About EPA

About the Office of General Counsel (OGC)

What We Do

The Office of General Counsel (OGC) is the chief legal adviser to EPA, providing legal support for Agency rules and policies, case-by-case decisions (such as permits and response actions), and legislation.

In addition, OGC lawyers, together with attorneys in the U.S. Department of Justice's Environment and Natural Resources Division, represent the Agency in court challenges to agency actions (such as regulations), appeals of enforcement cases, and Supreme Court litigation. OGC lawyers carry out these functions not only with respect to EPA’s environmental programs, but also in connection with EPA’s day-to-day operations, including entering into contracts, awarding grants, managing property and money, and working with EPA’s employees.

The primary role of OGC lawyers is to provide legal advice to EPA and to articulate the Agency’s legal positions in the federal courts and before other tribunals and organizations.

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Organization


Avi Garbow, General Counsel
Kevin Minoli, Acting Principal Deputy General Counsel
Stacey Mitchell, Deputy General Counsel
Kevin Auerbacher, Senior Counsel for Energy and Transportation

The Office of General Counsel includes:

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Air and Radiation Law Office

What We Do

The Air and Radiation Law Office provides legal support for EPA to reduce threats to public health and the environment by cleaning up the nation’s air and dealing with radiation issues. The Air and Radiation Law Office provides support both in rulemakings and other activities undertaken by EPA's Office of Air and Radiation and in defending EPA's actions in court when the Agency is sued.

Mail code: 2344A | EPA mailing addresses
Location: EPA Headquarters at Washington, D.C. Federal Triangle campus

Statutes for which the Air and Radiation Law Office is responsible:

  • Atomic Energy Act  
  • Clean Air Act  
  • Energy Policy Act of 1992 (Section 801 - Nuclear Waste Disposal)
  • Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA), amended by the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21)
  • Motor Vehicle Information and Cost Savings Act (Corporate Average Fuel Economy)
  • Noise Control Act
  • Nuclear Waste Policy Act  (as it relates to 40 CFR Part 191)
  • Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act
  • Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Land Withdrawal Act  

Air and Radiation Law Office Organization

 
  • Lorie Schmidt, Associate General Counsel
  • Kevin McLean [on detail to PTSLO], Deputy Associate General Counsel
  • Patricia Embrey, Deputy Associate General Counsel

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Alternative Dispute Resolution Law Office

What We Do

The Alternative Dispute Resolution Law Office is responsible for providing legal advice and counsel regarding the use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), including protecting the confidentiality of dispute resolution communications. It is the home of the Conflict Prevention and Resolution Center, EPA's national office for ADR, providing environmental ADR services, training, and collaborative problem solving and public engagement expertise for the entire Agency. The office, headed by the EPA Dispute Resolution Specialist, has responsibility for national ADR policy and coordinating the Agency-wide network of ADR programs.

Mail code: 2388A | EPA mailing addresses
Location: EPA Headquarters at Washington, D.C. Federal Triangle campus

Statutes for which the Alternative Dispute Resolution Law Office is responsible:

  • Administrative Dispute Resolution Act of 1996  
  • Regulatory Negotiation Act of 1996  
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution Act of 1998  

Alternative Dispute Resolution Law Office Organization

  • Richard Kuhlman, Director

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Civil Rights and Finance Law Office

What We Do

The Civil Rights and Finance Law Office provides legal counsel and legal services to EPA offices with respect to civil rights, equal employment opportunity, contracts, claims by and against the Agency, real and personal property, financial assistance awards, interagency agreements, and appropriations law.

Mail code: 2399A | EPA mailing addresses
Location: EPA Headquarters at Washington, D.C. Federal Triangle campus

Statutes for which the Civil Rights and Finance Law Office is responsible:

Civil Rights

  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act
  • Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 1968 as amended, Title VI, Title VII, and Title VIII
  • Education Amendments of 1972, Title IX
  • Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972, §13
  • Rehabilitation Act, §504

Finance

  • Anti-Lobbying Act
  • EPA Appropriations Acts
  • Federal Claims Collection Act
  • Federal Tort Claims Act
  • Funding provisions of CERCLA (Superfund), Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, and Toxic Substances Control Act
  • National Environmental Education Act
  • Uniform Relocation Act

Procurement

  • Competition in Contracting Act
  • Contract Disputes Act
  • Federal Acquisition Regulation
  • Procurement Integrity Act
  • Federal Grant and Cooperative Agreement Act
  • Prompt Payment Act
  • Federal Property and Administrative Services Act

Civil Rights and Finance Law Office Organization

  • Stephen Pressman, Associate General Counsel
  • Kenneth Redden, Deputy Associate General Counsel

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Cross-Cutting Issues Law Office

What We Do

The Cross-Cutting Issues Law Office provides legal advice under the numerous federal statutes, Executive Orders, and policies that affect all of EPA’s programs, including the Administrative Procedure Act, Environmental Justice, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, Indian law and Children's Health issues. The Office also provides a focal point for international environmental legal expertise and advice. Finally, the Office handles legal issues arising in connection with the Agency’s scientific functions.

The Cross-Cutting Issues Law Office has three practice groups: Communities and Ecosystems; International Environmental Law; and Regulatory Issues.

Communities and Ecosystems: The Communities and Ecosystems Practice Group provides legal advice to EPA offices on the following matters: federal Indian law, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, Environmental Justice, 5th Amendment takings of private property, and historic preservation.

International Environmental Law: The International Environmental Law Practice Group provides legal counsel to all programs and offices of the Agency with respect to international law, institutions, and procedures. In particular, it provides legal counsel on international environmental law; on trade, investment, and the environment; on the implementation of international obligations at the domestic level; and on issues involving transboundary pollution. It represents EPA in international dispute settlement; in negotiations to draft and implement international agreements, protocols, and other instruments; and in interagency processes to resolve international legal issues related to the environment. It conducts legal capacity building activities with other countries regarding their environmental regulatory systems and provides legal counsel on cooperative and technical assistance to other countries.

Regulatory Issues: The Regulatory Issues Practice Group provides counsel on all administrative law matters relating to development of rules and guidance, as well as changes in interpretation; cross-cutting issues relating to judicial review (including final agency action, standing, ripeness,and standard of review); the Congressional Review Act; the Federal Advisory Committee Act; the Paperwork Reduction Act; the Regulatory Flexibility Act, including small business issues; the Information Quality Act; many Executive Orders, including interagency review; the Federal Docket Managing System; and legal issues associated with electronic reporting, collaboration & innovation.

Mail code: 2344A | EPA mailing addresses
Location: EPA Headquarters at Washington, D.C. Federal Triangle campus

Statutes for which the Cross-Cutting Issues Law Office is responsible:

  • Administrative Procedure Act
  • Clean Air Act Section 309
  • Congressional Review Act
  • Endangered Species Act  
  • Equal Access to Justice Act
    • 5 U.S.C. §504 (Costs and fees of parties)
    • 28 U.S.C. §2412 (Costs and fees)
  • Federal Advisory Committee Act
  • National Environmental Policy Act  
  • National Historic Preservation Act
  • National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act Section 12(d)  
  • Paperwork Reduction Act
  • Regulatory Flexibility Act  
  • Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act  
  • Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, FY2001, Section 515 (Information Quality)   (codified at 44 U.S.C. §3516 note)
  • Unfunded Mandates Reform Act  

Executive Orders / Presidential Memos for which the Cross-Cutting Issues Law Office is responsible:

  • EO 12630 Governmental Actions and Interference With Constitutionally Protected Property Rights (Takings)
  • EO 12866 Regulatory Planning and Review
  • EO 12898 Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations
  • EO 12988 Civil Justice Reform
  • EO 13045 Protection of Children From Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks
  • EO 13101 Greening the Government Through Waste Prevention, Recycling, and Federal Acquisition
  • EO13123 Greening the Government Through Efficient Energy Management
  • EO 13132 Federalism
  • EO 13134 Developing and Promoting Biobased Products and Bioenergy
  • EO13148 Greening the Government Through Leadership in Environmental Management
  • EO 13149 Greening the Government Through Federal Fleet and Transportation Efficiency
  • EO 13175 Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments
  • EO 13211 Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use
  • EO 13212 Actions to Expedite Energy-Related Projects
  • EO 13272 Proper Consideration of Small Entities in Agency Rulemaking
  • Presidential Memorandum on Plain Language in Government Writing
  • Presidential Memorandum on Government-to-Government Relations with Native American Tribal Governments

Cross-Cutting Issues Law Office Organization

  • Carol Ann Siciliano, Associate General Counsel

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General Law Office

What We Do

The General Law Office provides legal advice to the Agency in the following areas: Information law, including Freedom of Information Act, Privacy Act and the Federal Records Act; Labor and employment law; and Intellectual Property law, including patent, trademark and copyright issues. The attorneys in GLO also represent the Agency in administrative proceedings in these areas, and also work with the Department of Justice in representing the Agency in judicial cases.

Mail code: 2377A | EPA mailing addresses
Location: EPA Headquarters at Washington, D.C. Federal Triangle campus

General Law Office Organization

  • Geoff Cooper, Acting Associate General Counsel
  • Deputy Associate General Counsel - currently vacant

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Pesticides and Toxic Substances Law Office

What We Do

The Pesticides and Toxic Substances Law Office handles legal issues for the EPA programs that address pollution prevention, pesticides and toxic chemicals, and inform citizens about toxic releases in their communities.

Mail code: 2333A | EPA mailing addresses
Location: EPA Headquarters at Washington, D.C. Federal Triangle campus

Statutes for which the Pesticides and Toxic Substances Law Office is responsible:

  • Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, section 313 (Toxic Release Inventory)
  • Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act
  • Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act  
  • Food Quality Protection Act
  • Pollution Prevention Act
  • Toxic Substances Control Act

Pesticides and Toxic Substances Law Office Organization

  • Kevin McLean, Acting Associate General Counsel

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Resource Management Office

What We Do

The Resource Management Office coordinates the management and administrative activities of the Office of General Counsel. The Office handles such activities as budget formulation and execution, OGC's strategic and organizational plans, information technology management, human resources, position management and classification, attorney and law clerk recruitment, training, space management, records management, procurement functions, payroll, correspondence, and law library services .

Mail code: 2311A | EPA mailing addresses
Location: EPA Headquarters at Washington, D.C. Federal Triangle campus

Resource Management Office Organization

  • Kraig Lattimore, Director
  • Teresa Wallace, Deputy Director

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Solid Waste and Emergency Response Law Office

What We Do

The Solid Waste and Emergency Response Law Office provide legal support for the Agency's hazardous and solid waste programs and cleanup initiatives, including Superfund, the Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA), land revitalization (brownfields, federal facilities, oil spills, underground storage tanks), and the emergency response program.

Mail code: 2366A | EPA mailing addresses
Location: EPA Headquarters at Washington, D.C. Federal Triangle campus

Statutes for which the Solid Waste and Emergency Response Law Office is responsible:

  • Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act
  • Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) - all sections except Section 313 (Toxics Release Inventory)
  • Oil Pollution Act  
  • Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
  • Clean Water Act Section 311

Solid Waste and Emergency Response Law Office Organization

  • Mary Kay Lynch, Associate General Counsel
  • John Michaud, Deputy Associate General Counsel

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Water Law Office

 

What We Do

The Water Law Office provides legal support for Agency programs that ensure drinking water is safe, that restore and maintain oceans, watersheds, and their aquatic ecosystems to protect human health, support economic and recreational activities, and provide healthy habitat for fish, plants, and wildlife.

Mail code: 2355A | EPA mailing addresses
Location: EPA Headquarters at Washington, D.C. Federal Triangle campus

Statutes for which the Water Law Office is responsible:

  • Clean Water Act
  • Safe Drinking Water Act
  • Marine Protection Research and Sanctuaries Act (MPRSA) also known as the Ocean Dumping Act

Water Law Office Organization

  • Steven Neugeboren, Associate General Counsel

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Ethics Office

What We Do

The Ethics Office oversees all aspects of the Agency's ethics program, including the Standards of Ethical Conduct, conflicts of interest statutes, financial disclosure, ethics training and the Hatch Act. It is responsible for ensuring the high ethical standards of EPA employees. 

Mail code: 2311A | EPA mailing addresses
Location: EPA Headquarters at Washington, D.C. Federal Triangle campus

Ethics Office Organization

  • Justina Fugh, Senior Counsel for Ethics / Alternate Agency Ethics Official

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