Thompson Hine's national environmental practice supports clients in environmental matters involving litigation, enforcement defense, regulatory compliance and permitting, environmental remediation, brownfields redevelopment, and corporate and real estate transactions across the United States. We have in-depth experience that spans all facets of environmental regulation.

Our practice is nationally recognized for providing efficient representation in environmental litigation matters; strategic defense in enforcement actions; and practical advice on regulatory compliance and permitting, environmental remediation, brownfields redevelopment, and corporate and real estate transactions. Our lawyers have assisted many clients in developing effective environmental, health and safety management systems, compliance auditing programs and other proactive risk management tools.

Our in-depth litigation experience spans claims under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA, or Superfund Act), Clean Water Act (CWA), Clean Air Act (CAA), Endangered Species Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and other federal, state and local land use and environmental statutes.

Thompson Hine acts as national environmental counsel for numerous companies, providing comprehensive EHS services across the United States, including litigation, enforcement defense, compliance consulting, permitting, auditing assistance and remediation advice. We are different from other environmental professionals because we strive to become a member of a client’s team by learning its business, goals and objectives. By integrating ourselves within the company, we can proactively identify areas of noncompliance or suggest improvements to minimize the risks of receiving penalties, notices of violation or other agency orders. Our overall goal is help clients meet their objectives concerning environmental compliance and management of risks.

Lawyers in our group have worked at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and state attorneys general offices. Some have acted as special counsel to the EPA or chaired the environmental sections of their local and state bar associations and committees.

Our group is ranked a leading environmental practice in Chambers USA and U.S. News Media Group/Best Lawyers, among other authorities. In addition, many of our environmental lawyers are individually recognized as leaders in the field by Chambers USA, Best Lawyers, International Who’s Who in Environmental Law and The American College of Environmental Lawyers.

We continue to “write the book” on Ohio environmental law, collaborating with LexisNexis to publish the annual Ohio Environmental Law Practice Manual. The guide serves as the premier and most comprehensive legal reference for Ohio’s environmental and natural resource laws and regulations.

Representative Regulatory Counseling Experience
  • Representing solid waste landfill clients on permitting and compliance issues
  • Handling compliance counseling, auditing and permitting for clients across the United States.
  • Coordinating facility audits, including voluntary disclosures pursuant to state and federal audit disclosure policies.
  • Assisting in the preparation of EHS management systems; implementation of environmental health and safety codes and policies; and sustainability programs.
  • Handling wetlands permitting and mitigation for real estate development projects.
  • Supporting clients in preparing environmental impact statements and proposed findings of no significant impact under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and analogous state programs including energy and development projects.
  • Evaluating waste-load allocation (Total Maximum Daily Loads or TMDL) for publicly owned treatment works.
  • Handling National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), RCRA and Title V air permitting for many facilities in the chemical, manufacturing, pulp and paper, and foundry industries.
  • Representing chemical industry clients in matters relating to Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) disclosure requirements.
  • Counseling chemical manufacturers and importers on Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) mandates, including assistance navigating the premanufacture notice (PMN) process.
  • Providing pesticide regulatory counseling and prosecution of pesticide licensing for manufacturers.
  • Assisting national manufacturers in developing and implementing comprehensive, internal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) reporting-compliance systems.
  • Assisting with Title V, Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and New Source Review (NSR) permitting for coal-fired electric generating facilities.
  • Advising on underground storage tank licensing, removal and corrective action.
  • Representing clients in numerous cleanup projects under state mandatory and voluntary programs across the United States, including cleanups under the Ohio Voluntary Action Program and remediation of manufacturing properties under the New Jersey Industrial Sites Recovery Act and Connecticut Transfer Act.
  • Counseling on OSHA compliance
  • Coordinating strategic approaches to managing all aspects of vapor intrusion issues, including agency negotiations, consultant management, community notifications and public relations.
Representative Transaction Experience
  • Representing a lending institution on environmental issues relating to the sale of more than 500 branch offices.
  • Representing sellers, buyers and developers of environmentally impaired real estate (e.g., chemical manufacturing plants, foundries).
  • Handling acquisitions and dispositions of facilities for chemical manufacturing, powdered metal products, metal fabrication, foundries, paper production, paint production, utilities, co-generation and plastic molding.
  • Counseling on brownfield redevelopments of a manufacturing facility converted to a transportation, logistics and warehousing complex, and of a historic arcade converted to a hotel/retail complex.
  • Assisting with environmental due diligence and management of investigations for the construction of a sports complex and associated commercial development.
  • Assisting numerous companies during property transfers and plant closings in all aspects of compliance with the United States’ most burdensome transfer act laws, the New Jersey Industrial Sites Recovery Act and the Connecticut Transfer Act, including applicability determinations, and completing required investigations and cleanups.
  • Assisting clients during transactions to ensure compliance with Michigan’s Part 201 program, including baseline environmental assessments, Section 7(f) “due care” reports, investigations and cleanups, and to ensure compliance with Ohio’s Cessation of Regulated Operations (CRO) law.
  • Assisting port authorities with negotiations of environmental provisions in agreement for sale/leaseback transaction.
  • Negotiating defense and indemnity provisions and other risk-allocation mechanisms to cover preclosing environmental liabilities in asset and stock purchase agreements.

Our litigation work includes:

  • Civil, criminal and administrative enforcement actions, as well as permit challenges and appeals cases
  • Superfund defense and cost-recovery cases
  • Citizen suits
  • Toxic tort cases
  • Class action defense
  • Solid and hazardous waste litigation
  • Facility siting cases for a variety of regulated entities, including landfills; hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal facilities; utilities; and chemical and manufacturing facilities
  • Treatment of environmental liabilities in bankruptcy proceedings
  • OSHA enforcement actions

Our regulatory and legislative counseling work entails:

  • Permitting and compliance issues involving air, water, toxic substances, climate change, and solid and hazardous waste
  • Investigations and cleanups under mandatory and voluntary programs
  • Brownfield redevelopment
  • OSHA compliance
  • Auditing and structuring clients’ environmental, health and safety (EHS) compliance and sustainability policies and programs
  • Participating in legislative and rulemaking proceedings on behalf of clients

Our transactional work involves

  • Mergers, dispositions and acquisitions of businesses and business assets of all sizes
  • Representation of financial institutions in lender liability issues
  • Counseling of public companies in SEC disclosure issues

Through case work, prior work experience and professional associations, we have established relationships with state and federal regulators and legislators, as well as with peers and technical consultants in the environmental field. Several lawyers in our group have prior work experience with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and state attorneys general offices. Some have acted as special counsel to the Ohio EPA or chaired the environmental sections of their local and state bar associations and committees.

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Environmental L.A.W.S.: Learning from the Past and Planning for the Future
August 5, 2020

A discussion between Thompson Hine partners Devin Barry and Joel Eagle

In this podcast, Devin shares some observations on clients’ compliance challenges arising from COVID-19, and discusses with Joel how these challenges can be used to develop future COVID-19 compliance and enforcement defense strategies. Join us for this lively discussion that will be of interest to in-house counsel and EHS managers interested in proactively addressing compliance as the pandemic continues to create challenges throughout 2020.

Environmental L.A.W.S.: Manufacturing Plant Closures: Legal Compliance & Strategic Decision-Making for Investigation, Remediation & Sale
September 1, 2020

A discussion between Thompson Hine partners Andy Kolesar and Wray Blattner.

In this episode, Andy shares his insights on strategic considerations for companies closing former manufacturing plants (something happening more frequently as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic) that can lead to favorable outcomes in terms of complying with legal requirements, conducting cost-effective cleanups and maximizing the sale price. Andy and Wray discuss the pros and cons of mothballing former manufacturing properties, the risks and benefits of Phase II sampling to help quantify cleanup costs, long-term risk management considerations, and the key elements of effective corporate-wide plant closing and remediation programs. Join us for this lively discussion that will be of interest to in-house counsel, EHS managers and corporate real estate professionals who are facing (or will face) the challenges presented by plant closures.

Environmental L.A.W.S. - Exploring the Criminalization of Environmental Law – Executing Search Warrants
October 5, 2020

A discussion between Thompson Hine partners Terry Fay and Joel Eagle

In this episode, Terry Fay, a partner in our Environmental practice group, shares his insights regarding the criminalization of environmental law and, in particular, responding to the execution of a criminal search warrant. With experience garnered over a legal career entering its fifth decade, Terry describes the factors that might lead the government to criminally prosecute individuals and corporations for environmental violations, the process by which the government obtains a criminal search warrant, and what to expect when government agents, some of them armed, appear at your manufacturing plant with a search warrant. Terry and environmental partner Joel Eagle discuss what a company should and should not do while the government is conducting its search and provide suggested best practices for preparing for (the unexpected) search warrant and post-execution responses.

Environmental L.A.W.S. Trailer
July 15, 2020

In anticipation of the release of its first episode, Thompson Hine’s Environmental practice group is pleased to share this trailer for its Environmental  L.A.W.S. podcast. 

Environmental L.A.W.S. will explore current topics in environmental, health and safety laws in the United States from the perspectives of Thompson Hine environmental attorneys, the regulated community, regulators and the occasional special guest.  We’ll cover a wide range of issues in the areas of Land, Air, Water and Safety – L.A.W.S.