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.

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.

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. - Hot Topics Under UK Environmental Laws
August 4, 2021

In this episode, Andrew Kolesar of Thompson Hine is joined by Michael Barlow of Burges Salmon LLP for a discussion of hot topics under UK environmental laws. Mike is the head of Burges Salmon’s energy and utilities sector group and leads the firm’s water team. He provides his insights on post-Brexit environmental laws, including “UK REACH”; the status of the deliberations over the Environment Bill; enforcement trends; climate change and “net zero” objectives; and ESG initiatives. As Mike discusses in the podcast, it is “not business as usual” in the UK and it is important to follow closely the post-Brexit legal developments.

Environmental L.A.W.S. - Love Canal: How the Dream of a Perfect City Led to CERCLA – Part One
May 18, 2021

In this two-part episode, we examine the history of Love Canal, America’s most notorious toxic waste dump, which prompted the passage of CERCLA. In part one, Thompson Hine attorney Nathan Hunt tells the story of William Love and his ambitious plan to build a perfect city powered by free hydroelectricity in Niagara Falls, New York. Little did Love know that history would forever associate him with toxic waste instead of his ideal city. 

Environmental L.A.W.S. - PFAS 2021: Updates on “Forever Chemicals”
April 1, 2021

PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), a family of thousands of emerging contaminants, are seemingly everywhere these days, including on federal and state legislative and regulatory agendas, in the news and in Hollywood movies. In this episode, Thompson Hine partners Wray Blattner and Joel Eagle discuss recent PFAS developments and provide insight into possible or likely PFAS regulations and legislation under the Biden administration and the Michael Regan-led U.S. EPA.

Environmental L.A.W.S. - Hot Topics Under Canadian Environmental Laws
February 23, 2021

An interview of preeminent Canadian Environmental Law Specialist Harry Dahme of Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP.

In this episode, Andrew Kolesar of Thompson Hine is joined by Harry Dahme of Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP for a wide-ranging discussion of hot topics under Canadian environmental laws. Harry is a well-known and widely respected environmental law specialist in Gowling’s Toronto office. Harry provides his insights on Canadian product stewardship programs; registration requirements for COVID related devices and products; legislative and legal developments relating to the duty to consult with First Nations (or indigenous peoples) and how this will affect project development in Canada; regulatory developments affecting the remediation of contaminated sites and brownfields redevelopment; and the federal government proposal to ban certain single-use plastic products.

Environmental L.A.W.S. - Practical Tips on Navigating OSHA Inspections and Enforcement
December 22, 2020

A discussion between Thompson Hine Counsel Nathan Hunt and HRP Associate's Jackie Baxley

In this episode, Environmental Counsel Nathan Hunt is joined by Jackie Baxley, EHS Practice Leader at HRP Associates, to discuss the dos and don’ts in OSHA enforcement cases and examine the different roles EHS legal counsel and consultants play in such cases. Jackie and Nathan provide an overview of a typical OSHA enforcement case (2:00-8:30), dive into some pre-enforcement measures companies can take to minimize the risk of enforcement (8:31-26.00), offer practical tips regarding how to navigate an OSHA inspection (26:01-46:00), and describe options companies have if they receive an OSHA citation (46:01-1:04;15). Join us for this thought-provoking conversation that will be of interest to in-house counsel and EHS personnel.

Environmental L.A.W.S. - A Special Tribute: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Impact on the Legal Profession and Environmental Law
November 19, 2020

A discussion between Thompson Hine partner Heidi Friedman and associate Tasha Miracle. In this episode, Heidi Friedman, a partner in our Environmental practice group, shares her thoughts with environmental associate Tasha Miracle as they honor U.S. Supreme Court Justice and American icon, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Drawing from over 25 years of practicing environmental law, Heidi provides valuable insight on specific decisions, opinions and dissents that RBG authored and joined which ultimately helped shape the current landscape of U.S. environmental law. This special tribute spotlights RBG’s legacy and examines what her absence could mean for future Supreme Court decisions.

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 EagleIn 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.: 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 BlattnerIn 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.: Learning from the Past and Planning for the Future
August 5, 2020

A discussion between Thompson Hine partners Devin Barry and Joel EagleIn 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. 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.