Financial Poise

Joel Gross

Joel Gross is a partner in Arnold & Porter LLP’s Washington, DC, office, which he joined in August 2000 after having served as Chief of the Environmental Enforcement Section at the US Department of Justice (DOJ). He is a member of the firm’s environmental practice group. Mr. Gross represents and advises clients in litigation and non-litigation matters under federal and state environmental laws, with a special emphasis on compliance and enforcement issues. He advises clients on compliance strategies that can minimize the risk of enforcement actions, and has represented a wide range of clients in connection with ongoing civil and or criminal enforcement actions under the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. He also represents clients dealing with, and seeking innovative approaches to resolve, remediation and natural resource damages liabilities arising from contaminated sites. Mr. Gross has a special interest in the interaction of the environmental laws and the bankruptcy laws and has represented both debtors and creditors in connection with environmental disputes in bankruptcy proceedings around the country.
Before joining Arnold & Porter, Mr. Gross worked for 17 years in the Environmental Enforcement Section of the DOJ, where he was heavily involved in some of the most significant environmental litigation of the 1980s and 1990s. For the last five years of his tenure, Mr. Gross was Chief of the Environmental Enforcement Section, the largest litigation section in the DOJ, with 160 attorneys. In that capacity, Mr. Gross was intimately involved in setting and implementing the federal government’s environmental enforcement policies and priorities. Mr. Gross’s responsibilities included the entire range of federal environmental enforcement litigation, including cases under Superfund, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Representative Matters

  • Represented a large manufacturing company as lead defense counsel in connection with an EPA-state multifacility national enforcement initiative under RCRA
  • Represented a Chapter 11 Debtor in the negotiation with State regulators of an innovative resolution of claims with respect to long term care and responsibility for a hazardous waste landfill under which the landfill was transferred to a trust funded to address long term care of the facility
  • Retained as a mediator to resolve environmental claims between  EPA and a Chapter 11 debtor in a case pending in Delaware
  • Represented a company in the food processing business in the successful resolution of federal Clean Water Act enforcement litigation
  • Represented a pipeline operator in the successful resolution of claims arising from an ammonia release that resulted in a fish kill.
  • Representing a corporation with multiple facilities that is the subject of a national multimedia EPA enforcement initiative
  • Represented a corporate target of a grand jury investigation under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.  The investigation was closed without any charges being brought.
  • Representing a former refinery operator in an action by the federal government to recover the costs of remediation of a former military facility allegedly contaminated by releases from the refinery.
  • Wrote and submitted amicus briefs in the last two CERCLA cases before the Supreme Court, in the first (in Cooper Industries v. Aviall Services) on behalf of a number of industrial corporations and an environmental group, and in the second (United States v. Atlantic Research) on behalf of nine former senior officials at the Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Represented creditors with substantial environmental claims in the Chapter 11 bankruptcies of Kaiser Aluminum, ASARCO and Delphi