Dave has over 30 years of experience practicing in environmental law. He counsels clients regarding a broad range of enforcement, compliance and planning issues arising under environmental laws, including the state and federal versions of Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, RCRA, TSCA, and OSHA.





Dave is admitted to practice in the State of Ohio, the United States District Court, Northern District of Ohio, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.




Dave has significant experience in environmental law. He prefers to develop, with his clients, a culture of compliance and preparation, rather than a litigation-focused approach. With this goal in mind, Dave’s clients have experienced positive outcomes in a number of matters, including resolutions of enforcement actions, permit appeals and risk-transfer transactions.

Prior to founding Dave Bell Law, Dave served as Senior Counsel at BP America, Inc. for over 20 years. Dave first began his career an Associate Attorney at Baker & Hostetler in Cleveland, Ohio.

Dave’s experience includes:

  • Counsel clients in response to EPA enforcement activity;
  • Provide guidance for compliance with cleanup actions under CERCLA, RCRA, and the Ohio Voluntary Action Program.
  • Counseling clients to prepare and defend national petroleum refinery enforcement initiatives;
  • Conducting hazardous waste compliance reviews of waste streams at chemical facilities and manufacturing plants;
  • Assistance in permit applications and appeals;
  • Negotiation of consent decrees and environmental settlements;
  • Counsel clients on release reporting and emergency response.
  • Providing assistance and advice for corporate acquisitions, restructuring, and formation;
  • Drafting and negotiating commercial agreements;
  • Resolving contract disputes;
  • Providing guidance to implement company-wide compliance plans.


Representative Matters

  • Obtained settlement of company-wide Clean Air Act enforcement claims, establishing a consent decree format since followed by over 90% of the refining industry.
  • Successfully obtained preliminary settlements in hundreds of CERCLA cleanup cases, repeatedly avoiding costly litigation.
  • Counseled client in successful application for major NSR Clean Air Act permit.
  • Conducted environmental due diligence for foreign client in successful acquisition of interest in US oil refinery.


Professional Involvement

  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
    • Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources



  • “Water Sourcing and Quality in Oil & Gas Production,” delivered at Ohio Water Laws and Regulations conference, (HalfMoon Education Inc.), January 28, 2015
  • “Create Value out of Bad News: Managing Environmental Risk in Transactions (with Sample Forms),” The Practical Real Estate Lawyer, Vol. 16, No. 2, March, 2000.


Chair of legal committee for the AN Group, a trade association for producers and users of acrylonitrile (1985-2003)

Chairman, Subcommittee on Environmental and Health Law, American Petroleum Institute, 1989-90 (vice chair, 1987-88)



Dave received his BS in Chemistry from Case Western Reserve University, cum laude. He received his JD from Case Western Reserve University Law School, where he was a member of the Order of the Coif, Moot Court and the recipient of the Dow Chemical Patent Law Scholarship.