WILLIAM H. HAAK

BACKGROUND

Bill has more than 20 years of experience as an environmental attorney focusing on complex air pollution permitting, compliance and enforcement issues. He also has 15 years of experience with occupational safety matters as in-house counsel with Fortune 500 companies in heavy manufacturing and the chemical industry.

PRACTICE AREAS

Occupational Safety Law

  • Federal and state OSHA compliance
  • OSHA inspection preparedness and citation contests
  • 300 Log compliance and recordability determinations
  • Fatality, amputation, hospitalization response and OSHA reporting
  • Serious incident root cause investigations
  • Corrective action development
  • High hazard operations (including combustible dust)

Environmental

  • Title V permitting and reporting
  • NSR, MACT and NSPS permitting and compliance
  • Synthetic minor strategies
  • Enforcement response
  • Experience in 7 USEPA Regions and 21 states
  • RCRA waste determinations (chemical recycling and beneficial reuse)
  • Chemical spill/release reporting obligations

BAR ADMISSIONS

Bill is admitted to practice in the State of Ohio, the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the State of Florida.

AREAS OF EXPERTISE & FOCUS

Bill is uniquely qualified to serve his clients with experience on both sides of the negotiating table – first as an Assistant Attorney General with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office in the Environmental Enforcement Section, and later as in-house counsel with General Electric, Hexion Specialty Chemicals, and Owens Corning. As in-house counsel, Bill has spent extensive time on factory floors, around chemical reactors, and in tank farms on top of large storage vessels. He prides himself on building close working relationships with his clients and their employees – from hourly union and non-union workers, to EH&S professionals, to “C-suite” executives.

Experience Highlights Include:

  • Air permitting in Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Georgia, Texas, and Louisville, KY
  • PSD NSR and NANSR permitting in connection with facility expansions
  • LDAR experience, and experience with chemical industry MACTs, and NSPSs
  • Environmental, health and safety compliance auditing
  • SEC environmental reserve setting and internal corporate audit practices
  • Security, crisis management, and business continuity
  • Response to catastrophes, pandemics, and workplace violence
  • External and internal communications strategies
  • Development of corporate policies related to discipline and substance abuse
  • Internal EH&S compliance investigations

 

Educational Involvement

  • Adjunct Professor, the University of Toledo College of Law (2005 – Present)
    • Air Pollution Law (2005 – Present)
    • Occupational Safety and Health Law (2012 – Present)
    • The Law and Climate Change (2008 – 2011)

PUBLICATIONS & PRESENTATIONS

  • “Title V Compliance: Beyond EH&S Staff,” Cincinnati, November 2016
  • “Title V Compliance: Beyond EH&S Staff,” Independence, October 2016
  • “Major Source Air Enforcement (2015-2017),” Manufacturers’ Education Council, Columbus, July 2016
  • “I Now Pronounce You ‘Guilty’ and ‘Guilty’: The Marriage of USEPA and OSHA Enforcement,” Ohio State Bar Association Annual Symposium, Columbus, April 2016
  • “Emergent Legal Issues: Major Air Sources in Ohio,” Manufacturers’ Education Council, Columbus, March 2016
  • “Serious Workplace Incidents: How to Ensure Things Go Right After They’ve Gone Horribly Wrong,” Manufacturers’ Education Council, Columbus, March 2016
  • “Keynote Address: Air Pollution Update (Everything is Awesome!)” Manufacturers’ Education Council, Cincinnati, March 2014
  • “Corporate Sustainability Programs: GE’s Ecomagination Program,” Ohio State Bar Association Annual Symposium, Granville, April 2011
  • “Lawyers, Dust & Money – Combustible Dust and Environmental Reserves,” GE Global Environmental Practice Group Meeting, Alexandria, Virginia, March 2011
  • “Managing Legal Liability Associated With Combustible Dust,” Manufacturers’ Education Council, Cincinnati, March 2009
  • “Air Pollution From A to Z: Sources, Potential to Emit, and Emission Factors,” Manufacturers’ Education Council, Cincinnati, March 2009
  • “Air Pollution From A to Z for Non-Air Practitioners,” Ohio State Bar Association Annual Symposium, Deer Creek, April 2008
  • “Boiler MACT Vacatur: Legal Overview,” Manufacturers’ Education Council, Cincinnati, March 2008
  • “Climate Change and its Implications for Environmental Practitioners,” Ohio State Bar Association Annual Symposium, Deer Creek, April 2007
  • “Effective Techniques to Ensure the Safety & Health of Hispanic Employees,” Manufacturers’ Education Council, Cincinnati, March 2007
  • “New Source Review Reform Redux: USEPA’s Latest Wave of Regulations,” Manufacturers’ Education Council, Cincinnati, March 2007
  • “Recent USEPA Enforcement Trends Related to LDAR and ODS Violations,” Manufacturers’ Education Council, Cincinnati, March 2006
  • “Environmental Considerations Related to Production Increases and Facility Expansions,” Manufacturers’ Education Council, Cincinnati, March 2005
  • “OSHA: Effective Incident Investigation & Management — What to Do in the Critical First Hours Following a Serious Injury,” Manufacturers’ Education Council, Cincinnati, March 2004

EDUCATION

Bill received his BS in Business Finance from the University of Akron, and his JD from Case Western Reserve University School of Law. He has attended advanced business, leadership, strategic thinking, and management training at General Electric’s Crotonville management training center in New York.