Joshua T. Wilson

Associate

Cleveland
T +1.216.861.7940
F +1.216.696.0740

Overview

Josh Wilson’s environmental practice includes bringing and defending litigation to advance client interests, successfully resolving administrative enforcement actions, navigating permitting and compliance obligations involved in business expansions and holistically assessing and managing legal risks presented by expansions, acquisitions or new regulatory developments. Josh specializes in federal and state programs under the Clean Air Act, but his experience also involves a wide variety of regulations related to hazardous materials, waste, water and human health and safety.

Prior to joining BakerHostetler, Josh practiced at the Office of the Texas Solicitor General, where he served as lead counsel in briefing and arguing several cases before state courts of appeals and the Texas Supreme Court, and drafted briefs on a variety of issues in the Fifth Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court. His background as a government litigator gives him a unique and valuable perspective in identifying litigation and enforcement risks and opportunities.

Select Experience

Litigation, Contested Cases, and Administrative Enforcement Defense

  • Represents a major coal company in its challenge to the Affordable Clean Energy Rule in the D.C. Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Represents several industrial clients in navigating administrative enforcement actions brought by state and federal environmental agencies, including resolution of three separate Clean Air Act enforcement matters brought by Region 5 of the U.S. EPA in the past two years against a specialty chemical manufacturer, a steel pipe manufacturer and a spice manufacturer.

 EHS Compliance, Permitting and Strategic Risk Management

  • Provides strategic compliance and business counseling to several industrial clients in all environmental, health and safety (EHS) areas, with an emphasis on federal and state programs under the Clean Air Act.
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Experience

Litigation, Contested Cases, and Administrative Enforcement Defense

  • Represents a major coal company in its challenge to the Affordable Clean Energy Rule in the D.C. Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Represents several industrial clients in navigating administrative enforcement actions brought by state and federal environmental agencies, including resolution of three separate Clean Air Act enforcement matters brought by Region 5 of the U.S. EPA in the past two years against a specialty chemical manufacturer, a steel pipe manufacturer and a spice manufacturer.
  • Represented a major coal company in a contested case administrative hearing proceeding against the Montana Department of Environmental Quality and a national power company involving regulatory certifications under the Montana Facility Siting Act.
  • Disputed an interpretation of hazardous substance management requirements under RCRA with U.S. EPA Region 5 in the context of an enforcement action, resulting in EPA dropping the enforcement action without penalty, and leading an EPA official to issue guidance to the chemical manufacturing industry consistent with our client’s legal position.

 EHS Compliance, Permitting and Strategic Risk Management

  • Provides strategic compliance and business counseling to several industrial clients in all environmental, health and safety (EHS) areas, with an emphasis on federal and state programs under the Clean Air Act.
  • Provides clients with advice regarding management of regulatory compliance and litigation risks in a variety of contexts arising from recent state and federal regulatory developments, toxic tort litigation, scientific studies, and community and political pressures related to ethylene oxide.
  • Obtained a Covenant not to Sue from Ohio EPA for an electric vehicle manufacturer startup, resolving historic potential liabilities related to a predecessor of interest, clearing the way for investment and a $3 billion market capitalization for the startup.
  • Assists the developer of a greenfield steel mill with a wide spectrum of environmental compliance obligations, including air permit revisions in support of ongoing facility and product expansions, identification of environmental reporting obligations, retention and management of expert consultants, and assessing hazardous waste management under RCRA and analogous state laws.
  • Represents the developer of a silicon producer in obtaining an air permit revision in order to resolve a related enforcement action, without reopening permit to full PSD major modification review.
  • Represents the developer of a new industrial sand mine in securing all environmental permits (including but not limited to air, storm water and wastewater, and mining permits) necessary to construct and operate the mine, manages teams of technical consultants, and provides critical path counseling on compliance obligations and risk minimization related to the project.
  • Generated and enacted a creative pathway for resolving decades long dispute between a coal surface mining company and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regarding wetlands mitigation and remediation credits.
  • Assisted a steel mini-mill and a silicon manufacturer in obtaining regulatory approvals necessary to approve alternate compliance obligations under RCRA and the CAA due to COVID-related supply chain disruptions.
  • Represents a medical supply distributor in holistically managing litigation risks, contractual risks and regulatory compliance obligations arising from recent state and federal regulatory developments.
  • Advises clients in a variety of industries on litigation, regulatory and environmental health and safety risks related to several nine-figure mergers and acquisitions, including the near $1 billion acquisition of an international aerospace communications manufacturer involving facilities in the United States, United Kingdom and Finland, and negotiates provisions of purchase and sale agreements and agreements governing post-closing allocation of environmental attributes and liabilities associated with the company or asset being transferred.

Recognitions and Memberships

Prior Positions

  • Office of the Texas Solicitor General: Coleman Fellow
  • U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Kansas: Federal Practice Intern
  • The Honorable Alice M. Batchelder, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit: Judicial Extern

Admissions

  • Illinois
  • Texas
  • Ohio

Education

  • J.D., University of Chicago Law School, 2017; Supreme Court Clinic; Hinton Moot Court, Co-Chair
  • B.S., Kansas State University, 2014, summa cum laude

Blog

In The Blogs

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Pillar and Post: Energy Law in the 21st Century
Emerging Chemical Issues – Ethylene Oxide (Part 5 of 5): OIG, EPA and the Consequences of Premature Public Disclosures
By Joshua T. Wilson
June 17, 2021
U.S. EPA has recently come under fire from its quasi-independent auditor, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), which has issued multiple reports accusing EPA of not moving with sufficient speed or transparency to increase regulations...
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Pillar and Post: Energy Law in the 21st Century
Emerging Chemical Issues – Ethylene Oxide (Part 4 of 5): Special Considerations Related to the Sterilization Industry
By Joshua T. Wilson
June 15, 2021
Commercial sterilization operations find themselves in a more unique and complex regulatory context than many other industrial sources of EtO. Unlike the chemical manufacturing industry, which can often make decisions about EtO usage based...
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Pillar and Post: Energy Law in the 21st Century
Emerging Chemical Issues – Ethylene Oxide (Part 3 of 5): Challenges to the IRIS EtO URE
By Joshua T. Wilson
June 10, 2021
Today’s alert looks at the current status of challenges to the IRIS EtO URE and EPA’s related rulemaking proceedings. Sterilizers have been one of the most widely publicized sources of EtO, and have taken the brunt of enforcement actions...
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Pillar and Post: Energy Law in the 21st Century
Emerging Chemical Issues – Ethylene Oxide (Part 2 of 5): A Patchwork of State Regulation
By Joshua T. Wilson
June 8, 2021
Federal law generally sets a floor, rather than a ceiling, when it comes to emission reduction regulations, and thus, when assessing a facility’s compliance and legal risks it is important to track state and local laws, regulations, and...
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Pillar and Post: Energy Law in the 21st Century
Emerging Chemical Issues – Ethylene Oxide (Part 1 of 5): Why It Matters
By Joshua T. Wilson
June 3, 2021
In the past two years, hundreds of lawsuits have been filed against companies based on their emissions of a chemical called ethylene oxide (often referred to as “EtO” or “EO”). Multiple facilities that handle EtO also have been shut down...
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