Marissa Nortz focuses her practice in the often complex and ever-changing landscape of federal and state environmental regulations. Her clients, often municipalities and industrial, chemical and manufacturing companies, regularly call on Marissa for assistance with permitting, compliance, operational, and litigation needs, stemming from issues such as water and wastewater discharges, solid and hazardous waste disposal, air emissions, and other environmental and regulatory needs.
Hailing from the “Heart of the Billion Dollar Coal Field”, Marissa has inherited the blue-collar mentality of her father, a West Virginia coal miner, and funnels that mentality into the zealous representation of her clients. Marissa thrives most when working closely with her clients to deliver a hands-on result that not only resolves the issue at hand but delivers a path towards future successful, compliant, operations.
Marissa’s experience has allowed her to negotiate excessive environmental penalties issued by state and federal regulatory agencies under various environmental statutes and regulations, many of which if left unaltered could have resulted in a shuttering of operations. Marissa also regularly counsels clients on development of permitting terms and conditions, including advising on appropriate treatment technologies for continued compliance. When necessary, Marissa takes her clients concerns before state administrative boards, including the West Virginia Environmental Quality Board, to ensure that state regulatory requirements are developed to the letter of the law.
In addition to general counseling regarding compliant operations, Marissa has recently found herself immersed in emerging contaminant issues, including providing counsel on compliance with newly emerging state and federal regulations on per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (“PFAS”) and 1,4-Dioxane. As regulations are being developed, Marissa is at the forefront of the issues and has offered forward-thinking solutions for dischargers of these contaminants, including wastewater dischargers, owners of contaminated properties, airports, and other municipal, industrial, and manufacturing companies.
Marissa’s Southern West Virginia roots have translated into a practice that provides a client-centric approach to her clients’ daily environmental and regulatory needs. Whether it’s assisting in the development of a new capital improvement project, completing permitting applications, representing clients against state and federal agencies, including the United States Environmental Protection Agency, United States Department of Justice, and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, or just lending a supportive ear, Marissa strives to ensure that her representation paves the way for her clients’ successes.
- Provide counsel to water and wastewater utilities on compliance with pending state and federal PFAS regulations, including a public water system’s compliance with EPA’s Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule 5
- Assisted a West Virginia Board of Education in expanding its federally approved “area of disturbance” for the construction of a secondary school pursuant to FEMA requirements and in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act
- Counseled a West Virginia Board of Education on compliance with Section 428 of The Stafford Act for the construction of a secondary school with federal funding
- Counseled a West Virginia Board of Education on the construction of a secondary school in compliance with the West Virginia School Building Authority’s policies and procedures
- Successfully defended a West Virginia public service district’s registration under a General NPDES Permit from an appeal by a nationally recognized environmental group before the West Virginia Environmental Quality Board
- Regularly conduct national environmental due diligence review on the purchase and acquisition of oil and gas wells
- Advised municipalities, public service districts, and publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) on compliance with West Virginia’s Open Governmental Proceedings Act when conducting virtual public meetings
- Advised municipalities public service districts, and publicly owned treatment works (POTWs) on best management practices for the safe operation of essential services during COVID-19
- Counseled municipal client through violation, appeal, and administrative hearing in front of the West Virginia Environmental Quality Board, which resulted in obtaining a waiver of the MS4 permit
- On behalf of a Public Service District, negotiated federal consent decree under the Federal Clean Water Act and the West Virginia Water Pollution Control Act for stormwater and sanitary sewer violations involving the United States Environmental Protection Agency, United States Department of Justice, and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection
- Provided environmental due diligence and environmental risk analysis to assist private equity company in the decision making process for investments in both intrastate and interstate natural gas pipelines
- Assisted in the drafting of West Virginia’s first individual Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (“MS4”) Permit for a West Virginia Public Service Stormwater District
- Assisted large municipalities and public service districts in obtaining pre-treatment permit to incentivize economic development of manufacturing and industrial facilities
- Assisted in the representation of numerous industrial and municipal clients before state administrative boards
- Regularly assists in the negotiation of terms and conditions of NPDES permits with state agencies for both large industrial discharges and publicly owned wastewater treatment facilities
- Assisted in the performance of environmental due diligence for the investment in a multi-billion dollar intrastate natural gas pipeline
- J.D. West Virginia University College of Law
- B.A. West Virginia University
- Member, National Association of Clean Water Agencies
- Board of Directors, Air and Waste Management of West Virginia
- National Association of Women Lawyers
- Phi Beta Kappa
- WVU College of Law Moot Court Board
- Order of the Barristers
- Super Lawyers for Environmental Law – 2019, 2020, and 2021 Rising Star
- George C. Baker Moot Court Competition Winner
- NPDES Compliance Training – West Virginia Rural Water Association; 2017, 2018, 2019
- Legislative Update – West Virginia Rural Water Association 2018