Environmental & Regulatory

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Steptoe & Johnson environmental attorneys understand the complex, technical nature of environmental issues and provide team-based solutions and strategies to help clients navigate today's heavily regulated environment. Clients facing environmental litigation know they can count on the team's skilled litigators to protect them in high profile cases. Team members hold leadership positions in national environmental and energy-related trade organizations, serving as client advocates and thought leaders in environmental law. This seasoned team understands the business impact of environmental regulations and emerging technologies and is well known for the ability to translate technical issues into legal solutions to eliminate problems today and shape environmental law for the future.


What Sets Us Apart?

  • Technical and scientific degrees held by team members in geology, engineering, environmental science, and mining provide clients with solid legal representation built on a technical foundation
  • Leadership roles in environmental/energy trade organizations and regional/national multi-stakeholder technical advisory groups provides clients with a voice on critical issues
  • Team members are actively involved in shaping environmental and energy policy and promulgating regulations
  • Active working relationships with state and federal government officials in all licensed states
  • Represent regulated industries including energy, power generation, chemical, manufacturing, mining, municipalities, research and development, transportation, waste disposal, commercial development, and banking and finance
  • Over 50% of the team has in-house counsel or regulatory agency experience
  • Attorneys licensed in: IN, KY, OH, PA, VA, WV, TX
  • 75% of team members recognized as Best Lawyers
  • Three registered lobbyists represent clients regarding environmental issues in multiple states
  • Provides the right experience mix of lawyers, government affairs professionals, and paralegals to enhance efficiency 

19 Team Members

We're all in this together
Government Relations Coordinator - PA
Of Counsel
Of Counsel
Tips for Dealing with Increased EPA Enforcement Initiatives

Know How

Alert: April 18, 2014 - Here's What's Trending on Steptoe & Johnson's Environmental Essentials Blog
EPA Mercury Rule Upheld by Divided Court Published by Armando F. Benincasa A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld the nation’s first-ever national standards requiring power plants to cut emissions of mercury and other hazardous air pollution. Click here to read more.Oklahoma Sues Fish & Wildlife Service, Kansas Joins Published by Laura P. HoffmanOn March 17, 2014, Oklahoma’s Attorney General, Scott Pruitt, filed suit in Tulsa against the U.S. Department of the Interior and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS). Click here to read more.
Alert: Here's What's Trending on Steptoe & Johnson's Environmental Essentials Blog
Obama’s EPA holds the Ultimate Weapon in the Continuing War on Coal: Post Permit Authority to Revoke an Issued 404 Permit Published by Robert D. Pollitt The United States Supreme Court in an order denying certiorari effectively affirmed the EPA’s authority to exercise its “Veto” power to revoke or modify an issued permit. Click here to read more.Air Trends Data Show Air Quality Improvement Published by Laura M. Goldfarb
Alert: March 21, 2014 - Here's What's Trending on Steptoe & Johnson's Environmental Essentials Blog
EPA Proposes to Approve West Virginia’s Reasonable Progress Goals Report and Adequacy Determination for Regional HazePublished by Richard L. LewisOn March 14, 2014, the U.S. EPA published its proposed rule to approve a revision to the West Virginia State Implementation Plan (SIP), submitted by West Virginia DEP on April 30, 2013. Click here to read more.Senate Joint Resolution 12 Placing Water Rights on the Ballot in West Virginia DiesPublished by Armando F. Benincasa
Alert: March 7, 2014 - Here's What's Trending on Steptoe & Johnson's Environmental Essentials Blog
EPA to Finalize Phase II Cooling Water Intake Structure Rule for Existing Facilities by April 17, 2014Published by Laura P. HoffmanThe EPA will finalize the cooling water intake rule for existing facilities pursuant to Section 316(b) of the Clean Water Act by April 17, 2014. The proposed rule will cover approximately 1,260 existing facilities, primarily impacting older facilities that use once-through cooling systems. Click here to read more.Whether Carbon Capture and Sequestration will Trigger CAA Published by Zahava A. Bennett
Alert: Save the Date - 2014 Energy Leadership Summit. Denver, CO.
Mark Your Calendar and Plan to Join Us for the Steptoe & Johnson 2014 Energy Leadership SummitWhen:Thursday, May 15, 20148:30 a.m. - 5:15 p.m.Where:The Oxford Hotel1600 17th StreetDenver, CO 80202Why Should You Attend?This one-day Summit will provide energy executives and decision makers with a comprehensive overview of recent shale oil and gas developments as well as legal and transactional issues in major U.S. shale plays.What Will You Learn?Some of the topics we'll discuss include:
Alert: February 28, 2014 - Here's What's Trending on Steptoe & Johnson's Environmental Essentials Blog
Endangered Species Act Congressional Working Group Releases FindingsPublished by Laura P. HoffmanThe Endangered Species Act (ESA) Congressional Working Group released a final report which contained its findings and recommendations focusing on the effectiveness and workability of the ESA. Click here to read more.Pennsylvania’s Energy Plan and the Environment Published by Gary E. SlagelPennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett surprised many with the January 2014 release of his new energy plan for the Commonwealth entitiled “ENERGY = JOBS.” Click here to read more.
Alert: Here's What's Trending on Steptoe & Johnson's Environmental Essentials Blog
Texas Takes Over Greenhouse Gas Permitting from EPA Published by Laura Patterson HoffmanThe EPA delegated authority over greenhouse gas permitting to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) after months of negotiations between the two entities. Texas is the leading greenhouse gas producer in the United States and was the only state in 2010 that refused to meet new federal greenhouse gas emission rules. Click here to read more.EPA Establishes New Guidelines for Use of Diesel Fuels for Oil and Gas Hydraulic FracturingPublished by Robert D. Pollitt
Alert: Here's What's Trending on Steptoe & Johnson's Environmental Essentials Blog
Pennsylvania HB 1576 and SB 1047; Finding a Balance Between Protection of Threatened and Endangered Species and Responsible Economic Development Published by Zahava A. BennettHouse Bill No. 1576, known as the Endangered Species Coordination Act, and its counterpart, Senate Bill No. 1047, are pending Pennsylvania legislation that would add a layer of regulatory oversight to the listing of endangered and threatened species in Pennsylvania. Click here to read more.Europe Issues “Minimum Principles” on Hydraulic Fracturing Published by Stephen C. Smith
Alert: Here's What's Trending on Steptoe & Johnson's Environmental Essentials Blog
PA DEP’s On-going Radiation Study for Oil and Gas OperationsPublished by Gary E. SlagelOne of the many environmental issues or concerns associated with shale gas development has been the level of radiation exposure associated with the variety of processes and equipment used to develop the resource. Click here to read more.Governor Proposes West Virginia Source Water Protection Act Published by David Flannery
Alert: WV Governor Unveils West Virginia Source Water Protection Act
Today, Governor Tomblin unveiled his bill to create the West Virginia Source Water Protection Act (WVSWPA) in response to Freedom Industries’ release of MCHM into the Elk River near downtown Charleston approximately one week ago. This legislation is intended to bolster the Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) regulatory program over industrial aboveground storage tanks located within a zone of critical concern that are capable of storing regulated materials in excess of certain thresholds established by the Secretary of the DEP to the extent that such tanks are not already subject to an individual permit under an existing regulatory program involving site-specific regulation and inspection by the DEP or otherwise exempted by statute or legislative rulemaking.
Alert: Here's What's Trending on Steptoe & Johnson's Environmental Essentials Blog
EPA Publishes New Power Plant Emissions RulePublished by Marc C. BrysonThe United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published proposed New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for regulating carbon dioxide emissions from new fossil fuel-fired power plants in the Federal register on January 8, 2013. Click here to read more.Federal Court Finds Coal Company Liable for Selenium DischargesPublished by Laura M. Goldfarb
Alert: Here's What's Trending on Steptoe & Johnson's Environmental Essentials Blog
Getting the 411 on Senate Bill 411: AMD Use in Hydraulic FracturingPublished by Zahava BennettRoom-and-pillar mines have been active in Pennsylvania since the late 1700s. Bituminous coal was first commercially mined on Mount Washington in the City of Pittsburgh, just off the banks of the Monongahela River. Coal was extracted from hillside outcroppings and carried by canoe to be used at military garrisons. Resource extraction has continued in Pennsylvania to the present day. Click here to read more.Pennsylvania and West Virginia Fastest-Growing States in Natural Gas Production, but Act 13 Ruling May Impact Pennsylvania ProductionPublished by Stephen Smith
Alert: Here's What's Trending on Steptoe & Johnson's Environmental Essentials Blog
Earthworks Accountability Project Report – Its Conclusions Regarding Marcellus Flowback in Pennsylvania Published by Gary E. Slagel A recently released report by the Earthworks Oil and Gas Accountability Project out of Durango, Colorado contains some interesting statements on the amount and method of flowback disposal associated with Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale gas production. Click here to read more.EPA Efforts to Limit the Application of 8th Circuit Loss Could Result in Nationwide LitigationPublished by Marc C. Bryson
Alert: Northeast States Petition For Ohio Valley States To Be Included In The Ozone Transport Commission
Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia are not currently in the Ozone Transport Region (OTR) and are not currently subject to the OTR’s more stringent air emissions controls. However, nine states in the OTR petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) pursuant to Clean Air Act § 176A to expand the OTR to include these Midwestern and Southern states.
Alert: Here's What's Trending on Steptoe & Johnson's Environmental Essentials Blog
EPA Proposes Approval and Promulgation of Redesignation Requests for West Virginia Portion of Steubenville-Weirton Nonattainment Area for 1997 and 2006 PM2.5 StandardsPublished by: Edward L. Kropp
Alert: Here's What's Trending on Steptoe & Johnson's Environmental Essentials Blog
It is Not Just a Question of Federal vs. State Regulation – Local Power to Regulate Oil and Gas Industry Challenged in ColoradoPublished by Armando F. BenincasaThe oil and gas industry has commenced a legal challenge to two local ballot initiatives in Colorado where voters approved extended moratoriums against the use of hydraulic fracturing within their jurisdictions. Click here to read more.Kathy G. Beckett Presides as Chair of the US Chamber of Commerce Energy, Clean Air, and Natural Resources Committee Published by Kathy G. Beckett
Alert: Here's What's Trending on Steptoe & Johnson's Environmental Essentials Blog
EPA Partially Approves Kentucky’s Proposed Water Quality Criteria for SeleniumPublished by Laura HoffmanThe EPA has issued a final decision on the revisions to Kentucky’s water quality standards that were proposed as part of the Department of Water’s Triennial Review. Of particular interest is the EPA’s approval of the chronic water quality criteria for selenium. Click here to read more.DEP Proposes to Fine Tune CEP Policy to Promote Environmental JusticePublished by Stephen Smith
Alert: Mechanical Integrity Assessment in Pennsylvania
Well operators in Pennsylvania must inspect each operating well at least quarterly to ensure it is in compliance with the well construction and operating requirements as required by Pa. Code title 25, § 78.88. At a minimum, inspections must determine: 1- The well-head pressure or water level measurement 2- The open flow on the annulus of the production casing or the annulus pressure if the annulus is shut in 3- If there is evidence of gas escaping from the well and the amount escaping, using measurement or best estimate of quantity 4- If there is evidence of progressive corrosion, rusting or other signs of equipment deterioration
Here's What's Trending on Steptoe & Johnson's Environmental Essentials Blog
Low Methane Leakage from Shale Gas Wells VerifiedPublished by Gary E. SlagelCritics of shale gas development have frequently charged that methane leaks and emissions from shale gas operations are high enough to present no real advantage over other fossil fuels from a greenhouse gas standpoint. Click here to read more.Court Orders Disclosure of All Chemicals Used Since 2009 at Gas Company Drilling SitePublished by Robert D. Pollitt
Alert: Here's What's Trending on Steptoe & Johnson's Environmental Essentials Blog
USEPA Revises Maximum Statutory Civil Penalty Amounts by Rule Promulgated November 6, 2013Published by Richard L. LewisThe Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 (28 U.S.C. 2461, as amended by the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996, 31 U.S.C. 3701) requires EPA to adjust its statutory civil penalties for inflation at least once every 4 years. Click here to read more.Federal Judge Mandates USEPA Set Schedule for Final Rule-Making Regarding Coal Ash ResiduePublished by Armando F. Benincasa
Alert: Here's What's Trending on Our Environmental Essentials Blog:
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service proposes “Endangered Status” for Northern Long-Eared Bat and seeks comments regarding possible designation of the species’ “critical habitat”Published by Robert D. PollittOn October 2, 2013, the United States Department of Interior (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) published its proposal to list the “northern long-eared bat” as an endangered species throughout its entire range. Click here to read more."Fractivists” Complain about Ozone Precursor Emissions from Oil & Gas E&P SitesPublished by Edward L. Kropp
Alert: Here's What's Trending on Steptoe & Johnson's Environmental Essentials Blog
U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Review USEPA Greenhouse Gas PermittingPublished by Kathy G. BeckettThe U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, October 15, 2013 agreed to hear the challenge to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations concerning greenhouse gases. Petitioners, to include industry groups and various states, expressed concern about the merits of the EPA decision to regulate mobile and stationary sources for greenhouse gases. Click here to read more.      
Alert: New Study Says Methane Leakage from Shale Gas Lower Than Alleged
Initial findings from a new comprehensive study released Monday undertaken by the Environmental Defense Fund and the University of Texas found that methane leakage rates from natural gas systems were far below estimates of previous studies. In 2011, a study released from Cornell University led by ecologist Robert Howarth purported to show high levels of methane “leakage” from natural gas systems, including wells that had been hydraulically fractured. The Howarth study indicated that as much as 7.9 percent of natural gas developed from shale was leaking into the atmosphere thus negating its carbon-friendly advantages.
Alert: Ohio AG: Counties May Sell Water to Oil & Gas Operators
The Ohio Attorney General’s office was recently asked to give its opinion on a county’s authority to sell water that is available to oil and gas drillers in need of large quantities of water for hydraulic fracturing purposes.  Specifically, Harrison County had inquired about the legality of entering into a contract with a for-profit company that would broker sales of county water supplies and would, in return, receive a share of any profits generated.
Alert: WV House Judiciary Committee Amends Horizontal Well Legislative Rule
On April 9, 2013, the House Judiciary Committee amended SB 243, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection ("WVDEP") rules bill which includes the promulgation of permanent legislative rules, 35 Code of State Rules, Series 8, regarding horizontal well development in West Virginia.  The rule is mandated by provisions of the West Virginia's Natural Gas Horizontal Well Control Act, W.Va. Code Chapter 22, Article 6A.
Alert: Ohio EPA Proposes Air Permitting Changes for Oil and Gas Well Sites
Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recently proposed several changes to its general permits for oil and gas well site production operations.  These changes would:
Alert: States May Sue EPA Over Methane Emissions
Seven northeastern states – New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont – have notified the Administrator of United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that they plan to sue the agency over recently adopted rules to control air pollution from oil and gas operations unless the agency takes steps to correct perceived deficiencies in those rules and their treatment of greenhouse gas emissions.  The New Source Performance Standards for oil and gas production operations – which became effective on October 15, 2012 – require “green completions” to minimize emissions during flowback from hydraulically fractured wells, as well as certain other emission controls on various processes associated with oil and gas production.  However, according to the states, the rules did not directly address emissions of methane – a greenhouse gas.  The states wan
Webinar: October 2012 - Webcast Slides - Legislative Rule-Making in West Virginia and the Proposed WVDEP Horizontal Well Rules
Legislative Rule-Making in West Virginia and the Proposed WVDEP Horizontal Well RulesFollowing passage of the West Virginia Natural Gas Horizontal Well Control Act in December 2011, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection filed a proposed legislative rule, 35 CSR, Series 8 (the "Horizontal Well Rule"), addressing the regulation and production of natural gas from horizontal wells in West Virginia.  In response to public comments received, the DEP recently filed a modified version of its Horizontal Well Rule.  This is the final step to be taken by the agency prior to the consideration of the rule by the legislature.  The legislative rule-making committee will now begin its own review of the modified Horizontal Well Rule in hopes that  it will be ready for consideration by the whole legislature during the upcoming 2013 Regular Session.Discussion includes
Webinar: October 2012 - Webcast Presentation - Legislative Rule-Making in West Virginia and the Proposed WVDEP Horizontal Well Rules
To watch and listen to a recording of this webcast, CLICK HERE. October 2012 - Energy Keynote Webcast Legislative Rule-Making in West Virginia and the Proposed WVDEP Horizontal Well Rules
Webinar: November 2011 - Webcast Slides - MSHA Citation Defense - An Operator's Guide
MSHA Citation Defense - An Operator's GuideUnderstanding and handling MSHA citations and petitions can be a tedious task. Steptoe & Johnson attorneys have excellent insight into MSHA and how to handle citations and will share some of this knowledge with you this month. This webcast will address the litigation process of MSHA citations and petitions, how the negotiation process works with a Department of Labor attorney, and will give you tips as to what you can do at the time of inspections/citations to help your attorneys defend you. Discussion included: The litigation process of MSHA citations and petitions Update on the backlog project Demonstration of the negotiation process Your defense: what you can do to help    
Alert: EPA Finalizes New Rules for Natural Gas Industry
EPA Finalizes Natural Gas Industry GHG Reporting Requirements On November 8, 2010, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized reporting requirements for the petroleum and natural gas industry under the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Reporting Program, 40 C.F.R Part 98. Beginning in 2011, petroleum and natural gas facilities that emit more than 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) per year are required to monitor and report all greenhouse gas emissions to EPA. Data collection will begin January 1, 2011, with the first annual reports due to EPA in 2012.

Representative Experience

  • Experience working with federal regulators in connection with emergency incidents, in particular, matters subject to CERCLA, EPCRA and Section 112 General Duty requirements

  • Have helped develop comprehensive emergency plans for chemical and oil and gas industry clients

  • Experience with environmental regulation of pipelines (leak detection, site clearing, wetland issues, etc.)

  • Worked on statutory and regulatory language related to Senate Bill 315 and its implementation, including new pipeline safety requirements

  • Extensive rulemaking and administrative appellate experience

  • State and federal enforcement experience including responses to notice of violations, federal information requests under Section 114 of the Clean Air Act and Section 104 of CERCLA, site inspections, negotiation of noncompliance penalties, and civil litigation

  • Developed major facility environmental permitting outline

  • Developed multi-jurisdictional environmental crisis management plans

  • Represented coal-fired power industry on regional air quality issues

  • Filed administrative appeals of industrial NPDES permits and negotiated revised permit conditions

  • Represented national trade association in developing comments to an Endangered Species Act proposed listing

  • Conducted environmental audit of chemical manufacturing facility

  • Represented chemical manufacturing operations on air compliance matters and waste management matters

  • Represented oil and gas exploration and production facilities relative to air permitting issues to include air aggregation assessments

  • Evaluated environmental, health and safety compliance, and site contamination risks, and counseled clients about reporting obligations and compliance

  • Conducted product liability risk assessment for medical devices and other FDA regulated products

  • Designed and managed TSCA/EPCRA environmental compliance program for global chemical business

  • Represented trade association in appeal of EPA Clean Air Transport Rule

  • Represented trade association in appeal of EPA Mercury and Air Toxics Standard

  • Represented PCB contaminated equipment disposal company in CERCLA cost recovery action for PCB contamination

  • Represented chemical company in CERCLA cost recovery action for PCB contamination 

  • Located and developed scientific expert witnesses for various toxic tort matters

  • Participated on defense team defending coal company against several hundred plaintiff water contamination action

  • Participated on defense team defending large refinery against several thousand plaintiff toxic tort action

  • Participated on defense team defending carbon black company against several hundred plaintiff toxic tort action

  • Defended PCB disposal company against EPA Toxic Subtances Control Act and notices of violation

  • Represented small materials handling company in developing Clean Air Act compliance program and defending multiple notices of violation in two states

  • Represented company in voluntary disclosure to state environmental agency of prior inaccurate reporting of monitoring data by subsidiary following acquisition of parent company.  State agency commended company for prompt voluntary disclosure and assessed only minimal civil penalties for noncompliance. 

  • Represented multiple clients in connection with USEPA efforts to develop new and renewed National Ambient Air Quality Standards ("NAAQS") and regulatory requirements to address the interstate transport of air pollutants, including appeals of final rules

  • Advised clients on conducting environmental due diligence and "all appropriate inquiry" investigations in advance of the acquisition of industrial property

  • Advised clients with respect to climate change issues including legislative policy, rulemakings and stakeholder proceedings

  • Member of the West Virginia Carbon Capture and Sequestation ("CCS") Working Group and Chair of Legal Subcommittee involving preparation of draft CCS legislation

  • Principal industry negotiator in the development of state hazardous waste, groundwater and air pollution legislation

  • Regularly counsel clients regarding permitting, compliance and enforcement matters associated with RCRA hazardous and solid waste

  • Assisted municipal client in drafting stormwater ordinance to comply with statewide general permit for municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4)

  • Represented client in wasteload allocation and NPDES permit process over objections of local citizens and industry competitors

  • Represented numerous clients before state administrative boards, including the West Virginia Environmental Quality Board, the West Virginia Shallow Gas Well Review Board and the West Virginia Coalbed Methane Review Board

  • Represented clients in numerous environmental enforcement actions

  • Negotiating consent decrees and penalties with state and federal agencies, including Ohio EPA and US EPA

  • Appealing unsatisfactory permit terms and defending challenges to permits before administrative review boards and in the court system

  • Assisting clients to obtain permits and approvals needed for operating their businesses

  • Helping clients understand and navigate potential regulatory hurdles

  • Appealed regulatory decisions of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection

  • Represented manufacturers, power companies, coal companies, petroleum refineries and trade organizations in state and federal energy and environmental matters focusing on national air quality regulatory issues, water quality issues, oil and gas regulatory issues, and solid and hazardous waste compliance

  • Provided advice on permitting, surface mining, water discharge and other environmental issues to the coal industry

  • Defended energy company in a Clean Water Act citizens' suit alleging wastewater contamination from selenium and conductivity

  • Represented energy company in a Clean Water Act citizens' suit brought by various environmental groups alleging failure to comply with KPDES permit effluent limitations and fraud

  • Representing natural gas exploration companies in unitization proceedings before the Ohio Department of Natural Resources

  • Represented major steel company in environmental cleanup (superfund) cases in several states

  • Served as Environmental Director for mining/manufacturing company with several regional environmental managers directly reporting

  • Represented manufacturing and pharmaceutical companies in conducting environmental due diligence in potential acquisitions of companies with multiple operating sites in different states as well as the evaluation of legacy liabilities

  • Developed and coordinated strategic responses to USEPA investigations of suspected environmental regulatory violations at operating plants for mining company

  • Represented subsidiary of acquired manufacturing company in defense of coordinated federal-state enforcement actions targeting operating plant for historic air permitting violations

  • Alerting clients to legal developments that may impact their business

  • Commenting on Ohio and US EPA on rulemaking packages affecting clients, including Title V permit program, major New Source Review rulemakings, PM2.5 and NOx SIP call rulemakings, Ohio's air toxics rules, and others

  • Reviewing permit and regulatory/statutory obligations to ensure clients are aware of/meeting requirements; reviewing reports and sworn compliance certifications prior to their submission, with an eye to minimizing any self-incrimination or admission of noncompliance

  • Represented client in litigation involving perchloroethylene contamination of ground surrounding a dry cleaning establishment

  • Represented production and midstream energy companies with regard to the negotiation and resolution of federal environmental claims pursuant to the Clean Water Act

  • Represented production and midstream energy companies with regard to the negotiation and resolution of state air quality, water and waste environmental claims pursuant to various state acts in Appalachia

  • Represented energy, regulatory, and municipal clients with regard to permitting, enforcement and administrative matters before environmental agencies and boards in Appalachia, including claims regarding well contamination, permit issuance, permit terms and conditions, and permit transfer

  • Led environmental audit team from initial response to TSCA and CERCLA regulations through audit and results presentation

  • Represented clients in numerous CERCLA, RCRA and other solid waste-related matters

  • Negotiated surface damage agreements on behalf of oil and gas operators

  • Sought contribution under CERCLA from responsible party for $100+ million environmental remediation

  • Represented municipality in the sale of its water and sewer systems

  • Regularly negotiate terms and conditions of NPDES permits with state agencies

  • Organized group of utilities to implement funding legislation for Chesapeake Bay program and appeal WV DEP's implementation of the Bay program

  • Worked with state agencies to modify public service district's upgrade plans and maintain compliance with a WV DEP grant order

  • Represented client in wasteload allocation and NPDES permit process over objections of local citizens and industry competitors

  • Represented clients before environmental agencies in numerous environmental enforcement actions

  • Provided client with advice and consultation to allow consistent compliance with regulatory obligations

  • Defend clients before both federal and state environmental agencies and administrative judicial boards related to permitting, enforcement and penalty actions 

  • Address environmental due diligence and site assessment issues arising during the purchase or sale of client's mining, manufacturing or service businesses 

  • Defend, or pursue as necessary, various damage and injunction claims arising in environmental-related cases.  Pursue civil damage claims for clients in both tort and contract actions.

  • Performing environmental due diligence in transactions involving acquisition of manufacturing facilities and/or real estate

  • Jury trials and defense of corporations and management officials prosecuted for criminal violations of federal environmental laws

  • Litigated numerous claims for property contamination and CERCLA cleanup actions


Steptoe & Johnson PLLC is a U.S. energy firm with core strengths in labor & employment, litigation and transactional law. In 2013, Steptoe & Johnson celebrated 100 years of helping clients reach their goals.


Did you know?

10.5 Years

equals the average tenure of our client relationship. We'd like to be in it for the long haul with you too.

Face-to-Face Client Interviews

25+ face-to-face client interviews are conducted every year by our CEO and firm management to learn how we can do better (so please give us an earful).

Leaders in our Field

Steptoe & Johnson was the first firm to successfully secure regulatory approval for a multi-lateral Utica shale well.

One Firm

Ours is a client-of-the-firm culture, service model and compensation system that matches the best talent to the assignment and puts your economic interest ahead of ours.

Leaders in our Field

22 of us are ranked as “Leaders in their Field” by Chambers USA.

14 Offices Throughout the U.S.

14 offices throughout Colorado, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and West Virginia.