Joan P. Snyder
Joan Snyder is a partner in the Environment, Land Use and Natural Resources group.
Joan concentrates her practice in the areas of environmental law, natural resources law, environmental and natural resources insurance coverage, and health and safety law. She regularly advises clients on all aspects of state and federal cleanups, including the defense of natural resource damages claims. She has successfully litigated environmental and insurance claims to favorable resolution in state and federal courts, before state and federal administrative law judges, and in arbitration and mediation. A former industrial chemist, Joan also provides clients with practical, cost-effective compliance counseling, including site investigation, remediation and health and safety compliance.
Joan also has extensive experience in the environmental aspects of real estate and business transactions, including negotiating protective contractual terms, obtaining prospective purchaser agreements that limit liability and advising clients on disclosure obligations. She approaches each project by focusing on her client's goals and relying on her experience and creativity to achieve those goals in the most cost-effective way.
Joan worked as an industrial chemist at Betz Laboratories, Inc. in Trevose, Pennsylvania (1978-1981).
- Represents a manufacturer with respect to remedial investigation of solvent and petroleum contamination in site soils.
- Has represented numerous property owners performing remedial investigations, risk assessments and remedial actions at contaminated properties.
- Represents a client that is, with others, performing the remedial investigation and feasibility study for the Portland Harbor sediment Superfund Site.
Natural Resource Damage Claims
- Represents a client with respect to the natural resource damages assessment for the Portland Harbor Superfund site, which is proceeding under a novel phased cooperative agreement with natural resource trustees.
Environmental and OSHA Compliance
- Has counseled numerous clients on storm water compliance issues, both under NPDES discharge permits and as part of the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality's Portland Harbor storm water screening evaluation protocols.
- Has counseled clients on preparation of Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasures Plans, compliance with Toxic Release Inventory reporting, and state Community-Right-to-Know reporting.
- Has counseled numerous clients on compliance with Occupational Safety & Health Rules.
Environmental and OSHA Enforcement
- Oregon OSHA enforcement action: Defended $1.4 million "willful" and "egregious" citation, obtained dismissal of $1 million of claims and favorably settled remainder.
- Conducted an internal investigation for a manufacturing company to address potential Clean Water Act violations, succeeding in convincing the U.S. Attorney's Office that there was no basis for criminal action.
- Has represented clients in resolution of numerous OSHA citations, including in instances of fatalities and other serious injuries.
Rulemaking and Legislative
- Assisted a trade group in opposing a proposed Oregon OSHA rule change, succeeding in convincing Or-OSHA that the change would negatively impact Oregon employers and was not supported by the science. The rule revisions subsequently adopted were consistent with the client's comments.
- Drafted much of the 2003 amendments to the Oregon Environmental Cleanup Assistance Act, ORS 465.475, et seq., clarifying procedures for obtaining insurance coverage of environmental claims in Oregon.
Environmental Litigation and Environmental Insurance Litigation
- Represented a property owner in litigation against former operators to recover the cost of complying with environmental investigation demands by ODEQ. Obtained a favorable settlement with former owners, operators and their insurers. Continuing to represent client to get "no further action" letter from ODEQ.
- Represented industrial client in responding to 60-day notice-of-intent-to-sue letter from environmental organization alleging violations of storm water permit. Achieved resolution of matter before suit was filed.
- Obtained favorable ruling from Oregon Court of Appeals holding that insurer had an obligation to defend client in response to a request by ODEQ to investigate contamination on the client's property. Schnitzer Investment Corp. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's of London, (Or. Ct. App. Jan. 26, 2005).
Professional Honors & Activities
- Listed in Oregon Super Lawyer®, Environmental
- Listed in Best Lawyers in America®, 2012
- Selected as one of "America's Leading Lawyers for Business" (Oregon) by Chambers USA (currently: Environment), 2006-2012
- Selected by Best Lawyers® as Portland Environmental Law Lawyer of the Year, 2010
- Listed in The International Who's Who of Environment Lawyers
- Chair, Oregon Business Association Transportation Committee
- Northwest Environmental Business Council Cascade Chapter sub-committee
- Member, Natural Resources, and Energy and Environmental Law Section, American Bar Association
- Past Chair, Environmental & Natural Resources Section, Oregon State Bar
- "Source Control: Legal Authority and Policy Goals," Stormwater & Contaminated Sediment Conference, Portland, Oregon, Jan. 30, 2012
- "Source Control: Legal Authority and Policy Goals," Business & The Environment, Portland, Oregon, Nov. 8, 2011
- "Redeveloping Brownfields in the Shadow of Superfund," Stoel Rives LLP, Portland, Oregon, Apr. 7, 2010
- "CERCLA & Clean Water Act – Overlapping Authorities & Cross-Program Implementation; Thinking Outside the Box," Environmental Law Education Center Environmental Cleanup Seminar, Portland, Oregon, Mar. 19, 2007
- "Managing to Make Source Control Happen at Contaminated Sediment Sites," Battelle Fourth International Conference on Remediation of Contaminated Sediments, Savannah, Georgia, Jan. 24, 2007
- "Allocation of Liability at a Sediment Cleanup Site," Stoel Rives LLP seminar, Portland, Oregon, May 5, 2005
- "Eco-risk, Focused on Sediments: Status in Oregon," Stoel Rives LLP seminar, Portland, Oregon, Mar. 31, 2005
- "The Legal Implications of Safety and Health," Oregon Governor's Occupational Safety & Health Conference, 2005 Safety & Health Expedition, Portland, Oregon, Mar. 1, 2005
- "Natural Resource Damages Fundamentals," Oregon Association of Environmental Professionals Monthly Forum, Portland, Oregon, Oct. 9, 2003
- "Who Will Pay for The Portland Harbor Cleanup?," Environmental Law Education Center Advanced Conference on Sediments, Portland, Oregon, Sep. 6, 2002
- Classroom Law Project Board Chair
- "Businesses Near Superfund Site Should Re-Read Old Policies" (coauthor), Portland Business Journal, Sept. 4, 2009
- "Insurance Funding for Environmental Cleanups" (coauthor), Oregon State Bar Outlook, 2004
- "The Unanswered Question of Environmental Insurance Allocation in Oregon Law" (coauthor), Willamette Law Review, 2003
- Environmental Natural Resources Law, Oregon State Bar (co-editor), 2002
- "Natural Resource Damage," Environmental Natural Resources Law, Oregon State Bar, 2002
- "The State/Federal Tug-of-War in Environmental Regulation and Enforcement," Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute, 2000
- University of Michigan Law School, J.D., 1984, cum laude
- University of Delaware, B.S., Chemistry, 1978, with high honors
- Drexel University, Graduate study in Environmental Engineering, 1979-80
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- Michigan (currently inactive)
- U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit