WENDLENE M. LAVEY

BACKGROUND

Wendy has wide-ranging experience in environmental and safety compliance counseling, permitting, enforcement, auditing and due diligence, and rulemaking. Her litigation work includes state and federal enforcement actions, CERCLA claims, citizen suits, toxic tort claims, and federal rulemaking appeals. Wendy has particular expertise representing clients in the iron and steel, mining, and chemicals sectors as well as municipalities facing wet weather management and compliance issues.

PRACTICE AREAS

Environmental

Litigation

Safety

BAR ADMISSIONS

Wendy is admitted to practice in the State of Ohio, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court.

AREAS OF EXPERTISE & FOCUS

With over 25 years of experience, Wendy brings to the table a deep understanding of compliance concerns with a keen sense of practicality. Wendy makes a point to understand the client’s operations and business strategy to ensure effective and efficient service. Her depth of experience suits her especially well in the context of negotiating rational outcomes in the face of state or federal enforcement efforts, as well as in compliance auditing and advising regarding the environmental aspects of transactions. She has spent time “embedded” with two manufacturing clients in a non-legal capacity, adding to her practical approach to addressing problems and resolving disputes.

Her clients span the public and private sectors and include the iron and steel, mining and chemical industries. She also has significant experience with municipal wastewater and wet weather issues.

The bulk of Wendy’s practice currently focuses on compliance, enforcement and major source permitting under the Clean Air Act, large-quantity generator compliance and corrective action obligations under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), and municipal wet weather issues under the Clean Water Act. She also has substantial experience in connection with Clean Water Act compliance and permitting for industrial dischargers, the regulation of Underground Storage Tanks, investigation and cleanup activities including emerging vapor intrusion issues, the Ohio Voluntary Action Program, environmental due diligence and related transactional support, environmental management systems and ISO 14001 certification, private party disputes, and workplace safety regulations under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA).

Wendy has participated in final EPA rulemaking challenges in the US Court of Appeals and the US Supreme Court.

Recent experience highlights include:

  • Representing steel industry clients in connection with complex Clean Air Act permitting under the federal New Source Review/Prevention of Significant Deterioration (NSR/PSD) and New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) programs;
  • Defending a municipal client facing state and federal enforcement under the Clean Water Act relating to the control and/or elimination of combined sewer overflows and separate sanitary overflows;
  • Advising clients on corrective action obligations under RCRA, including negotiating administrative orders or permit terms, working with technical consultants, and providing guidance to ensure cost-effective and risk-based outcomes;
  • Defending a public entity against a Clean Air Act citizens’ suit, ultimately resulting in dismissal at the summary judgment stage (upheld on appeal);
  • Counseling clients in disputes between current and past owners/operators regarding relative responsibilities for environmental contamination issues; and
  • Representing a client in challenging recent Clean Air Act rules aimed at the coal mining industry, including the Clean Power Plan (which included successfully obtaining a stay of the rule from the United States Supreme Court).

Professional Involvement

  • American Bar Association, Section on Environment, Energy & Resources
  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Women in Law and Environment Sections

ACHIEVEMENTS & HONORS

  • Nationally recognized in The Best Lawyers in America for Environmental Law

EDUCATION

Wendy received a BA, summa cum laude, from Dickinson College with a major in Economics and minor in Mathematics, and her JD from Harvard Law School.