Mary Ellen handles air permitting, including New Source Review (NSR), Title V, New Source Performance Standards (NSPS), and National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPs), regulatory interpretation and applicability, compliance strategies and enforcement resolution, including EPA’s greenhouse gas emission regulation. She also handles hazardous waste permitting, interpretation and enforcement matters, including generation, classification, exemptions, treatment and disposal issues, Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) reporting pursuant to Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act and underground storage tank regulation. She assists clients with water quality permitting and discharge regulation, including wetlands and stormwater issues, as well as Safe Drinking Water Act permitting and compliance.
Mary Ellen has a very active transactional and voluntary cleanup practice, counseling clients regarding “All Appropriate Inquiry,” post-closing duties and disclosures. She also has significant experience advising clients regarding Environmental Assessments and Environmental Impact Statements pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
Prior to entering law school, Mary Ellen worked as a chemical engineer for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), first as an on-scene coordinator (OSC), federal project and contract officer, in Superfund emergency response and response action site characterization/remediation, and then as a hazardous waste incinerator permit writer in Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) incinerator permitting. She left the EPA to join industry, working as an environmental project officer for a commercial hazardous waste incineration company overseeing RCRA, Toxic Substances Control Act and Clean Air Act permitting, compliance and audit activities. During law school, she worked as a law clerk for the EPA Office of General Counsel Air and Radiation Division.
With her unique combination of work experience, training and education in the fields of engineering and law, Mary Ellen has been asked to serve in various leadership and liaison roles between the engineering community, the American College of Environmental Lawyers, and the American Bar Association to better integrate law and policy with science and engineering.
She is a frequent author and speaker on environmental issues, particularly as it relates to improving applied science-based policy. Through her leadership roles in the American Bar Association and AICHE, she frequently provides continuing legal and policy education on these issues as well as models for adapting to a carbon-constrained world, carbon tracking, carbon sequestration regulation and developing environmental applications of nanotechnology.
Mary Ellen has contributed to the ABA’s Clean Air Act Handbook (Chapter 6: New Source Review; co-authored with Bernard F. Hawkins, ed. Robert J. Martineau, Jr. and David P. Novello, third edition, ed. Julie Domike), the ABA’s Nanotechnology Environmental Law, Policy and Business Considerations (Ch. 4: Clean Air Act and Nanotechnology; ed. Lynn L. Bergeson), and the LexisNexis Global Climate Change Special Pamphlet Series, (EPA’s Mandatory Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule; ed. Bradley M. Marten). In 2007, her comprehensive publication titled "Basic Practical in Nanotechnology" won a competitive, peer-reviewed Best Paper Award at the ABA’s Section of Environment, Energy and Resources Fall Meeting
Since its debut in 2004, the International Who's Who of Environment Lawyers has named Mary Ellen to its prestigious list of pre-eminent environmental lawyers worldwide each year. In 2008, Mary Ellen was granted early election as a fellow of the American College of Environmental Lawyers, a professional association of private and public sector environmental lawyers recognized by their peers as pre-eminent in their field. Her achievements have also earned her inclusion in Chambers USA Guide to America's Leading Lawyers for Business (energy and natural resources: environment), The Best Lawyers in America (environmental law and environmental litigation) and Oklahoma Super Lawyers, in which she was named to its list of “Top 25 Women Oklahoma Super Lawyers." She was also named "Best Lawyers' 2011 Oklahoma City Environmental Lawyer of the Year," an honor only given to a single lawyer in each legal specialty in each community.