Vanessa’s legal practice consists of environmental compliance counseling and environmental litigation work.

Vanessa has wide-ranging environmental law experience, including handling matters involving hazardous waste, RCRA, CERCLA, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, OSHA, and state and federal wetland development and mitigation issues. She also has experience in property acquisition involving environmental concerns, which includes contract review and drafting, the allocation of liabilities created by environmental issues, and management of environmental due diligence.

In addition to experience in private practice, Vanessa was a founder and co-owner of The Wetlands Company LLC. Its mission was to develop wetland creation and restoration projects for purposes of wetland mitigation. Vanessa also served as the Director of Regulatory Affairs and Operations for the Agriculture & Turf division of National Carbon Technologies. Vanessa’s extensive environment-related business experience enables her to bring a practical, business-centric approach to handling environmental law matters.



  • Advises businesses on compliance with environmental regulations including those involving hazardous waste, stormwater and wastewater discharges, and occupational health and safety.
  • Oversees cleanup actions for contaminated sites.
  • Drafts environmental liabilities sections of real estate transaction agreements.
  • Represents clients in enforcement actions under the federal and Minnesota occupational safety and health acts.



  • University of Iowa College of Law, J.D., 1996
  • University of Northern Iowa, B.A., 1993, high honors


  • Minnesota, 1996
  • U.S. District Court, 2022


  • Order of the Coif

Civic & Professional

Professional Activities 

  • The Michelle Project, Vice President/Board Member, 2001-2010

News & Insights

Speaking Engagements

Publications & Presentations

Author, "The Supreme Court Declines to Take Up CERCLA Contribution Limitations Case," Bench & Bar of Minnesota, Minnesota State Bar Association, January/February 2024

Co-Author, "Recent State and Federal Actions to Address PFAS," Bench & Bar of Minnesota, Minnesota State Bar Association, October 2023

Author, “EPA Takes Several Actions Towards Further Regulation of PFAS,” Bench & Bar of Minnesota, Minnesota State Bar Association, March 2023

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