Chris Bell represents clients in civil and criminal enforcement and investigations, litigation, compliance counseling, emergency incident response, and legislative and regulatory advocacy (including appellate challenges to rulemakings) under all of the major environmental, health, safety and natural resource laws. His enforcement experience includes internal investigations, responding to grand jury investigations and agency information requests, and negotiating consent, probation, and debarment agreements. He is currently the EPA Independent Monitor overseeing the nation’s largest investor-owned energy company’s compliance with complex debarment and probation agreements arising from the resolution of a criminal enforcement case brought under the Clean Water Act.
Chris assists buyers, sellers, investors and financial institutions on the environmental aspects of transactions, including conducting due diligence, negotiating the environmental provisions of transactional documents, and identifying and executing insurance-based risk management opportunities. His transactional experience has included upstream, midstream and downstream energy projects, alternative energy projects, and transactions in the manufacturing, logistics, consumer products and chemicals sectors.
He helps clients evaluate and implement compliance and ethics programs (e.g., under the Sentencing Guidelines), and environmental, health and safety management systems (including based on ISO 14001). Chris advises clients on sustainable development, climate change, product and chemical stewardship and regulation, and value chain management. He recently served on an independent committee advising the senior management of a Fortune 50 company on its global sustainability strategy and reporting.
He is also experienced with international matters, including compliance with product and chemical regulations in the EU and Asia, and the international transportation of raw materials and waste. For over twenty years he has represented industry in the development of international standards, including ISO standards on EMS (ISO 14001), auditing, life cycle assessment, sustainable development, nanotechnology, and anti-bribery management systems (ISO 37001).
Chris spent a year seconded to a major multinational corporation as in-house counsel, and has worked with clients in many sectors, including power generation and distribution, natural gas, alternative energy, transportation, chemicals, oil exploration and production, life sciences, natural resources, defense, electronics, communications, real estate, consumer products, retail sales, and general manufacturing.