Atriano, Vincent

Vincent Atriano

Partner

Vincent Atriano is an environmental trial lawyer with extensive experience in the defense of governmental enforcement actions and citizen suits, response cost litigation, indemnification claims, toxic tort class actions, imminent and substantial endangerment litigation and the defense of criminal environmental claims.

He has broad expertise in matters involving the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the Clean Air Act (CAA), Clean Water Act (CWA), Endangered Species Act (ESA), National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Ohio Voluntary Action Program, as well as the US Occupational Health & Safety Administration Act (OSHA). He regularly counsels clients with respect to environmental compliance and permitting, due diligence and internal corporate investigations. He also has served as lead trial lawyer in cases involving claims for breach of contract, fraud, wrongful death, mechanics’ liens and prevailing wage disputes.

Vince is a recipient of Business First’s 2003 Forty Under 40 Award and was elected graduation speaker of the Leadership Columbus class of 1999. He has lectured on cross-examination at US Environmental Protection Agency’s National Enforcement and Information Center in Denver at the invitation of the US Department of Justice. Vince was the recipient of American Foundry Society’s Environmental Health & Safety Division’s Best Presentation Award for his CERCLA zero allocation judgment presentation at the AFS Environmental Health & Safety Conference held in Milwaukee in 2002.

Vince is a member of the Ohio State Bar Association’s Environmental Law Committee.

Explore

  • Arguing successfully before the Ohio Supreme Court a landmark prevailing wage case in which the Court ruled 7-0 in favor of our clients, a board of county commissioners and county improvement corporation. State ex rel. Northwestern Ohio Bldg. & Constr. Trades Council v. Ottawa Cty. Improvement Corp. 2009-Ohio-2747 (June 17, 2009). Also prevailed on behalf of the county at trial and before the Ohio Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
  • Obtaining a zero allocation judgment under CERCLA on behalf of a “lone holdout” potentially responsible party alleged to have been the largest volume waste generator at the Ninth Avenue Dump site in Indiana, after disqualifying plaintiffs’ expert on Daubert grounds. Ninth Avenue Remedial Group v. Allis-Chalmers Corp. (N.D. Ind. 2001).
  • Defending successfully a large petroleum refinery in a class action for toxic tort property damage claims arising out of widespread historic benzene and other petroleum contamination. City of Neodesha, KS v. BP Corp. (Dist. Ct. Wilson Cty. 2007).
  • Defending a Minnesota taconite mine with respect to state air enforcement claims based upon emissions of naturally occurring fibers similar to amosite asbestos including the dismissal with prejudice of a CAA citizen suit relating to such issues. United States v. Northshore Mining Co. (8th Cir. 2008): Save Lake Superior Assoc. & Sierra Club v. Northshore Mining Co. (D. Minn. 2008).
  • Prosecuting successfully a RCRA citizen suit on behalf of a lender client resulting in a permanent injunction requiring the cleanup of a client’s Atlanta hotel property, award of our attorney fees and a US$1 million settlement. College Park Holdings, LLC v. Ractrac Petroleum, Inc. (N.D. Ga. 2002).
  • Defending an Ohio steel company in a series of US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) enforcement cases brought under the CWA, CAA and RCRA arising out of a federal “multimedia inspection.” United States v. WCI Steel, Inc. (N.D. Ohio). After achieving favorable settlements in the CWA and CAA enforcement cases, the RCRA case was tried in June 1999. The court completely denied the government’s request for injunctive relief and imposed a civil penalty of only 2.9 percent of the government’s demand. In so ruling, the court rejected the government’s economic benefit methodology and accepted our economist’s after-tax, risk-free discount rate instead.
  • Defending successfully a major steel company against claims for preliminary and permanent injunctive relief based upon RCRA imminent and substantial endangerment, public nuisance and blight brought by the city of Buffalo and the Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency. LTV Steel Co., Inc. v. City of Buffalo (W.D.N.Y. 2002).
  • Defending successfully the CWA Section 404 Program in Southwest Florida on behalf of an intervenor in a high profile ESA case relating to the Florida panther, National Wildlife Federation et al. v. Caldera (D.D.C.). Following an extended oral argument on cross-motions for summary judgment, the court dismissed the plaintiffs’ ESA, APA, NEPA, CWA and Federal Highway Administration Act claims in their entirety for lack of jurisdiction, based in part on our argument that the plaintiffs were attempting to circumvent controlling US Supreme Court precedent through “artful pleading.”
  • Defending successfully Nationwide Permits 12, 14, 39 and 40 on behalf of intervenor in National Wildlife Federation v. Brownlee (D.D.C.) (Order Denying Plaintiffs’ Motion for Injunctive Relief entered Aug. 25, 2005), involving alleged violations of the ESA, NEPA and CWA violations based upon the alleged impact on Florida panther’s habitat. We persuaded the court to strike the opinions of plaintiffs’ panther experts.
  • Defeating a state of Ohio motion for preliminary injunction action against a railroad with respect to severe petroleum contamination in one of the largest underground storage tank enforcement cases ever filed by the state. State of Ohio ex rel. Montgomery v. J.W. Kelley (C.P. Huron Cty. 1997).
  • Defending successfully a corporation and corporate officers in a West Virginia judicial enforcement action for alleged abandonment of hazardous waste drums involving potential statutory penalties of over US$2 billion and claims for criminal liability, in which all claims were resolved for US$5,000. State of West Virginia v. Chemetals, Inc., Felony No. 91-F-47 (Cir. Ct. Preston Cty. 1991).
  • Defending a wrongful death action alleging employer intentional tort against a propane pipeline company following a fatal explosion at a terminal. Meyer v. GasTech Engineering Corp., et al., (C.P. Butler Cty., Ohio 2009). We contested an OSHA citation against the company following the incident.
  • Achieving 100-percent recovery of “cover” costs totaling more than US$4.3 million for a major US steel manufacturer against an Alabama coke supplier due to shortfall in coke shipments in 2005 arbitration proceeding. ISG Indiana Harbor v. ABC Coke (Ala. Arbitration 2005).
  • Defending successfully claims for breach of contract relating to purchase of former industrial property located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Majestic Realty Co. v. Mittal Steel U.S.A. Inc. (E.D. Pa. 2007). Following assertion of counterclaims against plaintiff, the case resulted in very favorable settlement of all claims.
  • Defending successfully a major US steel company in employee suit alleging violation of Sec. 301 of Labor Management Relations Act on motion to dismiss. Blake v. Bethlehem Steel Corp. & International Steel Group Inc. (N.D. Ind. 2003).
  • Defending successfully a steel manufacturer in a large mechanics’ lien case in Illinois state court, both at trial and on appeal. Cyclonaire Corp. v. ISG Riverdale, Inc.(Cir. Ct. Cook Cty. 2007).

Education

  • University of Michigan, J.D., cum laude, contributing editor, Michigan Journal of Law Reform, 1988
  • The Ohio State University, B.A., with honors, with distinction, 1985

Admissions

  • Ohio, 1988

Courts

  • U.S. Ct. of App., District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. Ct. of App., Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Ct. of App., Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Ct. of App., Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. Dist. Ct., N. Dist. of Ohio
  • U.S. Dist. Ct., S. Dist. of Ohio

Languages

  • English
  • Italian

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