Steven Poplawski is the leader of the firm’s Environmental group. He has 30 years of experience in providing strategic legal and business counseling to address complex and challenging compliance issues frequently involving the interaction of local, state, and federal law. Mr. Poplawski takes a collaborative approach in building and managing teams to address a board array of regulatory, procedural, and contractual matters with a focus on achieving excellent results while being sensitive to client risk mitigation, business efficiency, and corporate social responsibility goals.
As a Practice Group Leader, he manages over 20 lawyers in nine offices across the United States while maintaining a broad environmental practice involving negotiation of real estate and corporate transactions, administrative and judicial litigation, regulatory enforcement defense, and development and implementation of corporate sustainability policies. In addition, Mr. Poplawski has managed internal audits and investigations both in an enforcement context and in the context of developing better internal compliance and best practices.
For over two decades, he has acted as primary outside environmental counsel for a major research university. This role has involved advice on property redevelopment issues, counseling on regulatory compliance, and environmental cleanup involving both state regulators and federal agencies responsible for historic contamination. It has also involved strategic advice on rulemaking to provide for more flexibility in how wastes are managed at research and development facilities.
Mr. Poplawski provides compliance counseling regarding a wide range of regulatory issues in all major environmental areas, including air, waste, and water. These representations have included counseling on self-disclosure of violations and negotiations with both state and federal regulators of appropriate settlements often involving multiple facilities throughout the country. They have also included complex and sometimes controversial permitting projects requiring teaming with clients, consultants, and public relations personnel.
Mr. Poplawski represents several NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) industry clients (quarry operators, landfills operators and medical waste incinerator operators), and, as a result, has worked with clients on significant public engagement challenges preparing for public meetings regarding these projects. These efforts have included developing strategies for community outreach to neighbors, local officials and leaders, and to regulators in advance of any formal public meeting. They also include coordination with regulators permitting the projects and with supporters of the projects in preparation for the meeting and working with the client’s public relations team on a media strategy.