Andrew L. Kolesar
Practice Group Leader, Environmental
Co-chair, Climate Change and Sustainable Business Solutions Group
Andrew is a partner and leader of the firm's Environmental practice group and the Climate Change & Sustainable Business Solutions group. He represents companies in matters across the United States involving the defense of environmental enforcement actions, environmental litigation, criminal defense, permitting, compliance, cleanups under state and federal programs, brownfields development, counseling on environmental aspects of corporate and real estate transactions and advising on SEC disclosure requirements relating to environmental issues. Andrew is recognized nationally for his work advising manufacturing companies on the closure, cleanup and sale of old manufacturing facilities and assisting clients in developing proactive environmental, health and safety management systems, corporate audit programs, and corporate remediation programs.
Prior to joining the firm, Andrew was an associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, Washington, D.C., from 1990 to 1995. He previously was Supervisor, Division Environmental Engineering, at Whirlpool Corporation in Marion, Ohio and worked as an engineering consultant for Burgess & Niple, Ltd. in Columbus, Ohio.
Andrew is a member of the firm's Diversity & Inclusion Initiative.
- Assisted a utility client with Title V permit compliance and efforts to opt-in to Ohio's NOx allowance trading program.
- Assisted numerous clients in Ohio and other states with compliance with Title V permitting requirements, including applicability assessments, completing applications and negotiating terms and conditions.
- Represented a company in successfully obtaining permits and approvals to construct co-generation power plant in Rhode Island involving PSD permit hearing and two week hearing to obtain Coastal Resources Management Act approval, which included two appeals to Rhode Island Supreme Court.
- Advised a manufacturing company on carbon management program, including carbon footprinting protocols.
- Advised a client concerning liability stemming from NRC-licensed operations, including liabilities relating to low level radioactive waste, and NRC and applicable state requirements for handling, storage and disposal of radioactive materials.
- Advised clients on risk management issues relating to transportation and disposal of low level radioactive materials and transportation and processing of enriched uranium.
- Advised a company concerning neighbor complaints about solvent odors from painting operations.
- Represented a mining company in Ohio in effort to obtain air and wastewater permits for new surface mine.
- Assisted a client in obtaining air permits to install within thirty days for a significant plant modification to a major air emissions source pursuant to Rhode Island's expedited permitting program.
- Counsels business entities regarding permitting and compliance requirements under the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Toxic Substances Control Act and analogous state programs.
- Advising a manufacturer of diesel fire pump engines on compliance with emission standards in the California Airborne Toxic Control Measure (ATCM) for Stationary Compression Ignition Engines that threatened to halt sales into California.
- Advising manufacturing client on compliance with U.S. EPA emission standards, labeling, record-keeping and certification requirements applicable to engines for handheld and non-handheld hydraulic tools.
- Drafting comments on behalf of fire pump engine manufacturer on proposed New Source Performance Standard for New Compression-Ignited Stationary Internal Combustion Engines.
- Negotiating CARB approval for emission estimates for direct-drive fire pump engines in lieu of testing.
- Drafting comments on proposed U.S. EPA emission standards for irrigation pump engines.
- Advises engine manufacturers on compliance issues relating to the Clean Air Act mobile source requirements, including labeling, production line testing, and use of equipment manufacturer flexibility program.
- Advises clients concerning compliance with the Federal Endangered Species Act, including Indiana Bat issues affecting development projects in Ohio and Kentucky and a California development project affecting several protected species.
- Assisted a client concerning environmental aspects of initial public offering related to Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) plants.
- Assists companies in evaluating and developing environmental management systems and corporate compliance programs.
- Assists companies in establishing and implementing EH&S compliance auditing programs.
- Represented numerous clients in preparation of environmental impact statements and proposed findings of no significant impact under NEPA and analogous state programs including energy and development projects.
- Represent a municipality challenging Coast Guard's Environmental Assessment and proposed FONSI for bridge project.
- Provided advice on E.U. REACH legislation to U.S. manufacturing companies with E.U. operations.
- Represents clients in numerous cleanup projects across the U.S. under state mandatory and voluntary programs, including: cleanups under Ohio Voluntary Action Program; significant cleanups of manufacturing properties in New Jersey under the Industrial Sites Recovery Act; an extensive investigation and cleanup initially under the voluntary provisions of the Connecticut Transfer Act and later under the mandatory provisions of the Act; a cleanup of contaminated groundwater at our client's formerly owned property in Florida with oversight by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection; a cleanup of PCB contaminated soil at our client's formerly owned property in Michigan under the Michigan Part 201 cleanup program; and cleanup of contaminated property in Massachusetts involving a fixed price contract with the remediation contractor backed up by cost cap insurance policy.
- Represented a company in RCRA closure and corrective action in Michigan under consent agreement with U.S. EPA and negotiated settlement with former owner of the property requiring former owner to take back title to property, assume responsibility for closure and corrective action, and reimburse past costs.
- Represented an Ohio municipality in the purchase and redevelopment of abandoned brownfield properties.
- Assisted private and governmental clients with obtaining grants under the Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund.
- Serves as partner legal adviser to an international manufacturing company in connection with consolidation of U.S. facilities resulting in investigation and cleanup of closed facilities across the country under mandatory and voluntary programs and provides assistance on environmental aspects of sale or gifting of such properties.
Litigation and Enforcement Defense
- Represent a potentially responsible party in state and federal action to clean up the Lower Passaic River in Newark, New Jersey and to recover natural resources damages.
- Represent a defendant in claim by homeowners and homebuilder on former skeet shooting range property.
- Represented one of two defendants in White River (Indiana) fish kill case involving federal, state and class action claims seeking civil damages and penalties exceeding $50 million and federal criminal prosecution under the Clean Water Act.
- Federal court judge granted summary judgment in favor of our client on enforceability of limit of liability and indemnification provisions (protecting our client) in consulting services agreement.
- Represented a manufacturing company in enforcement action brought by Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management for alleged air permit violations over a ten-year period, which were resolved in consent agreement.
- Represented a manufacturing company in enforcement action brought by Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection for alleged solid waste disposal violations on client's property, which were resolved in consent agreement.
- Represented a food processing company in enforcement action by a publicly owned treatment works in Illinois for alleged wastewater permit violations resulting in settlement after show cause hearing.
- Represent a sewer district in negotiation of long-term control plan revisions under consent decree concerning combined sewer overflows, including use of green technologies to meet Clean Water Act requirements.
- Represented a client in arbitration concerning industry claim for breach of representations and warranties concerning wastewater discharges from purchased facility.
- Represented an Ohio city in U.S. EPA RCRA enforcement action, which was settled for $123,000 after $3.2 million initial penalty demand.
- Represented a pharmaceutical manufacturing company in U.S. EP RCRA enforcement action in which the company sought damages of $250,000 and costly injunctive relief; U.S. EPA dismissed three of six counts and all injunctive relief and settled for $20,900 after neutral ALJ ruled in client's favor in non-binding arbitration.
- Liaison counsel for CERCLA defendants in United States v. Erie Coatings, et al., U.S. District Court, E.D. Michigan and represents clients in numerous other Superfund matters.
- Represented the plaintiff in a CERCLA cost recovery and contribution action against contractors, transporters and generators responsible for illegal dumping on the plaintiff's property.
- Involved in the defense of South Florida Water Management District in a suit brought by United States and state of Florida over alleged failure to protect the Everglades.
- Represent a mold abatement contractor in homeowner suit.
- Assists clients in OSHA enforcement actions, including fatality case at an Ohio manufacturing facility.
- Represented a pro bono plaintiff in employment discrimination case against International Trade Commission with bench trial in federal court in District of Columbia.
- Conducted extensive due diligence on state permitting and regulatory issues, including endangered species, stream crossings, noise and shadow flicker impacts, and other OPSB requirements for tax equity investment in 66-megawatt wind farm developed in Northern Ohio.
- Represents clients in the environmental aspects of corporate and real estate transactions, financings and other transactions, including due diligence and contract negotiations. Representative experience includes purchase of company with six steel mini-mills and 19 fabricating facilities in the southeast; hostile takeover of a multibillion dollar electronics company; asset purchase of 13 shoe manufacturing facilities in the midwest; proposed $13 billion merger of two telecommunications companies involving due diligence of more than 100 properties in a short timeframe; asset purchase of printing operations across the United States; privatization and IPO of chemical company in Israel; and represented underwriters in IPO of various REITs, including portfolios of shopping centers, mobile home parks, golf courses and manufacturing facilities.
- Assisted numerous companies during property transfers and plant closings in all aspects of compliance with the country's most burdensome transfer act laws, the New Jersey Industrial Sites Recovery Act (ISRA) and the Connecticut Transfer Act, including applicability determinations, and completing required investigations and cleanups. Also assisted clients during transactions with compliance with Michigan Part 201 program, including baseline environmental assessments, Section 7(f) "due care" reports, investigations and cleanups. Assisted clients in compliance with Ohio's Cessation of Regulated Operations law.
- Assisted port authority with negotiations of environmental provisions in agreement for sale/leaseback transaction.
- “EPA Moving Forward With CERCLA Financial Responsibility Rules for Hardrock Mining Industry—More on the Way,” Thompson Hine Environmental Update, April 2017
- “U.S. EPA Must Promulgate New Hazardous Substance Spill Prevention Rules,” Thompson Hine Environmental Update, March 2016
- “EPA Launches eDisclosure System,” Thompson Hine Environmental Update, January 2016
- “EPA to Modernize Audit Policies with eDisclosure System,” Thompson Hine Environmental Update, June 2015
- “Brownfields Development on the Rise - But There's Good Reason for Caution,” Ohio State Bar Association, April 2014
- “Environmental Insurance Policies Are Worth a Look,” Ohio State Bar Association, April 2014
- "EPA Finalizes Revised Effluent Limitation Guidelines for Construction Site Stormwater Discharges · Thompson Hine Environmental Update, April 7, 2014
- “EPA Recommends New ASTM Phase I Standard in Final AAI Rule Amendment,” Thompson Hine Environmental Update, January 2014
- "International Environmental Law Review – U.S. Perspective," Intercontinental Finance, September 2010
- "Tracking the Footprint: Preparing Businesses to Cope with Carbon Regulations," Cincinnati Bar Association Report, July 2009
- "Multidisciplinary Approach Needed to Manage Climate Change Opportunities," Cincinnati Bar Association Report, September 2008
- Contributing author, Environmental Law Client Strategies: Leading Lawyers on Strategizing for Litigation, Negotiating Settlements, and Adding the Most Value for Your Client, published by Aspatore Books, 2007
- "Air Pollution Amendments Let Companies Breathe Easier," Cincinnati Business Courier, October 2006
- "New Standards for Environmental Due Diligence," Counsel to Counsel Environmental and Mass Tort Alert, LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell, April 2006
- "Brownfield Development on the Rise, But There's Reason for Caution," Daily Reporter, June 2005
- "[U.S. Supreme Court] Ruling Could Discourage Voluntary Site Cleanups," Cincinnati Business Courier, March 2005
- "Brownfields Clean-Up Tax Exemption Not Limited to Increase in Value Attributable to Environmental Remediation," The Interpreter, GT Environmental, Inc., July 2004
- "Reinterpreting Routine Maintenance, Repair and Replacement – Is EPA's New Rule Savior of Sacrilege," The Environmental Manager's Compliance Advisor, November 2003
- "Managing Mold Liability Risks for Home Builders," COLUMNS, February/March 2003
- "Get a Grip on Liabilities For Contaminated Sites – Cleanup Costs Can Haunt Failed Businesses," Cincinnati Business Courier, July 2001
- "Buying and Selling Brownfield Properties: A Practical Guide for Successful Transactions," Northern Kentucky Law Review, 2000
- "Implementing an Environmental Management System Could be Best Defense [in Criminal Prosecution]," Cincinnati Business Courier, 2000
- "Superfund Liability Net Expands," Butler-Warren Business Journal, 1999
- "Internal Investigations of Potential Criminal Misconduct Under Environmental Laws," Environment Reporter, 1995
- "Proposed Rule Regarding Post-Closure Care at RCRA Interim Status Facilities: A Step in the Right Direction," EPA Administrative Law Reporter, 1995
- "EPA Lender Liability Rule Vacated, But Its 'Spirit' May Have Lingering Influence," Environmental Compliance & Litigation Strategy, 1994
- "Can State and Local Tax Incentives and Other Contributions Stimulate Economic Development?", The Tax Lawyer, 1990
- "Criminal Procedures Project – Right to Counsel," Georgetown Law Journal, 1988 to 1989
- "Construction Grants Program: Capital Budgeting," Journal of Environmental Engineering, 1987
- "Environmental Law Regulations," Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), Governance & Compliance Issues Faced by Public & Private Companies Seminar, April 2017
- “Advances in Environmental Due Diligence – Beyond a Basic Phase I ESA,” 26th Annual Business & Industry’s Sustainability and Environmental Health & Safety Symposium, March 2017
- "Developing Effective EHS Management Systems," EHS Committee of the Flexible Packaging Association, March 2017
- "Environmental Law in the Americas: What's new in the U.S., Brazil & Ecuador," Gowling WLG Seminar, March 2017
- “USEPA’s Next Generation Enforcement Initiative and Minimizing Enforcement Risks,” Cincinnati Bar Association Environmental Law Practice Group Environmental Law Update Conference, October 2016
- "Buying and Selling Former Industrial Properties," Thompson Hine Seminar, September 2015
- “Developing Effective EH&S Management Systems,” OSBA Annual Ohio Environment, Energy and Resources Law Seminar, April 2015
- "Workshop I - Managing Risks Through Effective EHS Management Systems & Using Audits to Achieve Compliance," 24th Annual Business & Industry's Sustainability and Environmental Health & Safety Symposium, March 2015
- “Best Practices for Environmental Due Diligence in U.S. EPA’s New All Appropriate Inquiries Rule & Revised ASTM Phase I Standard,” 23rd Annual Business & Industry’s Sustainability and Environmental, Health & Safety Symposium, March 2014
- "Developing Effective Corporate EHS Auditing Programs," 20th and 21st Annual Business & Industry's Sustainability and Environmental Health and Safety Symposiums, March 2011 and March 2012
- "Environmental Strategies for Successful Closure & Sale of Former Manufacturing Properties," Real Property Law Institute Annual Conference, December 2010
- "U.S. Climate Change Legislative and Regulatory Developments," Environmental Law for Business Seminar, The Gowlings Firm (Toronto), April 2010
- "Strategies for Successful Closure, Cleanup, and Sale of Former Manufacturing Properties," Bureau of National Affairs Webinar, October 2009
- "Climate Change Update and Carbon Management Programs," Cincinnati Bar Association Annual Environmental Law Seminar, October 2009
- "Buying and Selling Distressed Properties," 18th Annual Business and Industry's EH&S Symposium, March 2009
- "Climate Change – Best Practices that Corporations are Taking to Prepare for Anticipated Legislation," 18th Annual Business and Industry's EH&S Symposium, March 2009
- "Developing a Carbon Management Program," Cincinnati Bar Association, October 2008
- "Preparing for Climate Change Legislation and Carbon Markets," 18th Annual Conference on Air & Water Permits, July 2008
- "Carbon Markets/Carbon Finance," webinar jointly sponsored with the Gowlings firm (Canada) and Burges Salmon (U.K.), June 2008
- Moderator, "Climate Change Litigation," webinar jointly sponsored with the Gowlings firm (Canada) and Burges Salmon (U.K.), April 2008
- "Climate Change – Steps Companies Should Consider to Prepare for the Impact and Risks & Opportunities," Business & Industry's Environmental, Health and Safety Symposium, March 2008
- "Engaging & Managing Environmental Consultants," Business & Industry's Environmental, Health and Safety Symposium, March 2008
- "Strategies for Effectively Handling Dual – Track Enforcement & Air Permitting," Business & Industry's Environmental, Health and Safety Symposium, March 2008
- "Brownfield Redevelopment in Canada and the U.S.," webinar jointly sponsored with the Gowlings firm (Canada), May 2007
- "Environmental Priorities of Ohio's New Governor and New EPA Director," Business & Industry's Environmental, Health and Safety Symposium, March 2007
- "Global Warming and Impact of Greenhouse Gas Emissions," Business & Industry's Environmental, Health & Safety Symposium, March 2007
- "North American Real Estate: Perspectives from the U.S. and Canada," webinar jointly sponsored with the Gowlings firm (Canada), February 2007
- "Compliance Certification, Monitoring and Recordkeeping Requirements in Air Permits," Ohio Chamber of Commerce 16th Annual Conference on Air & Water Permits, Columbus, Ohio, July 2006
- "Climate Change: Risks and Opportunities," Queen City Club, Cincinnati, July 2006
- "Strategic Issues in Closing and Decommissioning of Industrial Plants in the U.S., Canada and Beyond," Business Industry's Environmental, Health and Safety Symposium, March 2006
- "Brownfields Redevelopment: Tools for Successful Projects," Queen City Club, Cincinnati, February 2006
- "Sustainability: Enhanced Management Tools for EHS Professionals," Business & Industry's Environmental Health and Safety Symposium, March 2005
- "CERCLA Private Party Contribution Actions," Cincinnati Bar Association, March 2004
- "Clean Air Act Title V Compliance Issues," Business & Industry's Environmental Health and Safety Symposium, March 2004
- "Responsibilities and Liabilities of Being a Responsible Official for Title V Operating Permits," GT Environmental, Inc., November 2003
- "Corporate Accountability and Sustainability," Cincinnati Bar Association, November 2002
- "Environmental Issues in Property Development," National Business Institute, August 2002
- "Managing the Risks of Toxic Mold in Buildings," Lorman Seminar, August 2002
- "Mold Litigation and Risk Management Issues," Cincinnati Exchange Club, June 2002
- "Health and Safety Auditing Programs: A Company's Shield or the Government's Sword," Thompson Hine LLP, May 2002
- "Small Business Liability and Brownfields Revitalization Act," Cincinnati Bar Association, May 2002
- "Estimating Environmental Liabilities During Property Due Diligence Activities and Implications of New ASTM Standard on Estimating Costs for Environmental Matters," Cincinnati Bar Association Environmental Committee, October 2001
- "Private Cost Recovery Under the Ohio Voluntary Action Program and CERCLA and the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act," OSBA Annual Environmental Law Seminar, May 2002
- "Brownfields, Voluntary Action Program and Issue 1," Ohio Municipal League Annual Conference, October 2001
- "Voluntary Reporting of Non-Compliance: Strategies to Minimize Liabilities," Annual Business & Industry's Environmental Symposium, March 2002
- "Boot Camp for EH&S Managers," The Stanley Works, January 2002
- "Engaging and Managing Environmental Consultants," Cincinnati Bar Association Environmental Law Seminar, November 2001
- "Voluntary Action Program and Brownfields Development," The Mayors Association of Ohio Annual Conference, May 2001
- "Avoiding OSHA Citations and Liabilities in Ohio," Lorman Education Services, February 2001
- "Ohio Land Use: Current Issues in Subdivision Annexation and Zoning Law, Environmental Concerns for Developers," National Business Institute, October 2000
- "Buying and Selling a Business, Environmental Aspects of the Deal," Lorman Education Services, July 2000
- "Buying and Selling Brownfield Properties: Cleaning Up After the Closing," Annual Business Industry's Environmental Symposium, March 2000
- "Avoiding OSHA Citations and Liabilities in Ohio," Lorman Education Services, February 2000
- "EPCRA Compliance and Storm-Water Permitting Issues," The Stanley Works' Worldwide Environmental, Health & Safety Conference, January 2000
- "Preparing for OSHA's New Enforcement Programs and Initiatives," Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce, September 1999
- "Ten Top Violated OSHA Standards," Annual Business & Industry's Environmental Symposium, March 1999
- "Superfund Current Developments," OSBA Environmental Seminar, March 1999
- "Environmental, Health & Safety Seminar, Protecting Your Rights During Regulatory Inspections," Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, July 1998 and September 1998
- "Proactively Managing Compliance," Annual Business & Industry's Environmental Symposium, April 1998
- "The Government's Criminal and Civil Enforcement Priorities for 1998," The Stanley Works' Worldwide Environmental, Health & Safety Conference, February 1998
- "Developing Effective Environmental Compliance Programs," Thompson Hine LLP, May 1996
- AV® Preeminent Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
- Fellow of the American Bar Foundation
- Listed in The Best Lawyers in America, 2012 to 2019; recognized in Best Lawyers 2017 Lawyer of the Year (Environmental)
- Named a 2012 Top Rated Lawyer in energy, environmental and natural resources law by The American Lawyer/Corporate Counsel
- Listed in Who's Who Legal USA: Environment
- Listed in Best Lawyers in America (Environmental)
- Selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers by Ohio Super Lawyers magazine (and included in list of the Top 50 Super Lawyers in Cincinnati)
- Listed in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers since 2005
- Listed in The International Who's Who of Environmental Lawyers
- Listed in Guide to the World's Leading Environmental Lawyers, published by Euromoney Institutional Investor
- Listed in The Lawyers World – Leading Lawyers Awards
- Tau Beta Pi National Engineering Honor Society
- Ohio Bar Association
- Cincinnati Bar Association, past secretary, Environmental Law Committee
- District of Columbia Bar Association
- American Bar Association
- Air and Waste Management Association
- BNA's Environmental Due Diligence Guide, Ohio representative, State Law Advisory Committee
- Business & Industry's EH&S Symposium, past member of Planning Committee
- Anderson's Ohio Environmental Law Practice Manual, general editor and contributing author
- Greater Cincinnati Water Works, Working Group
- Cincinnati Energy, Economics and Environmental Summit, past member of Planning Committee
- United States Law Firm Group, Environmental Committee, past chair
- U.S. Army Reserves (1981-1991)
- Greater Cincinnati YMCA, board member
- April 2008 Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber trade mission to Amsterdam, delegate
- Bridges for A Just Community, past participant in Christian, Jewish, Muslim Trialogue
- Montessori Center Room, Cincinnati, past member of Board of Trustees
- Talbert House, Cincinnati, Advisory Board
- Lindner YMCA, former basketball coach
- Sands Montessori School, past member of Local School Decision Making Committee
- Walnut Hills High School, Local School Decision Making Committee - past chair
Eleven Thompson Hine Partners Named Lawyers of the YearThompson Hine LLP
August 15, 2016
Twelve Thompson Hine Partners Named Lawyers of the YearThompson Hine LLP
September 09, 2014
Environmental Insurance Policies Are Worth a LookOhio State Bar Association
April 28, 2014
Brownfields Development on the Rise - But There's Good Reason for CautionOhio State Bar Association
April 28, 2014
Andrew Kolesar featured in Super Lawyers MagazineSuper Lawyers
December 05, 2013
March 20, 2018
September 17, 2015
November 04, 2013