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)

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...

Ulmer & Berne LLP is pleased to announce that Associate Brett C. Altier has been appointed to a three-year term on the Board of Directors of Ingenuity Cleveland. Ingenuity is a nonprofit that provides a unique platform to explore the boundaries of art and technology through outreach, creative partnerships, and...

Ulmer & Berne is ranked in 39 categories in the 2016 U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” rankings. Among these, the firm earns U.S. News – Best Lawyers highest rankings in 21 categories. The firm also ranks nationally in 16 categories. Firms included in the 2016 “Best Law...

Ulmer & Berne LLP is pleased to name Mary Forbes Lovett chair of the firm’s nationally recognized Real Estate Practice. Ms. Lovett, a partner in the firm’s Cleveland office, represents developers, nonprofit organizations, lenders, and investors in a wide variety of urban development projects utilizing federal and state historic, low...

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.