Lou’s practice emphasizes traditional areas of environmental legal experience, particularly related to water law developments, as well as counseling municipalities on Clean Water Act compliance through innovative approaches that have come to be called “integrated planning.”
- Statutory and Regulatory Practice
- Local Government Practice
- Contaminated Property and Brownfields Redevelopment
- Environmental Enforcement
- EPA Integrated Planning
Lou is admitted to practice in the State of Ohio, the United States District Court, Southern District of Ohio, the United States District Court, Northern District of Ohio, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
AREAS OF EXPERTISE & FOCUS
Lou has extensive experience with environmental issues relating to water law litigation, the Great Lakes and related public trust issues, brownfields redevelopment, and other environmental regulatory and legislative matters. Among other things, Lou represents sewer districts serving two of Ohio’s largest cities in negotiations with US EPA and Ohio EPA. These districts have over $6 billion of Consent Decree commitments.
Lou has regulatory and litigation experience with the question of large scale diversions from the Great Lakes. He also has regulatory and legislative experience with the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact and has advised clients regarding lakefront redevelopment plans, Great Lakes public trust issues and submerged land leases.
Other experience highlights include:
- Defend a county and several municipalities from U.S. EPA’s attempt to impose administrative orders for sewer maintenance.
- Represent a port authority on the complex issues of state and federal statutory and constitutional authority over submerged land leases of territory in Lake Erie. Lou is also assisting in the implementation of a strategic plan to develop new approaches to dredge material management in which the material is viewed, not as a waste product, but rather as a resource that can be used to benefit the community.
- Defend a municipality in a class action alleging basement backup liability during a flood event.
- NPDES Permits
- Surface and Groundwater Issues
- Consent Decrees
- Water law litigation
- Regulatory and legislative matters
- Brownfields redevelopment
- Alternative Energy
- City of Lakewood, Ohio Planning Commission member
- Cuyahoga County, Ohio Loaned Executive for water resources
- Served two terms as chair of the OSBA Environmental Law Committee from 2007 to 2009
- American Bar Association, Section on Environment, Energy and Resources
- Lakewood Lakefront Coalition, Chairman
PUBLICATIONS & PRESENTATIONS
- “Water Law 101 for MWCD Communities,” Ohio Water Law and Community Opportunities for Innovative Water System Management presented by Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District and McMahon DeGulis LLP, Canton, October 12, 2016
- “EPA Wet Weather Mandates and Integrated Planning,” Ohio Water Law and Community Opportunities for Innovative Water System Management presented by Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District and McMahon DeGulis LLP, Canton, October 12, 2016
- “Water Law 101: Federal Clean Water Act Overview,” Ohio Water Law and Community Opportunities for Innovative Water System Management presented by Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District and McMahon DeGulis LLP, New Philadelphia, March 22, 2016
- “EPA Wet Weather Mandates and Integrated Planning,” Ohio Water Law and Community Opportunities for Innovative Water System Management presented by Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District and McMahon DeGulis LLP, New Philadelphia, March 22, 2016
- “Ohio Water Law,” 2015 Ohio Stormwater Conference, May 7, 2014
- “U.S. EPA’s Integrated Planning Framework,” Lunch Speaker, 2015 Ohio Stormwater Conference, May 7, 2014
- “Maximizing Opportunities for Success: Pursuing Strategies to Optimize Cost-Effective Environmental Outcomes,” NACWA 2015 Wet Weather Consent Decree Workshop, April 29, 2015
- “Green Infrastructure in Action: Examples, Lessons Learned & Strategies for the Future,” Environmental Law Institute, December 16, 2014. Transcript: Green Infrastructure in Action: Examples, Lessons Learned, and Strategies for the Future
- “EPA Integrated Planning – What it means for planners,” APA Cleveland Planning and Zoning Workshop, October 24, 2014
- “EPA Integrated Planning – What it means in Lakewood for you,” Lakewood Rocky River Rotary Sunrise Club, October 8, 2014
- “Legal Options for Dealing with Basement Backups,” Ohio Stormwater Conference, June 5, 2014
- “Thinking Outside the Box: Going Beyond the Standard Language,” NACWA Wet Weather Consent Decree Workshop, April 30, 2014
- “Ohio Water Law: Overview of Legal Authority RE: MS4 Program Requirements,” The New Ohio EPA NPDES Permit for Small MS4s-What’s New and How to Get it Done?, NOACA Seminar, April 9, 2014
- “Nanotechnology as an Emerging Source of Litigation,” Panelist, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association Litigation Section Meeting, November 20, 2013
- “Integrated Planning and MSDGC’s Lower Mill Creek WWIP Implementation,” NACWA Summer Conference & 43rd Annual Meeting, July 22, 2013
- “Lakewood Community Vision,” Community Wellness Workshop, September 27, 2012
- “Capitalizing on Business Opportunities with Regional Water Resources: Is Water the New Oil?” Corporate Sustainability Network, Corporate Round Table, September 14, 2012
- “EPA’s ‘Integrated Municipal Planning’ Guidance: Integrating Brownfields and Stormwater in Practice,” Ohio Stormwater Conference, June 8, 2012
- “EPAs Integrated Municipal Planning Guidance: Brownfields and Stormwater in Practice,” Ohio Brownfields Conference, May 23, 2012
- “Water Law and Brownfields: A New EPA Integrated Planning Imperative,” Ohio Civil Engineering and Surveying Land Law, HalfMoon LLC, January 31, 2012
- “New EPA Policy: Green Infrastructure and Brownfields – Opportunities from Integrated Planning,” Dayton Bar Association, December 9, 2011
- “Stormwater and Wet Weather Hot Topics,” Ohio Water Laws and Regulations, HalfMoon LLC, November 16 & 17, 2011
- “Federal and State Regulation of Water,” Ohio Water Laws and Regulations, HalfMoon LLC, November 16 & 17, 2011
- “Ohio Water Law,” Ohio Water Laws and Regulations, HalfMoon LLC, November 16 & 17, 2011
- “Affordability and The Metropolitan Sewer District of Cincinnati WWIP,” NACWA Legal Conference, November 18, 2010
- Multiple CLE presentations and workshops regarding water law and Clean Water Act compliance, 2010
- “Water, Water Everywhere…Does Jurisdiction Follow?” Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association 2010 Environmental Law Symposium, November 12, 2010
- “Offshore Wind Site Control In Ohio” ABA-ACORE Offshore Wind Webinar, October 20, 2010
Lou is also a co-author, with Keely J. O’Bryan, of “Innovative Local Development Leverages EPA’s New Integrated Planning Framework,” published in the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Journal in October 2015.
ACHIEVEMENTS & HONORS
- 2017 Best Lawyers® “Lawyer of the Year” for Litigation – Environmental in the Cleveland area.
- Named by Chambers & Partners as a leading practitioner in Environmental Law in Ohio, 2004-2014
- Nationally recognized in “The Best Lawyers in America” for Environmental Law (since 2008), Environmental Litigation (since 2011) and Water Law (since 2013).
Lou received a BA in History, magna cum laude, from John Carroll University, where he was also the Outstanding History Scholar. He received his MA in History from Kent State University, and a JD, summa cum laude, from Cleveland Marshall College of Law.