Christopher S. Habel - Frost Brown Todd LLC

Christopher S. Habel

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2006

Chris is a member of Frost Brown Todd LLC and practices environmental, construction and DOT hazardous materials transportation law. He counsels clients on a wide variety of environmental issues and represents them in environmental litigation. He routinely conducts compliance audits, and advises buyers, sellers, and lenders on environmental considerations in real estate transactions and business acquisitions and divestitures. He applies his civil engineering and construction background to provide sound legal and technically-feasible solutions to client problems.


Represented a national homebuilder in a subdivision that was constructed on a former skeet shooting range contaminated with lead and arsenic. This high profile case with national media coverage became a U.S. EPA Superfund site where homes were repurchased and 23,000 tons of soil was removed. He was involved in the investigation of the site, remedial design and remedial action, negotiated the settlement with U.S. EPA and assisted in the cost recovery litigation against third parties.

Assisted in the representation of construction clients on geotechnical and structural engineering issues in major construction disputes. The issues have involved bad topographic surveys resulting in faulty soil quantity volumes in contract documents, catastrophic foundation system failure on a school building, landslides, differential settlement and slope stability problems, faulty concrete and storm drainage system failures.

Successfully represented the National Solid Wastes Management Association in their challenge to a rule enacted by a Canton-area solid waste management district that would disrupt the management of solid waste throughout much of northeast Ohio. The rule attempted to ban waste generated in numerous Ohio Counties from private landfills in the Canton area. The case went to the Ohio Supreme Court.  He represents the solid waste industry in disputes with local governments over solid waste flow control and disposal fee ordinances that cause disruption to the efficient management of solid waste.

Completed air emissions calculations, performed complex computer dispersion modeling of air emissions and obtained minor, synthetic minor and major source Title V air permits for numerous air emissions sources throughout the Midwest. Representative facilities and sources include metal fabricating and coating, wood products manufacturing and coating, synthetic marble manufacturing, bulk liquid and dry products river terminals, plating operations, chemical manufacturing, flavoring manufacturing and large coal and wood-fired industrial boilers.

On behalf of a potential buyer, led the environmental due diligence on a bankrupt oil refinery and associated gas stations prior to the auction sale. On behalf of a bankruptcy trustee, handled the environmental aspects on the liquidation of nearly 75 convenience stores with fuel islands.

Led the environmental compliance audit of more than 750 facilities in 39 states for a nationwide telecommunications client. Through use of U.S. EPA's Environmental Audit Policy and state equivalents, more than $2 million in penalties were waived. Headed a similar audit of 450 facilities in three states that resulted in waiver of over $900,000 in penalties.

Assisted in the audit of a regional hospital system and negotiated purchase agreement to address compliance issues.

Assisted in the successful challenge of a surface mining permit issued in a prime agriculture area and successfully defended a surface mining permit issued near a historic civil war battlefield.

Assisted in the successful defense of an above-ground storage tank construction contractor on a multi-million dollar claim involving an alleged 38,000-gallon gasoline leak.

Provided support and oversight on the closure of more than 60 underground storage tanks in Ohio and Kentucky including corrective actions and state UST fund reimbursement claims.

Represented numerous landlords and a large metropolitan school district on lead-based paint concerns and enforcement actions brought by local health departments, U.S. EPA and HUD.  

University of Cincinnati College of EngineeringBS 1992The Ohio State University, Moritz College of LawJ.D. 1995
American Bar AssociationOhio State Bar AssociationCincinnati Bar Association

Client Comments

"Christopher Habel uses a pragmatic approach to complex regulatory and litigation matters, using experience and an engineering background to identify viable alternatives and solutions. "

Office Location

Great American Tower, Suite 3300
301 East Fourth Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202
United States

Practice Areas

Environmental Law (Administrative/Regulatory, Clean Water Act, Counseling, Enforcement Defense, Environmental Permitting, Land Use and Zoning, Litigation, Mining, RCRA/Hazardous Waste, Solid Waste, Superfunds/Environmental Remediation, Waste)
Litigation - Environmental