Walsh color

William J. Walsh

Senior Counsel
Office

Washington D.C.

1001 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Suite 1300 South
Washington, DC 20004
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Fax: 202.552.2370
Education
J.D., George Washington University Law School, Washington DC, Order of the Coif
B.S., cum laude, Manhattan College, Bronx, New York, Physics
State Bar Licenses
District of Columbia
Court Admissions
U.S. District Ct., District of Columbia
U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
Walsh chambers

William J. Walsh

Senior Counsel

William J. Walsh is an attorney in Clark Hill’s Washington, D.C. office within the firm’s Environment, Energy & Natural Resources practice.   He principally focuses his practice in the areas of government policy advocacy, regulatory compliance and counseling and environmental litigation.  Bill advises companies and industry trade associations on compliance with wide range of environmental laws (including the Toxic Substance Control Act, the Federal Insecticide Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), the Clean Water Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the California Safe Drinking Water and Enforcement Act (commonly referred to as Proposition 65), and the California Safer Consumer Product (SCP) regulations, among other statutes and regulations).  Bill assists clients in identifying and mitigating business risks associated with increasingly complex product safety and chemical ingredient regulations developed pursuant to these environmental statutes and various product safety statutes (e.g., the Consumer Product Safety Act, the National Highway Safety Act). He also defends regulatory enforcement actions and personal injury/property damage liability litigation. He advocates changes to environmental regulations and policies and provides counsel on a broad range of environmental issues involving innovative scientific, regulatory, legal and policy questions. Bill is listed in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business.

Some of Bill’s more significant representations include:

  • Represented EPA in the Love Canal landfill and several other seminal nationally managed hazardous waste enforcement actions  (including  the Hyde Park landfill hazardous waste enforcement action (the largest source of 2,3,7,8-tetrachloro-dibenzo(p)dioxin), the S-Area landfill (which was adjacent to the City of Niagara Falls drinking water supply), and the Occidental Chemical landfill in Lathrop, CA). He led the EPA team that negotiated the precedent setting settlement approaches in the Hyde Park and S-Area Landfill cases
  • Commented on behalf of individual companies and trade associations on various guidances and rulemakings, including the EPA’s dental amalgam separator pretreatment rule, EPA’s pharmaceutical hazardous waste rule, NHTSA’s tire fuel efficiency rule,  the listing of carbon black as chemical classified by the State of California as a carcinogen, EPA’s greenhouse gas (GHG) proposed regulations, the proposed Prevention of Significant Deterioration “Tailoring Rule,” EPA’s proposed PCB remediation rules (the so called “mega rule”), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s tire fuel efficiency rules , California draft Safer Consumer Product (SCP) rule, hazardous waste identification rules for contaminated media, the hazardous waste corrective action rule, the nonhazardous solid waste definition rule,   the Pennsylvania Act 2 hazardous waste cleanup and Brownfields regulations, among others
  • Evaluated the regulatory status of chemicals and provided the clients who use these chemicals potential strategic options, including matters involving perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), asbestos, ceramic fibers, other small inert particles and fibers (such as talc), synthetic fibers, 1,4 dioxane, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo(p)dioxin (and its congeners), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), bisphenol A, phthalates, polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), trichloroethylene (TCE), among other chemicals
  • Defended potentially responsible parties in successfully reopening Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) records of decisions and negotiating complex remediation approaches, resulting in lowering remedial costs by tens of millions of dollars at each of these sites
  • Developed factual and scientific defenses to a consumer’s personal injury claim that alleged exposure to airborne talcum powder caused injury
  • Advised a company about its potential regulatory liability resulting from its historical use of PFOA in the manufacture of a number of products
  • Advising a manufacturer of a chemical, the chemical manufacture’s trade associations, and the trade association representing the product manufacturers that use that the chemical, including developing data to submit to the EPA pursuant to TSCA to address any regulatory concerns
  • Advised and/or negotiated settlements of California Proposition 65 private enforcement actions alleging failure to provide warning labels involving, among other products, water faucets, water filters, antacids, bath mats, purses, coffee, shampoo, construction cones, fruit juices, personal care products, and crystal beads on sports clothing, specialty food products, among others
  • Defended clients in enforcement penalty cases brought by various federal agencies, including EPA (various offices), CPSC and the Department of Transportation
  • Developed scientific expert testimony in a property damage lawsuit against a manufacturer who disposed of arsenic wastes which allegedly resulted in arsenic groundwater plumes in a residential neighborhood; resulting in a jury verdict for the defendant
  • Advising a trade association concerning allegations that children and adults may be exposed to carcinogenic and other hazardous chemicals from products made in part of a recycled (post-consumer) product originally manufactured by the trade association’s members.  The legal risks include federal and state regulatory liability and potential personal injury claims
  • Challenged the NHTSA tire pressure monitoring system rule
  • Represented a New Jersey developer in his lawsuit against an industry research arm due to the contamination of the groundwater near his home with volatile organic chemicals (including trichloroethylene) which had migrated on to his property

Prior to joining Clark Hill, Bill was an associate, partner, and eventually Of Counsel at Pepper Hamilton LLP (from 1986 to 2016).  Before joining Pepper in 1986, Bill served as the chief of the EPA’s Drinking Water and Wetlands Enforcement Branch and was lead EPA counsel on the precedent-setting hazardous waste lawsuits brought against Occidental Chemical Corporation concerning the Love Canal and related landfills.

He has served on more than 13 NAS Committees, including Committees that authored reports on Alternatives for Ground Water Cleanup (1994) and Alternatives for Managing the Nation's Complex Contaminated Groundwater Sites (2013), evaluations of the hazardous waste remediation process and the limits to remediation technology.

Bill has written and spoken on a wide range of topics, including regulation and cleanup levels, choosing cleanup goals and technologies, the use of groundwater models in the regulatory system, and the distinction between personal injury claims and regulatory limits.

Publications / Presentations

Webinars

  • Beyond Ebola: Environmental, OSHA, and Other Regulatory Issues Creating Business Risks to Healthcare Providers in the Future, March 25, 2015
  • Vapor Intrusion Toxic Torts: Emerging Trends in Litigation, Risk Analysis, Regulatory Standards, Measurement and Monitoring, October 9, 2014
  • Invited Participant at Green & Sustainable Remediation Roundtable, June 3, 2014 
  • Safer Consumer Products Regulations, July 31, 2013

 

Awards/Achievements
EPA Certificate of Award, 1980
EPA Special Achievement Awards
EPA Bronze Medal for Commendable Service
U.S. Department of Justice Certification of Commendation
Selected to serve on 13 National Academies of Science (NAS) Committees providing advice to federal agency on a wide array of environmental and waste disposal issues
Associate of the National Academies of Science
Certificate of Appreciation, NAS
Medal of Excellence, Army's Assembled Weapons Alternatives Program
Memberships
American Bar Association, Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources
American Bar Association, Section of Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice
District of Columbia Bar, Section of Environment, Energy and Natural Resources
District of Columbia Bar, Section of Administrative Law and Agency Practice
Experiences

Performed due diligence on oil production facilities in Kazakhstan

Drafted, pursuant to a World Bank contract, environmental laws for energy production facilities in Kazakhstan

Defended a gasoline manufacture in several environmental remediation actions

Defended a gasoline pipeline company in a pipeline rupture

Assessed and prioritized the potential environmental cleanup associated with 26 former manufactured gas production sites for natural gas utility

Performed an environmental due diligence regarding compliance with FIFRA during the acquisition of the intellectual property rights to an ozone disinfectant device 

Convinced the IRS to expand its interpretation of the applicability of its open-loop biomass tax incentive for using tire-derived fuel in electric power generation

Developing a regulatory strategy for addressing the issue of risk of exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) in the permitting of an electric utility line

Obtaining registration or re-registration of a copper-based pesticide used in water treatment plants, in rice fields, ponds, lagoons, and swimming pools and spas, as algae resistant granules used in roofing shingles, among others

Tracking regulation of nanomaterials for a national trade association and its members

Advising a manufacturer of a chemical, the chemical manufacturer’s trade associations, and the trade association representing the product manufacturers that use that the chemical, including developing data to submit to the EPA pursuant to the Toxic Substances Control Act to address any regulatory concerns

Advised clients concerning whether consumer products present an unreasonable risk and when injuries must be reported.  Advice involves physical hazard as well as the presence of chemicals

Advised clients on what claims are pesticidal claims and which are not, including obtaining review and approval from EPA of a product label that allowed sale of the client’s product until a pesticide registration could be obtained which would authorize broader health claims on the product label

Advising clients on the treated article exception to the U.S. pesticide laws

Advising a client concerning the U.S. regulatory requirements applicable to a proposal to export a used product containing high levels of chromium to Europe for reclamation and re-importing the product with the chromium removed

Assisting a trade association in tracking the listing as carcinogens of several chemicals used in its members’ products

Advised several clients concerning how to prepare for a TSCA inspection

Advising clients concerning the TSCA import and export requirements applicable to a range of products

Since 2001, Bill has counseled the American Dental Association (ADA), which represents 70% of the dentists in the U.S., on how to respond to the increasing regulatory and public concerns about the discharge of dental amalgam fillings by dental offices into sewage treatment plants. These concerns stem from the fact that these fillings consist of a high percentage (50%) of mercury, a chemical stringently regulated because it accumulates in fish and wildlife and is found in the blood of people throughout the world. 
  
On December 15th, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) promulgated a final rule mandating that dental offices install devices to remove at least 95% of the dental amalgam discharged into the nation’s sewage treatment facilities. The ADA characterized the rule as a fair and reasonable approach to the management of dental amalgam waste. In a personal note, the ADA credited Bill’s “hard work and guidance” for the successful outcome.

 

Advising a trade association concerning the applicability of proposed hazardous and nonhazardous waste definitions to their member production processes

Advised a natural gas utility in deciding whether to comply with a CERCLA Section 106 unilateral administrative order and negotiated a cost recovery of less than $400,000 as opposed to a $35 million claim

Represented a utility in seeking a Presidential permit for an electric transmission line crossing the Canadian border and various regulatory approvals for the portion of the line which crossed the State of Maine

Advising a company about its potential liability resulting from its historical use of PFOA in the manufacture of a number of products

Evaluated, on behalf of a client, what actions a company should take to protect its workers, the environment, and product users when it begins manufacturing nanosized materials, given that there are no legally binding requirements

Advising various clients on testing procedures for consumer products and on the use of testing laboratories located outside the United States, based on federal agency regulations

Represented a hazardous waste remediation government contractor in multiple matters seeking additional payment when remediation costs exceeded the fixed price cost in the contract

Advising clients on the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and state equivalents, including matters involving novel issues

Represented a natural gas utility in the remediation of several manufactured gas legacy sites

Negotiated the transfer of an underground injection well permit for secondary oil recovery wells

While at the EPA, litigated administratively the environmental impact of hot-water discharges from coal-fired plants in New York and Florida and worked extensively with EPA, Fish and Wildlife, and utility ecological experts on ecological risk determinations associated with the plant operations

While at EPA, led the EPA Love Canal and other Niagara Falls team which briefed Congressman, Senators, and worked with the Attorney General of the State of New York and his office

Involving work with a trade association in preparing and submitting confidential business data to the National Highway Transportation Safety Act, comparing NHTSA and European Union methods of testing tires as part of building the administrative record in a rulemaking

Challenged the NHTSA tire pressure monitoring system rule

Involving advocacy on behalf of a mining company for changes to the House of Representative’s Ban Asbestos in America bill

Developing an advocacy strategy for a national trade association to defend its members concerning allegations that the product that the members utilize was likely to be regulated or banned

Testified before a House Committee on numerous occasions regarding specific environmental and small business concerns

Advised and/or negotiated settlements of California Proposition 65 private enforcement actions alleging failure to provide warning labels involving, among other products, water faucets, water filters, antacids, bath mats, purses, coffee, shampoo, construction cones, fruit juices, personal care products, and crystal beads on sports clothing, specialty food products, among others

Represented a New Jersey developer in his lawsuit against an industry research arm due to the contamination of the groundwater near his home with volatile organic chemicals (including trichloroethylene) which had migrated on to his property

Defended potentially responsible parties in successfully reopening Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) records of decisions and negotiating complex remediation approaches, resulting in lowering remedial costs by tens of millions of dollars at each of these sites

Defended clients in enforcement penalty cases brought by various federal agencies, including EPA (various offices), CPSC and the Department of Transportation

Advising a trade association concerning allegations that children and adults may be exposed to carcinogenic and other hazardous chemicals from products made in part of a recycled (post-consumer) product originally manufactured by the trade association’s members.  The legal risks include federal and state regulatory liability and potential personal injury claims

Developed scientific expert testimony in a property damage lawsuit against a manufacturer who disposed of arsenic wastes which allegedly resulted in arsenic groundwater plumes in a residential neighborhood; resulting in a jury verdict for the defendant

Developed factual and scientific defenses to a consumer’s personal injury claim that alleged exposure to airborne talcum powder caused injury

Represented a New Jersey developer in his lawsuit against an industry research arm due to the contamination of the groundwater near his home with volatile organic chemicals (including trichloroethylene) which had migrated on to his property

Advised a number of clients regarding liability pursuant to Section 8(e) of the TSCA for failure report to EPA a “study” alleging indicating the chemical presents an unreasonable risk

Performed due diligence on a client’s planned acquisition of another sulfuric acid manufacturing facility

Provided bounding estimates on the future remediation costs during environmental due diligence on a “to be acquired“ company

Performed a pesticide due diligence review of a client’s sale of a subsidiary which manufactured and sold fertilizers, nutrients and registered pesticides.  During the due diligence investigation, an unresolved “show cause letter” from EPA’s pesticide enforcement office alleging that the subsidiary was selling unregistered pesticides was uncovered.  The scope of the potential liability was narrowed sufficiently to allow the transaction to close and EPA eventually decided not to pursue the enforcement action

Developed scientific expert testimony in a property damage lawsuit against a manufacturer who disposed of arsenic wastes which allegedly resulted in arsenic groundwater plumes in a residential neighborhood; resulting in a jury verdict for the defendant

Developed defenses for a trade association to scientifically invalid claims that the members’ products might increase the incidence of asthma among people exposed to emissions from the products

Defended a specialty chemical company in a personal injury suit involving alleged present-day exposure to chemicals (including toluene) from a historic pine tar production facility, including preparing for a Frye/Daubert hearing

Advising a trade association concerning allegations that children and adults may be exposed to carcinogenic and other hazardous chemicals from products made in part of a recycled (post-consumer) product originally manufactured by the trade association’s members.  The legal risks include federal and state regulatory liability and potential personal injury claims

Commented on EPA rulemaking s for a trade association representing a segment of in the health care industry 

Assisted clients on how to respond to growing demands to make their companies and products more sustainable, a goal increasingly being adopted by companies in the health care industry

Advised an investor concerning potential liability from owning and operating a waste transport company

Assisted a national trade association in drafting pre-emption language for an amendment to a federal energy efficiency provision

Advised clients engaged in acquisitions of the potential implications of GHG emission limits and regulatory programs

Challenged the EPA’s chlorofluorocarbon rule application to a manufacturer of foam

Represent an automobile parts supplier trade association concerning its potential environmental liability from emissions and releases during the normal use of the product

Provided advice to tire manufacturers regarding TREAD Act compliance issues

Advised clients in due diligence investigations on complex future environmental risks that are likely to impact the economics of a transaction

Defended a gasoline pipeline company in litigation alleging personal injury from exposure to indoor air vapors from petroleum pipeline ruptured by a third party

Represented a utility in seeking regulatory approvals for an electric transmission line from the Canadian border across the State of Maine

Challenging the NHTSA tire pressure monitoring system rule

Represented Conrail Corporation in PCB remediation Superfund action at the Paoli rail yard

While at EPA, brought an enforcement action against railroad due to the contamination at its rail yard

Tracks regulatory developments for health care industry clients to provide early warning of significant new regulations or risks to a company's business, particularly concerning issues relating to FIFRA compliance for chemicals which claim to reduce Ebola, norovirus, and other viruses that are unlikely to have been explicitly testing in the original pesticide registration process 

Advised on methods of responding to regulatory agency and press concerns about the presence of "toxic" chemicals in products used by the health care industry

Evaluated reporting obligations and potential recall obligations for numerous companies, including tire manufacturers

Advised tire manufacturers and the industry trade association in connection with tire recalls and customer satisfaction programs, labeling and disclosure, applicability of NHTSA regulations if products not in compliance with NHTSA regulations are returned to the country of origin, methods of methods of protecting the confidential information

Advising a company about its potential regulatory liability resulting from its historical use of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in the manufacture of a number of products

Advising a trade association concerning allegations that children and adults may be exposed to carcinogenic and other hazardous chemicals from products made in part of a recycled (post-consumer) product originally manufactured by the trade association’s members.  The legal risks include federal and state regulatory liability and potential personal injury claims

Advised a company about its potential regulatory liability resulting from its historical use of PFOA in the manufacture of a number of products

Evaluated the regulatory status of chemicals and provided the clients who use these chemicals potential strategic options, including matters involving perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), asbestos, ceramic fibers, other small inert particles and fibers (such as talc), synthetic fibers, 1,4 dioxane, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo(p)dioxin (and its congeners), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), bisphenol A, phthalates, polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), trichloroethylene (TCE), among other chemicals

Commented on behalf of individual companies and trade associations on various guidances and rulemakings, including the EPA’s dental amalgam separator pretreatment rule, EPA’s pharmaceutical hazardous waste rule, NHTSA’s tire fuel efficiency rule,  the listing of carbon black as chemical classified by the State of California as a carcinogen, EPA’s greenhouse gas (GHG) proposed regulations, the proposed Prevention of Significant Deterioration “Tailoring Rule,” EPA’s proposed PCB remediation rules (the so called “mega rule”), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s tire fuel efficiency rules , California draft Safer Consumer Product (SCP) rule, hazardous waste identification rules for contaminated media, the hazardous waste corrective action rule, the nonhazardous solid waste definition rule,   the Pennsylvania Act 2 hazardous waste cleanup and Brownfields regulations, among others

Represented EPA in the Love Canal landfill and several other seminal nationally managed hazardous waste enforcement actions  (including  the Hyde Park landfill hazardous waste enforcement action (the largest source of 2,3,7,8-tetrachloro-dibenzo(p)dioxin), the S-Area landfill (which was adjacent to the City of Niagara Falls drinking water supply), and the Occidental Chemical landfill in Lathrop, CA). He led the EPA team that negotiated the precedent setting settlement approaches in the Hyde Park and S-Area Landfill cases

Newsletter Alerts
Litigation Risk For Perfluorinated Chemicals Continues To Mount EPA Extends Time to Comment on Proposed Science Transparency Rule Expedited Infrastructure Takes Another Step ForwardIn Major Change, Regulatory Reform Comes to Tax RegulationNew Momentum for Federal Infrastructure Initiatives and Regulatory ReformDeregulatory Statistics and Priorities are Highlighted in White House Fall 2017 Regulatory AgendaNew Concerns for Companies That Import or Manufacture "Toxic" ChemicalsLong-Awaited Commerce Department Regulatory Reform Report Spotlights Priority TargetsAdministration Invites Additional Public Comment on "Waters of the United States" Rulemaking New Executive Order on Infrastructure Ups the Ante on Streamlining the Environmental Review and Permitting ProcessU.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Environmental Protection Agency Proposal to Rescind "Waters of the United States" Regulatory DefinitionU.S. Army Corps of Engineers Solicits Comments under E.O. 13777 "Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda" Interior Department Announces Regulatory Reform Comment OpportunityThe Honest Act Inches Forward Amid ControversyBipartisan Senate Regulatory Accountability Act Adds Another Important Element to Reform EffortsEPA Doubles Down on Regulatory Reform Outreach, But is More Necessarily Better?EPA Seeks Input on Regulations to be Repealed, Replaced, or Modified Regulatory Reform: A Closer Look at Opportunities and ChallengesPresident Trump Orders Revisit of "Waters of the United States" RuleRegulatory Restructuring Initiatives Keep ComingNext Steps on the Executive Order on Reducing Regulation: OMB's Guidance Provides Some ClarityNext Steps on New EPA Toxics Rule Implementation Reinforce the Need to Engage TSCA Reform: Something Old, Much That Is New -- Will It Make Industry Blue? Changing The EPA's Opaque Scientific MethodsSix Things the Private Sector Should Know About EPA’s Final Vapor Intrusion GuidanceBeyond Ebola: Environmental Regulatory Issues Creating Business Risks for Health Care ProvidersDestroying Chemical Weapons*
Articles
"White House Regulation Push Is Just Getting Started" by Jane Luxton, Karen Bennett, Kenneth von Schaumburg and William Walsh for Law 360, January 11, 2018"Honestly, What Is The Best Science?", Law360 - April 25, 2017"Regulatory Reform: A Closer Look at Opportunities and Challenges" by Karen Bennett, Jane Luxton, Kenneth von Schaumburg, and William Walsh for JD Supra, April 10, 2017What Product Manufacturers Need to Know About TSCA Reform, by William Walsh