Mark L. Farley

Partner
mark.farley@kattenlaw.com
Houston Office
p+1.713.270.3434
f+1.713.583.1953
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Overview

Mark L. Farley is co-head of the Environmental practice and head of the Workplace Safety practice. He advises clients on a wide range of environmental, health and safety (EHS) issues, and focuses on internal investigations and crisis response. Mark routinely counsels companies in connection with major industrial accidents, whistleblowers, process safety incidents and workplace fatalities. He served in lead attorney roles for the most significant refinery accidents in the United States in the last 20 years.

Mark has helped clients respond to investigations by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the Chemical Safety Board (CSB), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and state regulatory agencies. He was one of the lead partners supporting the work of the BP US Refineries Independent Safety Review Panel, which investigated the corporate safety culture and oversight at BP's North American refineries on behalf of an independent panel of experts chaired by former US Secretary of State James A. Baker III.

A significant part of Mark’s practice involves counseling companies on EHS culture and the management of process safety. In the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon incident, he advises energy companies with upstream operations on emerging regulatory requirements and systems for overseeing EHS performance.

Mark has also worked as in-house environmental counsel for a chemical manufacturer and for a major transportation company, serving as its legal representative on crisis response teams.

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Experience
  • Advise a major passenger air carrier regarding hazardous waste compliance for airport maintenance facilities throughout the United States.
  • Representation in of an energy company in Chemical Safety Board (CSB), state Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) investigation into fire at oil refinery and subsequent enforcement.
  • Representation of an energy company in Cal-OSHA investigation into steam pipeline rupture that resulted in serious burn injuries and subsequent enforcement.
  • Representation of a chemical manufacturer in an investigation by the Chemical Safety Board (CSB) into a release of toxic chemicals that necessitated a community evacuation in Pennsylvania.
  • Defense of an energy company in a Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act federal criminal enforcement case in Oklahoma.
  • Defense of an energy company in a state criminal prosecution under the Texas Water Code.
  • Defense of a marine transportation company in multiple environmental whistleblower complaints filed with the US Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) Office of Administrative Law Judges (OALJ).
  • Representation of an energy company in connection with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enforcement involving contractor fatality.
  • Representation of energy company in investigation by the Chemical Safety Board (CSB) and Washington State Department of Labor and Industries into refinery accident that resulted in seven fatalities.
  • Special investigation on behalf of energy company into safety performance and culture at refinery in response to whistleblower complaint to chief executive officer (CEO) after a fatality.
  • Defense of a barge fleeting and shifting company in a Clean Water Act federal criminal enforcement case initiated by the Texas Environmental Enforcement Task Force.
  • Representation of a sports arena operator in an investigation by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) into a workplace fatality.
  • Representation of an oil field services company in connection with US Department of Justice (DOJ) and US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation into alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).
  • Representation of an energy company in Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigation into fire at storage terminal that resulted in a fatality and subsequent enforcement.
  • Representation as one of the lead lawyers conducting a special investigation into corporate safety culture and corporate safety oversight at BP’s five North American refineries on behalf of an independent panel of experts (BP US Refineries Independent Safety Review Panel) chaired by former US Secretary of State James A. Baker III.
  • Representation of an energy company in connection with inspections and subsequent enforcement by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) under the Petroleum Refinery Process Safety National Emphasis Program.
  • Defense of a pipeline company in a federal criminal enforcement case involving the unpermitted disposal of hazardous waste in Pennsylvania.
  • Defense of a chemical manufacturer in an administrative action filed by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) alleging violations of the requirements for burning hazardous waste in boilers.
  • Representation of an energy company in a criminal investigation into alleged violations of US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations regarding oil and gas reserves accounting.
  • Representation of an energy company in a confidential internal investigation into whistleblower allegations regarding mechanical integrity inspections.
  • Representation of a chemical manufacturer in preparation for inspections and subsequent enforcement by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) under the PSM Covered Chemical Facilities National Emphasis Program.
  • Representation of a chemical manufacturer to evaluate the effectiveness of company’s systems for environmental, health and safety (EHS) corporate oversight.
  • Defense of an environmental manager in a federal grand jury investigation into the use of ozone-depleting substances.
  • Representation of an oil field services company in an investigation by a federal grand jury and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms regarding the management of nonconforming munitions.

Recognition

Legal 500, 2012

BTI Client Service All-Star

BTI Client Service All-Star , 2011

Education

  • JD, University of Pittsburgh School of Law
  • MPH, University of Pittsburgh
  • BA, Washington and Lee University
  • BS, Washington and Lee University

Bar Admissions

  • Texas

Court Admissions

  • US District Court, Southern District of Texas
  • US District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania

Recognition

2012

BTI Client Service All-Star

2011
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