William J. Walsh is of counsel in the Washington office of Pepper Hamilton LLP and the head of that office’s Environment and Energy Practice Group. He is also a member of the firm’s Sustainability, CleanTech and Climate Change Team. Mr. Walsh defends regulatory enforcement actions and personal injury/property damage liability litigation and provides advice pursuant to a variety of environmental statutes. 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. Mr. Walsh is listed in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business.
Mr. Walsh assists clients in identifying and mitigating business risks associated with increasingly complex product safety and chemical ingredient regulations developed under the Consumer Product Safety Act, the National Highway Safety Act, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) toxic substance and pesticide statutes, 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. This work includes:
He has also defended clients involved in complex hazardous substance cleanup sites, negotiating lower remediation costs. More recently, he has defended clients in groundwater-related vapor intrusion remediation and personal injury/property damage cases, particularly in developing scientific challenges to regulatory toxicity factors.
Before joining Pepper in 1986, Mr. Walsh 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.
Mr. Walsh 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. Mr. Walsh has frequently advised the National Academies of Science, including Committees on Groundwater Cleanup Alternatives, Adaptive Site Management at Navy Facilities, Use of Groundwater Modeling in the Regulatory System, and methods of destroying chemical weapons. In each case, he has approached complex scientific and policy issues in a manner that facilitated development of a fair and scientifically sound consensus.