What is your end game?
How I represent clients at Schwabe
Environmental and natural resource issues have been at the core of my practice for 25 years. I was trained as a litigator, but now also handle many transactional matters that involve environmental issues like contamination, regulatory compliance, and risk allocation. My litigation experience helps me understand risk in transactional matters, and my transaction experience helps me frame the strengths and weaknesses of a case in court.
On the transaction side, I work on deals for buyers, sellers, landlords, and tenants involving environmental due diligence review, indemnities and other risk-allocation provisions, pollution insurance, permitting and regulatory compliance, and other areas of environmental risk and exposure. I have been involved with transacting or cleaning up sites formerly and currently used as gas stations, dry cleaners, forest product mills, manufacturing facilities, auto wrecking yards, mines, landfills, and bulk fueling facilities. In addition to these kinds of sites, I am familiar with operations and risks associated with forestry and agricultural land and have negotiated many Prospective Purchaser Agreements to reduce liability exposure for properties with environmental risks.
My environmental work also includes assistance with stormwater permitting and compliance, hazardous and solid waste management, project development, water quality and quantity disputes, wetlands issues, and locating environmental insurance coverage.
I still litigate, both in court and in administrative settings, and have no problem trying a case if that is the best course of action. But, I have negotiated resolution of many disputes by way of settlements, consent judgments or orders, and other agreements with private parties and state and federal administrative agencies.
In addition to the above, I advise a few fantastic companies on day-to-day decision-making, including managing risks and liabilities.
Chambers & Partners USA, client highlights
“Carson Bowler is incredibly succinct, thoughtful, organized and knowledgeable. He is a huge asset.”
“He is a real benefit, good at keeping the project moving forward with the regulatory agencies.”
“He has excellent knowledge of technical and legal facts, and excellent problem-solving skills. He is a fine project administrator.”
“Carson Bowler has been instrumental in helping us.”
Real Estate Transactions and Development
- Broad experience with due diligence and transactions for sites with environmental concerns, including major industrial facilities, former dry-cleaning sites, gas stations, wind and solar farms, former landfills, timberlands, and wood products manufacturing facilities.
- Negotiated cost recovery and indemnity agreements for former and current gas station sites with Shell, Chevron, and, BP.
- Secured numerous Prospective Purchaser Agreements for buyers with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), including for sites with existing No Further Action Letters, sites located in Superfund areas, and low-income and affordable housing.
- Advised buyers and owners on pollution insurance options for environmental liabilities.
- Advised clients on permitting obligations for stormwater, wetlands, hazardous and solid wastes, and other permits for development projects.
- Assisted clients with achieving site closure on numerous projects, including coordinating environmental consultants, permitting, insurance recovery, cleanup strategy, and settlements with governmental agencies.
- Assisted clients with projects involving soil, groundwater, and sediment cleanup of bulk fuel facilities, former dry cleaners, wood product manufacturing facilities, landfills, gas stations, boat building and repair facilities, marine oil spills, and areawide sites.
- Coordinate environmental audits and facility reviews.
- Helped develop, refine, and tailor forestry-related policies, including Forest Stewardship Council, Lacey Act, and chain-of-custody strategies.
- Litigated in state, federal, and administrative courts, including for matters involving property damage, water rights, Clean Water Act, lease disputes, environmental damage and cost recovery, and licensing and enforcement actions.
- Tried to verdict two cases involving contamination from underground storage tanks in which judgments found property owner (clients) were not liable for cleanup costs (and shifting 100% of cost to former owners) and awarding attorney fees; one case required overcoming an “as-is” clause in the purchase and sale agreement (Rudder v. Hosack, 317 Or App 473 (2022)).
- Defended Superfund prosecution by the U.S. Department of Justice arising out of dioxin and other contamination used at a window-manufacturing site.
- Worked on a team that had an $8 million Oregon Superfund case dismissed in a suit filed by an Oregon municipality.
- Litigated navigability determinations for the John Day River and Waldo Lake in state and federal court.
- Defended wood products manufacturer in Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) case brought by the United States for cleanup costs related to historical lumber treatment operations.
- University of Oregon School of Law, Juris Doctor degreeEditor-in-Chief, Oregon Law Review (1994)
- University of Oregon, Bachelor of Arts degree (1991)
- Oregon State Courts
- Washington State Courts
- U.S. Court of Appeals - Ninth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Federal Claims
- U.S. District Court - District of Oregon
- Oregon State Bar Administrative Law Section, Executive Committee (2015–2022), Chair (2018)
- Oregon State Bar Energy, Telecommunications & Utility Law Section, Executive Committee (2002–2003), Chair (2003)
- Multnomah Bar Association Court Liaison Committee (2009–2012)
- Multnomah Bar Association Young Lawyers Section, Service to the Bar Committee, Chair (2001), Professionalism Committee (2001–2003), Award of Merit (2001)
- American Inns of Court, Gus J. Solomon Chapter (1997–2003)
- Sigma Nu Fraternity Alpha Affiliate
- Ranked for Environment Lawyers in Oregon, Chambers USA (2021-2023)
Redevelopment of Brownfield Sites
Northwest Environmental Business Council (NEBC) conference
December 2, 2021
Managing Compliance & Continuity in Challenging Times
NEBC Environment & Business Conference
December 9, 2020
Clean Water Act Enforcement
Managing Stormwater in Oregon Conference
June 9, 2020
Environmental Laws and Regulations
Conference on Environmental Protection: What’s Next?
Environmental Law Education Center
January 20, 2017
Case Study: Astoria Marine Construction Company
2016 Superfund in Oregon Conference
October 21, 2016
Working with DEQ—Understanding the Spectrum of DEQ’s Programs
Oregon Brownfields Conference
May 16, 2016
ISO 14001/Environmental Management Systems: Things Your Facility Needs to Know
Northwest Pulp & Paper Association Annual Meeting
June 3, 2015
- Trinity Academy, Board Member
- University of Oregon Sigma Nu Fraternity, former Alumni Board President and Board Member
- Imago Dei Community, Children’s Ministry Volunteer
Carson loves his work, but he loves his family more, and to a lesser degree, commuting by bike, running, golfing poorly and getting out on his motorcycle.
Ideas & Insights
News and Insights delivered to your inbox