Joe Romero

Office Location: Richmond, VA.

Education
  • J.D., St. John’s University School of Law
  • LL.M., George Washington University, Environmental Law
Jurisdiction Licensed
  • Virginia
  • New York
Professional & Community Activities
  • Old Dominion University, Environmental and Occupational Health Law Professor
  • Norfolk & Portsmouth Bar Association
  • Virginia Bar Association
  • Board of Governors, Virginia State Bar Environmental Law Section

Joe is a member of the firm’s Construction and Government Contracts practice group. He concentrates his practice in environmental law, including Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act remediation, hazardous waste management, regulatory compliance, permitting, enforcement matters, land use and riparian property rights, and contracts.

COMPREHENSIVE EXPERIENCE
Before joining Vandeventer Black, Joe served as a Navy Judge Advocate for over twenty years.  Joe served in numerous Navy commands, including special warfare, overseas, and deployable units.  Through his years of military service, Joe was responsible for advising senior Navy leaders and executives, including the 4-star Fleet Commander, on myriad legal issues associated with heavy industrial processes, upland development, and activities in the maritime environment.  This included a wide range of compliance, enforcement, and litigation matters that spanned numerous federal and state regulatory programs.

After retiring from active duty, Joe worked for the Dept. of the Navy’s Office of General Counsel, where he continued his environmental practice, focusing primarily on CERCLA remediation, working closely in multi-disciplinary teams to achieve the client’s goals.  This included large remediation and redevelopment projects on current and former military facilities and ranges.  In addition, he was a principal adviser on cutting-edge legal issues associated with emerging but unregulated contaminants, such as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), that have become a significant concern for industrial activities, wastewater treatment facilities, publicly-owned treatment works, airports, oil facilities, landfills, disposal facilities, and local communities.

Joe is an adjunct professor at Old Dominion University, where he teaches Environmental and Occupational Health Law.  He has also presented in numerous professional and academic forum on emerging trends in the law and regulation.  In addition, Joe serves on the Board of Governors of the Virginia State Bar Environmental Law Section.

Joe is a member of the firm’s Construction and Government Contracts practice group. He concentrates his practice in environmental law, including Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act remediation, hazardous waste management, regulatory compliance, permitting, enforcement matters, land use and riparian property rights, and contracts.
Representative Matters
  • Strategic counsel on environmental compliance programs, including consideration of emerging regulatory trends.
  • Day-to-day advice and counsel on environmental matters for foreign and domestic businesses, including matters involving air emissions, water discharges, the management and disposal of waste, worker health and safety concerns.
  • Vigorous defense of industrial and commercial concerns in federal and state government multi-media enforcement actions and cleanup orders under the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Oil Pollution Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act and state corollaries.
  • Defense and prosecution of cost recovery and contribution claims involving soil and groundwater contamination arising out of historical industrial operations, waste management, and disposal activities.
  • The implementation and defense of National Environmental Policy Act Environmental Assessments and Environmental Impact Statements, particularly those involving port and infrastructure development projects.
  • Advice on emerging climate change risks and liabilities in commercial transactions and industrial activities, including new regulatory considerations, tort liability, and citizen suit considerations.
Articles
Spring Cleaning Part 2 – Legal Considerations for Business
Ah yes, hope is in the air as we turn the corner on winter and approach spring.  This year more than most, hope is riding on a wave of vaccinations that promises to break the grip of uncertainty that COVID has had on our daily lives.  Businesses in particular, many ...
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What’s Old is New Again – DOJ Returns to Pre-Trump Administration Environmental Policies
On January 20, 2021, President Biden issued Executive Order (“EO”) 13,990, an expansive directive which resets the Federal Government’s vision for implementing nearly the entire gamut of environmental programs, including the Government’s approach to the incorporation of science in decision-making; public health; air, water, and chemical regulation; enforcement; environmental justice; ...
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DEQ Releases Draft Climate Change Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area Management Regulations
On January 21, 2021, the State Water Control Board (“Board”) published draft amendments to the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area Designation and Management Regulations that would require localities to incorporate coastal resilience and climate change adaptation into local land use ordinances.  This draft regulation implements amendments to the Chesapeake Bay Preservation ...
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