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Kurt A. Kissling

Kurt A. Kissling is of counsel in the Environment and Energy Practice Group of Pepper Hamilton LLP, resident in the Detroit office. He also is a member of the firm’s Sustainability, CleanTech and Climate Change Team and heads the firm’s Climate Change Working Group. Mr. Kissling focuses his practice on environmental law and specializes in addressing air and waste issues under the Clean Air Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and their state/local counterparts. He routinely counsels national and regional clients regarding environmental compliance, defends them in enforcement proceedings, and assists with shaping and challenging laws and regulations.

Mr. Kissling has counseled clients in the glass, automotive, utility, waste-to-energy, steel, chemical manufacturing, food processing and/or agribusiness. pulp and paper, petroleum, consumer products, cement, ethanol and wood products industries. Representative engagements include:

Environmental Counseling

  • advising clients with day-to-day permitting and regulatory compliance issues at the federal, state and local level, including Clean Air Act, RCRA, TSCA, CERCLA, EPCRA and Clean Water Act matters
  • shaping new regulation by participating in stakeholder groups, petitioning agencies for rule changes, and commenting on proposed changes to environmental rules and policies, including SIP rules, NAAQS designations, NESHAPs, climate change proposals and hazardous/solid waste rules
  • formulating preconstruction permitting strategies to account for New Source Review, air dispersion modeling, consent decree compliance and other legal requirements
  • managing self-audits under federal and state laws, regulations and policies
  • conducting environmental due diligence for business sales and acquisitions
  • representing potentially responsible parties, individually and as common counsel, with remediating, purchasing, selling and managing brownfields
  • assisting clients with the creation and maintenance of internal programs to identify potential permitting projects and monitor ongoing compliance.
Environmental Litigation/Enforcement
  • defending clients against allegations of environmental noncompliance, including multiple companies targeted by EPA’s industry-wide enforcement initiatives for Clean Air Act violations at multiple facilities
  • defending and challenging clients’ permits in administrative and court proceedings, including third-party permit challenges that have reached the state Court of Appeals
  • assisting clients with multimedia investigations into air, water and waste compliance that included multiple agency site visits and sampling efforts
  • petitioning EPA and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to address EPA rulemakings
  • representing clients in CERCLA actions that included appeals to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court
  • negotiating and implementing enforcement settlements implicating the Clean Air Act, RCRA, TSCA, CERCLA, EPCRA, the Clean Water Act and state law counterparts
  • defending an environmental remediation company from criminal and civil charges brought by the attorney general for violations of water, air and hazardous waste laws.
Civil Litigation Matters
  • defending businesses against odor, against dust, nuisance and diminution of property value claims brought by nearby residents
  • pro bono work for the ACLU and Veterans.
Mr. Kissling is active with the Environmental Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan, where he is an executive council member, the chair of the Air Committee, and a member of the Program Committee. He also regularly contributes to the Michigan Manufacturers Association’s Air Quality Advisory Committee, the Air & Waste Management Association, the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments’ Task Force on Air Quality, the Southeast Michigan Air Quality Study, and the Michigan and Detroit Regional Chambers of Commerce. Mr. Kissling has taught courses on the Clean Air Act at the University of Detroit-Mercy School of Law and lectured in settings across the country on Clean Air Act compliance and enforcement, NAAQS climate change law and policy, brownfield redevelopment and water rights.

Mr. Kissling has been selected for inclusion in multiple editions of Michigan Super Lawyers Rising Stars.

Mr. Kissling received his undergraduate degree, with honors, from Valparaiso University in 1996, with a B.S. in civil engineering and chemistry minor. He received his J.D. and a master’s degree in environmental law, cum laude, from Vermont Law School in 2000, where he was managing editor of the Vermont Law Review. Mr. Kissling is a member of the State Bar of Michigan and is admitted to practice before the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

B.S. 1996, with honors, Valparaiso University (Civil Engineering)
J.D. 2000, Vermont Law School; managing editor, Vermont Law Review
M.S.E.L. (Master of Studies in Environmental Law) 2000, cum laude, Vermont Law School

Bar Admissions
Admitted to practice in Michigan

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