Ulmer & Berne’s environmental practice has been ranked among the U.S. News – Best Lawyers’ “Best Law Firms.” The practice provides legal representation in environmental matters to a broad range of clients, including some of America’s largest corporations, small and medium-sized companies, Ohio municipalities, hospitals, commercial real estate owners, developers, farmers, and individuals. Members of our environmental law practice have extensive experience in all aspects of environmental law and associated issues, including:

  • Counseling businesses subject to state and federal regulatory programs dealing with wetlands, underground storage tanks, hazardous waste management, Title V air issues, FEMA, storm water discharge, and solid and hazardous (RCRA) wastes requirements
  • Counseling real estate owners and developers in due diligence evaluation for real estate transactions
  • Representing entities in Superfund actions, including pursuing “private cost recovery actions” under Ohio’s Voluntary Action Program and CERCLA on behalf of entities that undertook remediation of property contaminated by third parties
  • Litigating insurance coverage disputes arising from environmental claims
  • Representing entities subject to state and federal enforcement actions arising under the Ohio and Federal environmental laws, including, but not limited to the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and the Clean Ohio Fund
  • Negotiating with state and federal agencies to avoid institution of formal enforcement actions (and consequent adverse publicity)
  • Defending of criminal charges arising from alleged violations of environmental laws (local and state)

January 19, 2023 – On December 15, 2022, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) amended its All Appropriate Inquiries Rule, publishing a final rule that incorporates an updated Phase I Environmental Site Assessment standard from ASTM International. The new standard is known as ASTM E1527-21. Under the Comprehensive Environmental...

August 16, 2022 – On June 1, 2022, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recent updates to industrial stormwater general permits became effective. Industrial stormwater general permits cover stormwater discharges from new and existing point sources associated with industrial activity to surface waters of the State. Development and implementation of a...

December 15, 2021 – On June 30, 2021, Governor DeWine signed into law Ohio’s fiscal year biennial budget for 2022-2023. The budget included a new Brownfield Remediation Program and a Building Demolition and Site Revitalization Program. The Brownfield Remediation Program provides grants for environmental site investigation and remediation, and the...

By David A. Meyer and Brett C. Altier Purchasing contaminated property in Ohio became a little less risky this week. Purchasers can now obtain protection under both federal and state law from costly remediation orders imposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio...

April 2, 2020 – On March 26, 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) issued a policy relaxing enforcement of some regulatory requirements in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The policy applies retroactively to March 13, 2020, and provides that USEPA will exercise enforcement discretion for certain noncompliance that results...

Ulmer & Berne LLP is pleased to share that Associate Brett C. Altier has been named to the Cleveland Bridge Builders Class of 2020. Altier is part of a diverse group of professionals chosen by the Cleveland Leadership Center to participate in this highly selective 10-month leadership program. Cleveland Bridge Builders prepares...

Representative Experience

  • Defended gasoline retail businesses in Ohio EPA administrative enforcement actions involving alleged violations relating to the operation of Stage II vapor control systems.
  • Defended a scrap metal company in a US EPA administrative enforcement action under Title VI of the Clean Air Act involving alleged violations of requirements relating to the safe disposal of refrigerants.
  • Defended an owner of a school building in a US EPA administrative enforcement action under TSCA involving alleged violations of the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act.
  • Defended an animal feeding operation in an Ohio EPA administrative enforcement action involving alleged violations of the Clean Water Act.
  • Defended a corporation in a Federal Aviation administration enforcement action involving alleged violations of hazardous material transportation requirements.
  • Represented a manufacturer decommissioning a facility formerly licensed to handle radioactive materials under program administered by the Ohio Department of Health, Bureau of Radiation Protection.
  • Defended a developer in a US EPA administrative enforcement action for alleged filling of stream and wetlands without a Section 404 Permit.
  • Defended landowners in a US EPA administrative enforcement action alleging liability under CERCLA.
  • Represented a water and sewer district in a dispute with a municipality over drinking water service area conflict.
  • Counsel clients on compliance with Atomic Energy Act requirements for the licensing of a byproduct material.
  • Routinely represent buyers and sellers in transactions involving real estate with environmental contamination and/or regulatory compliance issues.
  • Assist clients in performing environmental law compliance audits.
  • Counseled clients in applying for and receiving Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund (CORF) and Clean Ohio Assessment Fund (COAF) grants.
  • Counseled clients in applying for and receiving federal and state grants for renewable energy development.