Overview

Joel is a partner in the firm's Environmental practice group and Automotive Industry practice. He represents public and private entities in the industrial, commercial and manufacturing sectors, where he focuses his practice on all aspects of environmental law including:

  • Regulatory compliance counseling involving CERCLA, state Brownfield and voluntary action program site cleanup laws, including on vapor intrusion remediation and risk management.
  • Mobile Source regulatory counseling, certification support and enforcement defense before U.S. EPA and the California Air Resources Board (CARB).
  • Regulatory development, site remediation and risk management counseling for emerging contaminants, including PFAS.
  • Legislative and rulemaking support and enforcement defense regarding hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).
  • Compliance counseling and enforcement defense for federal, state and local water, solid and hazardous waste laws and regulations.
  • Environmental due diligence and contract negotiation in connection with the sale and purchase of businesses and industrial properties.
  • Defense of enforcement actions under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA).

Joel earned a certificate from Chicago-Kent's Program in Environmental and Energy Law. He is nationally recognized in the area of environmental law. In 2021, Joel was named a Rising Star for Environmental Law by Euromoney’s International Financial Law Review and was selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2021 and 2022 for Environmental Law.

Experience

Compliance Counseling, Site Remediation and Enforcement Defense

  • Leading counseling on complex groundwater, soil and vapor intrusion Superfund site, the first in the nation to be listed on the National Priorities List for the subsurface (vapor) intrusion pathway alone, negotiating administrative orders on consent with EPA and state agencies, agreements with on- and off-site property owners and municipalities.
  • Representing manufacturing and other chemical industry clients at Superfund sites across the country, serving as coordinating counsel and on legal, steering, allocation and technical committees.
  • Managing and mitigating PFAS risks at several sites and closely coordinating with leading PFAS remediation experts.
  • Supporting clients in the federal rulemaking public comment process and negotiating with EPA and members of the U.S. House and Senate to support common-sense regulations.
  • Evaluating EPA and state agency inspection reports under RCRA, CERCLA and RCRA and negotiating resolutions of notices of violation and other enforcement orders.
  • Successfully resolving CWA citizen suit notices of intent to sue using unique pre-litigation settlement model to cap attorney and expert fees, mitigate environmental risks, improve facility operations and perform supplemental environmental project.
  • Resolving asbestos removal projects through regulatory compliance, environmental audits and voluntary self-disclosures to mitigate penalties.
  • Counseling on product stewardship and defending and resolving federal Consumer Product Safety Act, California Proposition 65 and other state law claims.
  • Providing legal and public relations counseling to mitigate risks from media, residents and governmental agencies at active operations and sites with historical contamination.
  • Coordinating sites through state voluntary remediations under various state programs.
  • Negotiating access, cost-sharing, indemnity tolling and joint defense agreements in a variety of contexts.
  • Evaluating HFC usage and opportunities for reduction and negotiating agreements with federal and state agencies.
  • Resolving disputes through negotiation, mediation and other alternative dispute resolution processes to avoid costly litigation while mitigating long-term risks.

Mobility Practice: On- and Off-Road Mobile Source

  • Counseling on-road OEMs, including established companies and startups, to bring new compliant products to the market, including battery electric vehicles (BEV), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and fuel cell vehicles, including negotiating with EPA and CARB on Clean Air Act and California statutory and regulatory interpretations and engine and equipment certifications.
  • Negotiating resolution of enforcement cases with EPA and CARB for on-road passenger and light-duty trucks, small off-road equipment (SORE), medium- and heavy-duty trucks, and off-highway recreational vehicles (OHRV) on matters including certification, labeling, warranties, recalls and testing requirements.
  • Securing EPA import exemptions for foreign, non-certified testing and display vehicles.
  • Evaluating company-wide compliance with mobile source regulations and advising on risk mitigation, including options for certification and voluntary self-disclosures under federal and California self-policing policies.
  • Working closely with the firm’s Transportation practice group to advise on vehicle safety issues pursuant to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) regulations, including complete vehicle homologation.

Transactions

  • Counseling clients on company and property transactions, including efficient evaluation of environmental issues and negotiation of purchase and sale agreements, cost-short and indemnity agreements, and insurance policies.
  • Assisting with NEPA compliance and property transactions through tribal outreach, endangered species evaluations and coordinating with state historic preservation offices (SHPOs).
  • Identifying and proactively mitigating risks at former manufacturing facilities and negotiating leases to protect clients from current and future liability and ensuring that other parties perform investigations and take remedial measures to protect workers and business interests.
  • Evaluating historical investigation and remedial actions and advising lending institutions during loan financing, refinancing and other financial transactions.
  • Advising a wide range of manufacturing, industrial and other commercial clients on achieving and maintaining protections under federal and state prospective purchaser laws and regulations.
Publications
Presentations
  • Panelist, "PFAS Compounds and the Toxics Release Inventory - New Reporting Obligations from the National Defense Authorization Act of 2020," TRC Webinars, April 22, 2021
  • Regular contributor to Thompson Hine's Environmental L.A.W.S podcast
  • “Regulatory Update – The First 100 Days: Environmental Law in the Biden Administration,” ASC Regulatory Affairs Update, April 2021
  • “PFAS-ten your Seatbelt: Strategies for Responding to the Fast-Moving Regulation of PFAS Compounds,” International Association of Defense Counsel, Midyear Meeting, February 2021
  • "Insights on Environmental Shifts Under the Biden Administration (CERCLA, PFAS and Mobile Sources)," Thompson Hine Webinar, January 26, 2021
  • “Beyond NAFTA: Navigating the Impact of USMCA – Labor & Environmental Protections,” Thompson Hine Virtual Roundtable, June 2020
  • “Environmental Compliance in a COVID-19 World: Best Practices and Risk Mitigation Strategies,” Thompson Hine Webinar, June 2020
  • “PFAS Water Permitting & Compliance Strategies: Tips and Updates to Address the Complex and Ubiquitous Priority Emerging Contaminants,” Manufacturers’ Education Council, 29th Annual Environmental Permitting in Ohio Conference, July 2019
  • “PFAS-ten your Seatbelt: Strategies for Responding to the Fast-Moving Regulation of PFAS Compounds,” Ohio State Bar Association, 34th Annual Environment, Energy and Natural Resource Law Seminar, March 2019
  • “Prioritize, Incentivize, Revitalize: U.S. EPA's Ongoing Quest to Reform the Superfund Program,” Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, July 2018
Distinctions
  • Selected for inclusion in Euromoney's 2021 Expert Guides: Rising Stars for Environmental Law
  • Awarded the Rising Star for Environment by Euromoney’s International Financial Law Review (IFLR), 2021
  • Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2021 and 2022 for Environmental Law
  • CALI Award for Excellence in Torts
  • CALI Award for Excellence in Legal Writing
  • CALI Award for Excellence in the Environmental Clinic
  • Dean's List, 2004 to 2007
Professional and Civic

Professional Associations

  • IADC, Environmental and Energy Law Committee, Vice Chair of Communications
  • Ohio State Bar Association, Environmental Law Section, Chair (2021-2023)
  • Ohio State Bar Association, Council of Delegates (2014-2018)
  • Crown Point Ecology Center, Board Member (2015-2021)
NewsEvents