and pricing issues involving the Petroleum Marketing Practices Act and antitrust laws associated with the marketing of petroleum products
  • Advising hazardous waste treatment storage and disposal facilities regarding complex Resource Conservation and Recovery Act issues including use of hazardous waste for energy recovery
  • Preparation and submission of comments on behalf of various facilities and industries in regards to environmental rulemakings and permits
  • Counseling facilities on risk-based closures and remediation
  • Assisting in the transfer of state and federal permits associated with commercial transactions
  • Counseling public and private facilities in regards to Clean Water Act, National Pollution Discharge Elimination System, associated with wastewater and stormwater discharges permitting issues
  • Negotiation and advice regarding brownfield and Elective Site Cleanup Agreements
  • Providing counsel and advice in regards to various types of Clean Air Act issues such as Prevention of Significant Deterioration, State Implementation Plan, National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutant, Title V and General Permits
  • Advising shippers and transporters regarding the application and interpretation of Hazardous Materials Transportation Act regulations
  • Advising companies on reporting, confidentiality and related issues associated with environmental audits
  • Advice regarding Arkansas open cut and quarry permitting issues

Previous Employment

  • Minority Staff, United States House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee, 1983-1984
  • Assistant General Counsel, Petroleum Marketers Association of America, Washington, D.C., 1984-1985

Adjunct Law Professor

  • University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Law 1989-Present (courses include Environmental Law, Hazardous Substances Law)
  • University of Arkansas (Fayetteville) 2011-2012 (courses include Advanced Environmental Law)

Speeches and Presentations

  • Arkansas Environmental Federation
  • Arkansas Bar Association
  • Petroleum Marketers Association of America
  • Arkansas Water and Wastewater Managers Association
  • Arkansas Oil Marketers Association
  • Air and Waste Management Association (National and Arkansas Chapter)
  • Arkansas Recyclers Association
  • National Business Institute
  • Arkansas Realtors Association
  • Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries
  • Arkansas Society of Professional Lobbyists
  • Preparation and Presentation of Papers at Seven Air and Waste Management National Conferences

Education

  • The George Washington University Law Center LL.M. (1985)
  • University of Arkansas School of Law J.D. (1983)
  • University of Arkansas B.S. (1980)

Professional Recognition

  • The Best Lawyers in America: Environmental Law, in Little Rock (2005-2018)
  • The Best Lawyers in America:  Water Law, in Little Rock (2012-2018)
  • Best Lawyers* Environmental Law "Lawyer of the Year" in Little Rock (2014)

Involvement

  • Member, Arkansas Environmental Federation (Air and Regulated Waste Committees)
  • Member, Arkansas Bar Association (Environmental and Natural Resources Sections)
  • Member, Arkansas Oil Marketers Association (Environment Committee)
  • Member, Environmental Law Institute

News & Articles

Firm News

Articles

Publications

  • Author, In Storage Tank Fuels We Trust:  An Analysis of Their Role in Protecting Small Business and the Environment, University of Arkansas at Little Rock Law Journal 417 (1991)
  • Co-Author, The Arkansas Air Pollution Control Programs:  Past, Present and Future, 51 Arkansas Law Review 227 (1998)
  • Co-Author, Environmental Compliance Audits:  The Arkansas Experience, 21 University of Arkansas at Little Rock Law Review 191 (1999)
  • Co-Author, Arkansas Facility/Real Property Redevelopment In The Year 2000:  Tools Available to Resolve Environmental Issues, 52 Arkansas Law Review 751 (2000)
  • Co-Author, The Federal/Arkansas Water Pollution Control Programs:  Past, Present and Future, 23 University of Arkansas at Little Rock Law Review 541 (2001)
  • Co-Author, The Transactional Challenges Posed by Mold:  Risk Management and Allocation Issues, 56 Arkansas Law Review 295 (2003)
  • Co-Author, Recycling in Arkansas:  Selected Policy & Legal Issues, The Arkansas Lawyer (July 1992) (Arkansas Bar Association Writing Excellence Award – Best Article Published on a Subject in the Legal Category)
  • Co-Author, Water:  A Checklist of Arkansas Common Law and State Government Controls Applicable to its Use, The Arkansas Lawyer (Summer 1996) (Arkansas Bar Association Writing Excellence Award – Best Article Published on a Subject in the Legal Category)
  • Co-Author, A Place to Call Home:  Siting Manufactured Housing in Arkansas, The Arkansas Lawyer (Fall 2009) (Arkansas Bar Association Writing Excellence Award – Category of Legal Writing)
  • Contributing author of the book Environmental Aspects of Real Estate and Commercial Transactions, published by the American Bar Association (Author of chapters on underground storage tanks and mold)