Stephen J. Axtell
Co-Chair, Climate Change and Sustainable Business Solutions Group
Steve is a partner in the firm's Environmental practice group. He focuses his practice on defense of governmental enforcement actions and private actions, environmental permitting, regulatory compliance counseling on environmental, health and safety matters, environmental, health and safety audits, and business sales and acquisitions. Prior to joining the firm, Steve practiced for several years in both Washington, DC and Ohio.
- Conduct and direct environmental, health and safety audits.
- Develop and participate in the enhancement of environmental management systems.
- Counsel chemical manufacturers and importers on TSCA mandates, including assistance navigating the PMN process.
- Pesticide regulatory counseling and prosecution of pesticide licensing for manufacturers.
- Assist national manufacturers develop comprehensive, internal EPCRA Toxic Release Inventory reporting compliance systems.
- NPDES permit counseling and permit appeals.
- Wetlands regulatory counseling and appeals.
- Clean Air Act regulatory counseling and permitting.
- Regulatory counseling relating to landfill operations and closure.
- Assist redevelopment entity address regulatory issues arising from various radioactive materials in conversion of government nuclear defense facility to civilian industrial/commercial park use.
- Representation of manufacturers in RCRA Corrective Action matters.
- Counsel employers on all aspects of health and safety regulatory compliance.
- Defense of civil, administrative and criminal environmental, health and safety enforcement proceedings as well as rulemaking appeals.
- Representation of national trade association in judicial appeals of several federal rulemakings under the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act.
- Defense of various Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, EPCRA, FIFRA and RCRA as well as OSHA enforcement actions and citizen suits.
- Representation of Potentially Responsible Parties in numerous state and federal CERCLA proceedings.
- Defense of trade association and individual industry members in toxic tort actions.
- Defense of aquaculture interests in health agency enforcement proceedings related to characteristics of feedstock.
- Representation of buyers and sellers in contractual actions concerning remedial cost recovery.
- Conduct and direct due diligence, including Phase I and Phase II environmental site assessments, negotiation and strategic counseling in corporate and real estate transactions.
- Several acquisitions for tire and battery retailer of dozens to hundreds of retail locations in dozens of states.
- Acquisitions and divestitures of various types of industrial facilities, including pulp and paper, energy, aerospace, and foundry facilities.
- Assist municipal redevelopment and government contractor interests in negotiations and transactions relative to privatization of federal facilities (both Department of Energy and Department of Defense).
- Represent buyers and sellers in redevelopment of brownfield properties.
- Develop, negotiate and implement various post-closure environmental escrow agreements.
Specific Industry Experience
- Pulp and paper, chemical, steel, automotive, foundry, energy, aerospace, agriculture, colleges and universities, health care institutions, hardware and tools manufacturing, agribusiness, municipal utilities, highway construction components, tire and battery, electronic components, waste management.
- “TSCA Overhaul Will Have Major Impact on Chemical Manufacture & Use,” Thompson Hine Environmental Update, June 2016
- “Suit Urges EPA to Regulate Nanosilver, Remove Products from Shelves,” Thompson Hine Product Liability Update, January 2015
- “OSHA Reporting and Recordkeeping Changes Effective January 1, 2015 and Beyond,” Thompson Hine Environmental Update, December 2014
- "Securing An Evidentiary Hearing After Puerto Rico Aqueduct & Sewer: Is Overcoming the Summary Judgment Hurdle a New Obstacle?", 4 EPA Administrative Law Reporter 731, November 1994
- "Contaminated Shellfish: A Problem in the Stream of Interstate Commerce," Journal of Environmental Health, October 1987
- "Reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act: Near and Long-Term Compliance Challenges," Chemical Manufacturing in Ohio 2010: A Dialogue on Challenges and Solutions, Ohio Chemistry Technology Council Annual Conference, Columbus, Ohio, April 2010
- "Toxic Substances – US Perspective," A New Environment – 2010 and Beyond, Canadian Bar Association Annual Conference, Montreal, April 2010
- "Understanding the New EU Chemical Substances Legislation: REACH," Gowlings Seminar, Toronto, April 2009
- "Citizen Suit Summit," 24th Annual Ohio Environmental, Energy, and Resources Law Seminar, presented by the OSBA Environmental Law Committee in association with the OSBA Natural Resources Law Committee; also served as Planning Committee co-chair for the Law Seminar, Newark, Ohio, April 2009
- "How Healthy is Your Environmental Compliance Program," webinar jointly sponsored with August Mack, April 2008
- "Chemical Regulation in Canada and the U.S.," webinar jointly sponsored with the Gowlings firm, Canada, March 2007
- "Self-Reporting Under U.S. EPA's 'Audit Policy'," EPA Compliance Initiative Update, Vermont & New Hampshire Hospitals Conference, Vermont Law School, Royalton, Vermont, November 2005
- "The Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act – Regulation of Water Quality," The Clean Water Act and Other Water Laws: Making Sense of it All, Sponsored by The Miami Conservancy District and Thompson Hine, presented at NCR Country Club, Kettering, Ohio, September 2005
- "Addressing Environmental Issues in Real Estate Transactions," Ohio State Bar Association Commercial Real Estate Law Seminar, Columbus, Ohio, August 2005
- "Water Quality Standards and the NPDES Permitting Process...Emerging Trends Impacting Your Permits," Manufacturers' Education Council, Environmental Permitting in Ohio, 19th Annual Conference on Air and Water Permits, Columbus, Ohio, July 2005
- "Addressing Environmental Issues in Real Estate Transactions," Ohio State Bar Association Real Estate Law Seminar, Columbus, Ohio, September 2004
- "The Fundamentals of Water Quality Law and Regulation," National Business Institute, Fundamentals of Water Law in Ohio: Protecting Water Rights, Use and Quality Seminar, Cincinnati, September 2004
- "Agricultural Air Emissions: Emerging Issues," Ohio State Bar Association Annual Convention, Navigating Environmental Legal Issues on the Farm Seminar, Columbus, Ohio, May 2004
- "Addressing Stormwater Discharge Permitting Requirements in Ohio," Springfield/Clark County Safety Council Environmental Bootcamp, Springfield, Ohio, March 2004
- "Change Happens: What Do I Do Next?", (addressing environmental issues associated with business transactions, plant expansions and plant closures), Dayton Chamber of Commerce/Ohio TAPPI Environmental Bootcamp, Dayton, Ohio, February 2004
- "Navigating Wetlands Regulation," Water Law Seminar, Lorman Education Services, Columbus, February 2004
- "Addressing Environmental Issues in Real Estate Transactions," Ohio State Bar Association Real Estate Law Seminar, Columbus, Ohio, September 2003
- "Navigating the Toxic Release Inventory Reporting Requirements," Dayton Chamber of Commerce/Ohio TAPPI Environmental Bootcamp, Dayton, Ohio, February 2003
- "The Emergence of Mold as the 'Hot' New Environmental Issue, Solving Water Intrusion and Mold Problems in Ohio," Lorman Education Services, December 2002
- "Environmental and Other Regulatory Issues Impacting Purchase and Sale of Goods," Purchasing Law Seminar, Lorman Education Services, Cincinnati, March 2002
- "Navigating Toxic Release Inventory Reporting Requirements," Dayton Chamber of Commerce Environmental Bootcamp, Dayton, Ohio, January 2002
- "Addressing Environmental Issues in Real Estate Transactions," Ohio State Bar Association Environmental Law Seminar, Dayton, Ohio, July 2001
- "Addressing Common Problems Encountered in Buying and Selling Brownfield Properties," Ohio State Bar Association Environmental Law Seminar, Maumee Bay, Ohio, April 2001
- "Hazardous Materials Liability Issues," Surface Finishers Environmental Workshop, Institute of Advanced Manufacturing Sciences, Cincinnati, March 1998
- "Recent Developments Under the Clean Water Act," Region V Environmental Regulation Seminar, Executive Enterprises, Chicago, May 1992
- "Addressing Dioxin Limits in NPDES Permits," NCASI Conference, Memphis, June 1990
- Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2007 to 2022 for Environmental Law, Litigation-Environmental, and Water Law; named the Best Lawyers® 2022 Environmental Law "Lawyer of the Year" in Dayton
- Selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers by Ohio Super Lawyers magazine, 2007, 2017 and 2018
- Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, Environmental, 2016-2019
- Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry, Ohio Chapter, board member
- Dayton Chamber of Commerce, Environmental Committee, chair
- Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, External Advisory Group on Ohio River Basin Water Quality Standards, past member
- American Bar Association, Section of Environment, Energy and Resources
- American Bar Association, Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice
- Ohio State Bar Association, Environmental Law Committee
- Ohio State Bar Association, Agriculture Law Committee
- Dayton Bar Association, Environmental Law Committee
- Dayton Council on World Affairs, secretary and board member
- Leadership Dayton, Class of 2009
August 19, 2021