Environmental Law
Team Leader
Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C.’s Environmental Law Team is experienced in the complex and day-to-day environmental issues affecting our industrial, corporate, real estate and energy clients, which include international, national, regional and local businesses. We take a proactive approach to addressing our clients’ environmental concerns. Drawing on our broad base of experience, we help our clients anticipate and manage risks associated with environmental costs and liabilities through compliance review and due diligence in real estate and business transactions. Our attorneys are well versed in the intricacies of the environmental regulatory processes of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), federal departments of agriculture and Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP), and have successfully obtained and defended various environmental permits and approvals for our clients. We are also experienced in defending environmental enforcement actions involving state and federal agencies and environmental interest groups.
We work closely with members of WHD’s Corporate Transactions, Commercial Real Estate, Commercial Finance, Corporate Compliance & White Collar DefenseSustainability & Renewable Energy, and Energy & Mining teams to provide clients with the expertise needed for a successful representation.

Representative Engagements

  • Air – Assisted with applicability determinations and air permitting and compliance strategies affecting various industries, including coating operations, foundries, electric generating units, on-road and nonroad vehicles and engines, and equipment manufacturers;
  • Enforcement – Represented clients in enforcement actions brought by state and federal agencies within the context of civil and criminal liability;
  • Third-Party Claims – Represented clients in litigation brought by environmental interest groups, neighboring property owners and other third parties for alleged violations of environmental laws;
  • Climate Change – Assessed the impact of current and future greenhouse gas regulations on clients’ businesses including potential benefits of voluntary registration and/or emission reduction and carbon offsets, and assisted clients with the development of carbon footprint reduction strategies;
  • Sustainability – Advised on Green Tier beyond compliance commitments, and the tracking and reporting of sustainability initiatives;  
  • Waterways and Wetlands – Assisted with waterways and wetlands permitting at the state and federal levels, including riparian and related waterfront development;
  • Environmental Impact Statements – Advised clients regarding compliance with the Wisconsin Environmental Policy Act (WEPA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA); 
  • CERCLA/Superfund – Defended clients in CERCLA cost recovery and contribution actions and related state law actions, and actively participated in potential responsible party (PRP) groups allocating responsibility among PRPs;
  • Brownfields Redevelopment – Assisted clients in the remediation and redevelopment of former brownfield sites, and in obtaining grants and funding for such efforts;
  • Site Investigation and Remediation – Assisted clients with the investigation and remediation of contamination including negotiating remediation strategies with regulatory agencies, obtaining voluntary party liability exemption certificates and off-site liability exemption determinations;
  • Transactions – Performed environmental due diligence associated with corporate, real estate and lending transactions, negotiated environmental representations and warranties for various transactions and advised clients on various state and federal lender liability protections;
  • Solid Waste – Represented clients in the negotiation and arbitration process for solid waste landfill siting and expansion, high volume industrial waste issues, beneficial reuse determinations, and defended enforcement actions concerning compliance with solid waste license and related compliance issues;  
  • Hazardous Waste – Assisted clients with federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) permitting, compliance with solid waste determinations and corrective action, negotiated low hazard exemptions to standard requirements, assisted clients with regulated transport, disposal and treatment alternatives, and defended federal and state enforcement actions concerning compliance with permits and regulations;
  • Stormwater and Wastewater – Assisted clients with permitting, compliance and enforcement, including issues involving stormwater, direct discharges to the waters of the state and involving municipal sewer suppliers. Assisted with pre-treatment requirements for those discharging to publicly owned treatment works, adaptive management, Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) and nutrient trading, including discharges of hydrostatic test water and industrial or large scale agricultural discharges and agriculture and Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO);
  • Endangered Species – Advised clients on the endangered species consultation and incidental take processes at the state and federal levels, including the development of endangered resources reports, biological opinions and biological assessments;
  • Historic and Cultural Resources – Advised clients on federal, state and local historical and cultural resources issues;
  • Chemical Use and Storage – Advised clients concerning the nuances of various chemical use and storage requirements, such as TSCA and state counterparts to these statutes, as well as with respect to requirements governing the import/export of hazardous and toxic substances, such as REACH and ECHA. Tracked developments in these areas, such as the increasing reach of local fire codes regulating chemical use and storage, as well as proposed legislation and regulations; and
  • Lake Management Districts and Land Conservation – Advised lake management districts on public boat and winter access matters, lake levels, sediment dredging and FEMA floodplain issues. Advised land conservation organizations on the acquisition of conservation easements, farmland preservation, watershed water quality and adaptive management planning.


Michelle L. Williams
Waukesha County
R. Scott Bartling
Waukesha County