Andrew L. Kolesar
Practice Group Leader, Environmental
Andrew 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, and counseling on environmental aspects of corporate and real estate transactions. 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, Equity & 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.
Site Remediation and Brownfields Redevelopment
- 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.
- 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. EPA RCRA enforcement action in which U.S. EPA 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.
- Assists clients in OSHA enforcement actions, including fatality case at an Ohio manufacturing facility.
- 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.
- “U.S. Supreme Court Holds CERCLA Does Not Bar State Law Claims but Requires U.S. EPA Approval of Cleanups,” Thompson Hine Environmental Update, May 2020
- “U.S. EPA and Army Corps Publish Final WOTUS Rule,” Thompson Hine Environmental Update, April 2020
- “U.S. EPA Issues Guidance for Temporary Enforcement Discretion During COVID-19 Pandemic,” Thompson Hine COVID-19 Update, March 2020
- “Ohio’s Stay-at-Home Order: Considerations for Regulated Operations,” Thompson Hine COVID-19 Update, March 2020
- “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
- "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
(past ten years)
- "Integrating EHS Compliance and 3rd Party Audits during Mergers and Acquisitions," Annual Business & Industry’s Sustainability & Environmental, Health and Safety Symposium, March 27, 2019
- "Practical Strategies to Manage Emerging Contaminants (PFAS)," Annual Business & Industry’s Sustainability & Environmental, Health and Safety Symposium, March 26, 2019
- Panelist, "Building Lasting Connections: The "Slippery" Slope: Emerging EHS Concerns and Challenges that Managers Face in Mergers & Acquisitions," May 2, 2018
- "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
- AV® Preeminent Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
- Fellow of the American Bar Foundation
- Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2003 to 2022 for Environmental Law, Litigation-Environmental, and Natural Resources Law; named the Best Lawyers® 2017 Environmental Law "Lawyer of the Year" in Cincinnati
- Listed in Who's Who Legal USA: Environment
- Selected to the Ohio Super Lawyers list, 2004-2021; included in list of the Top 50 Super Lawyers in Cincinnati
- Listed in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business since 2005; currently in Band 1
- 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
- Tau Beta Pi National Engineering Honor Society
- Ohio State Bar Association
- Cincinnati Bar Association, past secretary, Environmental Law Committee
- District of Columbia Bar Association
- Lexis Brownfields Law & Practice Manual, contributing author (Ohio chapter)
- BNA's Environmental Due Diligence Guide, Ohio representative, State Law Advisory Committee
- Business & Industry's EH&S Symposium, member of Planning Committee
- Anderson's Ohio Environmental Law Practice Manual, past general editor and contributing author
- Greater Cincinnati Water Works, past member of 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, past chair of Governance Committee
- 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, past member of 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