Steve is a member of Frost Brown Todd LLC and practices in the area of environmental law. He represents clients across the country in regulatory compliance counseling, permit negotiations, wetlands disputes, rulemaking challenges, and in defense of civil enforcement litigation, citizen suits, criminal prosecutions, and claims related to contaminated property.
Steve has particular proficiency in representing governmental entities and industry in all aspects of stormwater and wastewater regulations, including permitting, compliance counseling, rulemaking challenges and enforcement defense, and in local water, sewer and stormwater planning. His practice also concentrates in the defense of heavily regulated industries, such as iron and steel mills, pulp and paper mills, titanium mills, chemical plants, landfills, and food manufacturers.
Fairfield County Board of Commissioners v. Ohio EPA, No. 13-1085, (Ohio Sup. Ct., 07/08/2013) - Representation of Ohio Municipal League and County Sanitary Engineers Association as amicus parties in appeal of adverse decision affecting phosphorus and TDS limits for Ohio’s POTWs
City of Cincinnati v. City of Harrison, No A0900755 (Hamilton County, 03/01/2013) - Trial counsel in successful prosecution of Cincinnati and Hamilton County's water service rights against encroachment by Harrison, with award of legal fees and lost revenues.
Hobart Corporation, et al. v. Coca-Cola Enterprises, et al., No. 12CV00213 (S.D. OH, 2/8/2013) - Trial counsel in successful motion to dismiss CERCLA cost-recovery/contribution claims based on expiration of statutes of limitation.
Trumbull County Board of Commissioners v. Village of Lordstown, et al., No. 4:09CV249 (N.D. Ohio, 02/21/13) - Trial counsel in prosecution of sewer service rights under Ohio law against encroaching local governments (summary judgments pending).
Village of Camden v. Preble County Board of Commissioners, et al., No. 12CV29351 (Preble County) - Trial counsel in joint village taxpayer suit/bid challenge against award of leachate contracts.
Starlink Logistics, Inc. v. ACC, LLC, No. 1:12-CV-00011 (M.D. Tenn., 6/25/2012) - Trial counsel in memorandum opinion denying defendant's motion to dismiss citizen suit filed under CWA, RCRA, CERCLA, and Tenn. common law.
Miami Valley Paper v. Lebbing Engineering GmbH, No. 1:05CV702 (S.D. Ohio) - Defense jury verdict and counterclaim judgment for Lebbing in contract dispute over sale of paper winding equipment under the Convention for International Sale of Goods (CISG) Treaty.
Cities of Englewood and Union, Ohio v. Ohio EPA, Nos. 575984 - 576198, (ERAC) - First ever agreement by Ohio EPA to remove TMDL-driven phosphorus limits from discharge permits issued to Ohio POTWs.
State of Ohio v. Holmes County Board of Commissioners, No. 97CV049 (Holmes County) - Judgment denying civil contempt and penalties for alleged violations of earlier CWA Consent Order.
State of Ohio v. The Champion Company, No. 3:06CV210 (S.D. Ohio) - Decision allowing Jury Demand in CERCLA cost recovery case, with eventual settlement at less than 50% of alleged response costs.
Dow Chemical et al. v. Acme Wrecking, No. C-97-307 (S.D. Ohio) - Successful defense of 11 clients against joint U.S.EPA/private CERCLA contribution action, resulting in total de minimis contribution of less than $20,000 out of projected site clean-up costs of $16 million, including a settlement under U.S. EPA’s new CERCLA municipal waste policy.
City of Franklin v. Miami Valley Paper et al., No. 03CV61129 (Warren County) - $750,000 judgment entry for the City in prosecution of chronic pretreatment violations by an industrial user.
In re Eagle–Pitcher-Holdings, Inc., No. 05-12601 (S.D. Ohio Bankruptcy Court) - Representation of unsecured creditors committee to secure confirmation of debtor’s joint plan for funding of sites over U.S. EPA and Ohio EPA objections.
State of Ohio v. Titanium Metals Corporation, No 02CV526 (Jefferson County) - Successful defense of multimedia enforcement action, resulting in minor fine and no injunctive relief.
State of Ohio v. Mahoning County Board of Commissioners, No. 94CV239 (Mahoning County) - Successful termination of CWA consent order injunctive relief despite strong opposition.
State of Ohio v. AK Steel Corporation, No. CA200202042 (12th App. Dist.) - Successful prosecution of CAA declaratory judgment action declaring a series of NOV letters invalid.
Helter v. AK Steel Corporation, No C196527 (S.D. Ohio) - Successful dismissal on the pleadings of a multimedia citizen suit under all of the major federal environmental statutes and common law nuisance.
United States v. Atlas Lederer Company, No. C-3-91-309 (S.D. Ohio) - Successful assertion of divisibility argument against CERCLA motion for summary judgment.
Martin v. Miami Industries, Inc., No. 91-4045 (6th Circuit) - Upholding assertion of the “fair notice” defense against an OSHA citation under the general guarding standard.
Secretary of Labor v. Sawbrook Steel Castings Co., No. 89-686 (DOL ALJ) - Defense of OSHA citation under the hazard communication standard, resulting in non-serious classification and de minimis fines.
In re Lazarus, Inc., (EAB TSCA Appeal No. 95-2) - Defense of PCB enforcement action, resulting in 80% reduction in fines and first successful assertion of the Paperwork Reduction Act “defense” in an environmental case.
United States v. Lawrence County Board of Commissioners, No. C-1-91-302 (S.D. of Ohio) - Successful defense of joint state-federal CWA enforcement, resulting in $15,000 fine and 7-year compliance schedule.
In the matter of GCA Chemical Corporation, (TSCA-4-2000-0130, EPA ALJ) - Defense of TSCA inventory update rule enforcement action, resulting in 82% reduction in fines and ALJ’s agreement to deviate from U.S. EPA’s rigid enforcement policy.
Clean Water Act antidegradation and water quality standards rulemaking commenting, negotiations, and successful appeals in several midwestern states.
Counseling, permitting and strategic MS4 planning for several Midwestern counties and cities.
Successful defense of two-year joint federal/state criminal grand jury wastewater investigation of an Ohio County with no indictments returned.
Successful challenge before KY legislative committee of new groundwater rule on behalf of large trade association, and before Ohio legislative committee of new stream use designation rule on behalf of large paper mill.
More than 100 successful NPDES permit negotiations, appeals and enforcement defenses for industrial and governmental clients ranging from small villages to Fortune 100 manufacturers.
Steve has extensive experience representing Ohio and other Midwestern governmental entities and industry in the fields of wastewater, stormwater, drinking water and solid waste counseling, litigation, administrative appeals, strategic planning, and civil and criminal enforcement defense. His wastewater practice focuses in particular in all aspects of planning, service, treatment, and regulation as they apply to owners and operators of POTWs and sewer collection systems. In Ohio alone, Steve represents more than a dozen counties, cities, villages and regional sewer districts, ranging from small satellite sanitary sewer systems to large combined sewer systems.