Overview

Devin is a partner in the firm’s Environmental and Climate Change & Sustainable Business Solutions groups. He prides himself on providing holistic and practical legal counsel that aligns legal requirements with clients’ business strategies. Devin provides compliance counseling to large manufacturing clients on issues arising from air, water, waste and chemical regulations. These issues include counseling in emergency response situations such as spills of hazardous substances, accidents, or malfunctioning equipment, as well as proactive counseling through environmental audits, changes in regulated operations, or assisting in the allocation of environmental liabilities in business transactions. Devin regularly defends clients against enforcement actions by federal and state regulatory agencies and defends clients against private and public CERCLA cost recovery and contribution litigation.

While Devin maintains a broad practice in most areas of environmental law, he has a strong focus on Clean Air Act compliance. He regularly provides Clean Air Act compliance counseling to clients with major (Title V and PSD) and minor sources, counsels on air permitting requirements for the construction of new or existing facilities and has defended numerous clients against enforcement actions brought by state environmental agencies, EPA or DOJ. Additionally, in the evolving climate change regulatory landscape, Devin provides insight and guidance to various clients on understanding and planning for greenhouse gas regulations.

Experience

An illustrative sampling of Devin’s experience includes:

Litigation/Enforcement

  • Defended multiple steel manufacturing plants against federal enforcement action brought by U.S. EPA and the DOJ alleging violations of Title V permit limits and NESHAP and NSPS requirements and negotiated reversal of referral from DOJ to EPA for resolution through administrative orders.
  • Defended adhesive and coatings manufacturer against federal enforcement actions brought by EPA alleging violations of Title V Permit pollution control requirements and negotiated resolution through a Consent Agreement and Final Order and an Administrative Consent Order with EPA.
  • Defended tire manufacturer against state enforcement action alleging violations of PSD permitting and BACT requirements and negotiated resolution through a Consent Decree with the state attorney general.
  • Defended various state enforcement actions alleging Clean Air Act violations against manufacturing clients in Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Virginia, New Hampshire and Alabama.
  • Defended various federal and state enforcement actions against manufacturing and commercial clients relating to hazardous waste, universal waste and used oil management requirements under RCRA or state law.
  • Defended industrial and commercial clients against state and municipal enforcement actions relating to stormwater discharges under general and individual NPDES permits, NPDES permitted discharges for private wastewater treatment plants and indirect discharge permits.
  • Defended various industrial clients from cost recovery and contribution claims under CERCLA (Superfund) and state equivalents, including negotiating and drafting global settlements in multi-party suits and Consent Decrees in governmental actions.
  • Defended various industrial and commercial clients in suits arising from environmental indemnification disputes relating to current or legacy contamination.
  • Represented various clients in mediations and arbitrations relating to environmental disputes.
  • Defended industrial clients against medical monitoring and property damage claims.
  • Negotiated private settlements of various Proposition 65 claims concerning products sold in California.

Regulatory & Compliance Matters

  • Extensive experience with environmental compliance issues in the rubber, aerospace, automotive, coatings, tools, steel, scrap and chemical industries.
  • Assisted various industrial clients with evaluating potential facility changes impacting or expanding regulated operations and developing permitting strategies to ensure operations were not disrupted or projects delayed.
  • Assisted various manufacturing facilities with PCB self-implementing remediations and risk-based remediations under TSCA, including negotiation of coordinated approval between EPA and state regulatory authorities.
  • Assisted industrial clients in creating, implementing, managing and responding to enterprise-wide EH&S audits, including subsequent disclosures under applicable federal or state self-disclosure laws.
  • Counsel clients on federal, state and permit reporting and response obligations following spills of hazardous substances and oils, fires and explosions, pollution control device malfunctions and other emergency events.
  • Assisted client in re-classifying its facility as a minor source under NESHAP requirements following changes in federal law.
  • Assisted clients in responding to Clean Air Act, Section 114 requests for Information and CERCLA, Section 104 requests for information.
  • Assisted solid waste biomass and digestion facility with zoning and developing strategy for securing applicable permits for all aspects of operations involving emissions, waste disposition, water discharges and beneficial use requirements.
  • Assisted various clients with evaluating air permit applicability and securing federal or state construction or operating permits for minor (true and synthetic) and major sources (Title V).
  • Assisted various clients in securing stormwater or direct discharge NPDES permits from federal or state authorities and indirect discharge permits from municipalities.
  • Assisted client with preparing Title V annual certifications, semi-annual reports and deviation reporting under applicable air permits.
  • Negotiated variances and exemptions for beneficial uses of solid waste generated from client facilities.
  • Counsel clients on greenhouse gas regulations and ESG reporting requirements.
  • Counsel clients on compliance issues arising under the CAA, CWA, RCRA, TSCA, EPCRA,FIFRA, and related state and local laws.
  • Advising manufacturing clients on renewable energy projects.
  • Represented clients contesting municipal ordinances adversely impacting stormwater and construction plans for business.

Transactional Matters

  • Drafted waste disposal, renewable energy and recycling agreements.
  • Negotiated and drafted UECA and private deed restrictions in various states in connection with remediations and/or transactions.
  • Counsel on brownfield redevelopment issues.
  • Utilized state voluntary cleanup programs to resolve legacy contamination issues in transactions.
  • Assist in real estate and corporate transactions involving the recognition and allocation of environmental liabilities, and the transfer and/or splitting of environmental permits and processes.
  • Counsel clients on state property transfer laws requiring closure or recognition of transferred environmental liabilities prior to transfer of ownership.
  • Draft environmental indemnification agreements and provisions in connection with refinancing and corporate transactions.
Publications
Presentations
  • “Construction Air Permit Training: The Basics for Project Planning,” Client Webinar, February 2022
  • “An ESG Collaborative Roundtable: Best Practices to Set (and Exceed) ESG Goals,” Thompson Hine Webinar, January 2022.
  • “How Will a Changing Climate Change Your Business: Legal Implications of Climate Change,” Client Webinar Series, October – December 2021
  • “Air Initiatives under the Biden Administration,” Client Webinar, September 2021
  • “Your Emissions are Going Public!” PLAC Webinar, September 2021
  • “Insights on Environmental Shifts Under the Biden Administration,” Client Webinar, June 2021
  • “Product Stewardship and Product Liability: A Legal Primer,” Client Webinar, May 2021
  • “Regulatory Update – The First 100 Days: Environmental Law in the Biden Administration,” ASC Regulatory Affairs Update, April 2021
  • "Insights on Environmental Shifts Under the Biden Administration,” Thompson Hine Webinar, January 2021
  • "Learning from the Past and Preparing for the Future: Environmental Compliance in a Changed World," Thompson Hine L.A.W.S. Podcast, August 2020
  • “Environmental Compliance in a COVID-19 World: Best Practices and Risk Mitigation Strategies,” Thompson Hine Webinar, June 2020
  • “Learning from Past Environmental Missteps to Avoid Future Environmental Enforcement,” Ohio Chemistry Technology Council, November 2013
Distinctions
  • Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2019 to 2022 in the field of Environmental Law
  • CALI Award for Excellence in Public Utilities Law
  • 2005 Outstanding Student Note for I/S: A Journal for Law and Policy for the Information Society
Professional and Civic

Professional Associations

  • SOCMA, Environmental Committee, member
  • Defense Research Institute (DRI), member and former publications chair, Toxic Tort and Environmental Law Committee
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, member and former chair, Environmental Section (2012–2013)
  • Ohio State Bar Association, member, Environmental Section

Community Activities

  • Lake Erie Nature and Science Center, board member and secretary
  • Cleveland Leadership Center, Bridge Builders, class of 2017
  • Civic Leadership Institute, Winter 2014 class
  • The Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio, LeadDIVERSITY class of 2013
  • New Partners of Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center
  • Boy Scouts of America, Cub Scout Den Leader
News
    Events