Bill has practiced environmental law for nearly 30 years as a private practice attorney, as the leader of a global legal team for a multinational corporation and as an assistant attorney general.
Bill draws on this vast combination of corporate and government experience to advise a wide range of clients with environmental, health, safety and product stewardship (EHSPS) regulatory requirements and to defend those clients, when necessary, against federal and state enforcement actions.
Bill has represented businesses in the manufacturing, energy, mining and agribusiness industries. He helps achieve client goals with state and federal regulatory agencies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. He handles a wide range of permitting, compliance and enforcement matters arising under the Clean Air Act, including Title V and other air permits and compliance with New Source Review and National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants requirements. Bill also has extensive experience with issues arising under the Clean Water Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, the National Environmental Protection Act and their state equivalents. Bill has also helped develop and execute strategic initiatives to manage risk and to anticipate and respond to EHSPS statutory and regulatory developments.
Prior to joining Fredrikson, Bill served as vice president and associate general counsel of Environment, Health, Safety and Product Stewardship at 3M Corporation. Bill also served as an Assistant Attorney General in the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office, representing the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, before beginning twenty years of private practice. Bill has twice been named “Lawyer of the Year” for Environmental Law in Minneapolis by Best Lawyers and has frequently been named a Best Lawyer and Super Lawyer in Environmental Law.
Environmental Litigation and Enforcement
- Challenged and favorably resolved numerous federal and state enforcement actions alleging violations of Title V permits and other Clean Air Act-related requirements.
- Secured a nearly $10M settlement on behalf of a public university for decades-old contamination of its property.
- Obtained favorable first impression determinations from a state appellate court for client on the topics of regulation of groundwater by NPDES permit, the application of Class I water quality and wild rice sulfate standards to state groundwater.
- Successfully convinced an appellate court to overturn a state agency decision to issue itself a permit to lower a lake’s elevation. The court also determined the agency needed to obtain an NPDES permit to facilitate a discharge from one lake to another, a decision of first impression in the state.
- Filed an amicus brief on behalf of the state Chamber of Commerce in support of state agency and city respondents. Appellate court found in favor of respondents and overturned the district court’s determinations regarding the applicability of the state’s environmental rights act and the public trust doctrine to a citizen suit involving permitted groundwater appropriations.
Obtained dismissal by federal district court of attempt by a federal court to extend CERCLA operator liability to client because of actions by its subcontractor.
Negotiated resolution to potential National Historic Preservation Act Section 106 challenges between tribal officials, state agency and municipality to allow the latter to install sewer system in a way that avoided harm to sacred mounds.
- Provided legal advice and support to multinational project to test industrial and stormwater wastewater discharges and air stack emissions for parameters and at a frequency that exceeded permitting and regulatory requirements and to formulate permitting and mitigation responses to the results.
- Formulated, recruited and led global legal team providing counseling and support to multinational manufacturing company regarding its compliance with international EHSPS requirements under, e.g., CAA, CWA, CERCLA, RCRA, TSCA, OSHA, Prop 65, REACH and ROHS.
- University of Iowa College of Law, J.D., 1995, special honors with distinction
- University of Iowa Graduate College, M.A., 1995
- University of Iowa, B.A., 1991, special honors with distinction
- Minnesota, 1995
- U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, 1995
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, 1995
- “Lawyer of the Year” in Minneapolis for Environmental Law, Best Lawyers®, 2016, 2020
- Environmental Law, Best Lawyers in America, Best Lawyers®, 2013-2020
- Super Lawyer®, Environmental Law, 2004, 2008, 2015-2020
- AV Preeminent (Highest Ethical Standing), 5.0/5.0 Peer Ratings in areas of Legal Knowledge, Analytical Capability, Judgment, Communication and Legal Experience, Martindale-Hubbell®
Civic & Professional
- Minnesota Petroleum Tank Release Compensation Board, Member, 2014-2020
- Adjunct Professor, Environmental Law, Hamline University College of Law, 2011-2013
- Chair, 2007-2008; Vice-Chair, 2006-2007; Secretary, 2005-2006; Governing Council Member, 2000-2005; Environmental, Natural Resources and Energy Law Section, Minnesota State Bar Association, 2000-2007
- United States Army, Military Intelligence, Top Secret Security Clearance
- Children’s Law Center of Minnesota, Board Member, 2022-present
- Air and Waste Management Association-Upper Midwest Section, Director, Board of Directors, 2017-2020
- Lake Country School, Board of Trustees Member, 2011-2017; Secretary, 2012-2017; Governance Committee Chair, 2015-2017
- Sexual Violence Center, Governing Board Member, 2007-2011; Treasurer, 2009-2011
- Leadership Twin Cities, Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce, Co-Chair, 2006-2007; Planning Committee Member, 2005-2006, 2009-2011
News & Insights
Publications & Presentations
Co-presenter, “Environmental Compliance during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Agency Guidance and Industry Considerations," Air and Waste Management Association – Upper Midwest Section, April 2020
Co-presenter, “Supreme Court Harbingers and Legal Privileges,” Air and Waste Management Association – Upper Midwest Section, October 2019
Co-presenter, “Air Quality Monitoring in Minnesota: Regulatory Backdrop,” Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Environment and Natural Resources Policy Committee, Air Quality Subcommittee, May 2019
Co-presenter, “Managing Risk in the Title V Certification Process,” Air and Waste Management Association webinar, January 2018
“NSR Enforcement: Current Status and Potential Future,” CSWEA/AWMA-UMS Conference on the Environment, November 2017
Co-presenter, “Administrative Law for Environmental Professionals,” Air and Waste Management Association webinar, July 2017
Co-presenter, “Innovative Approach at Reducing Air Emissions in Northeast Minneapolis,” CSWEA/AWMA-UMS Conference on the Environment, November 2016
“Clean Air Act Case Law Update,” CSWEA/AWMA-UMS Conference on the Environment, November 2015
“Clarifying Title V Permit Condition Language and Compliance Certifications: Why Language and Documentation Matters,” Midwest Environmental Compliance Conference, October 2015
Co-presenter, “Everything You Wanted to Know About Legal Non-Compliance (But Were Afraid to Ask),” Air and Waste Management Association—Upper Midwest Section, September 2015
Co-presenter, “Getting to Yes: Working with Federal and State Regulators,” Minnesota Environmental Institute, April 2015
Co-presenter, “Legal Workshop on Current Developments in Environmental Law,” Air & Waste Management Association – Upper Midwest Section, August 2014
“Greenhouse Gas Regulations: Where Are We Now, Where Might We Be Going,” 28th Annual Conference on the Environment, CSWEA and A&WMA – UMS, November 2013
Co-presenter, “Recent Developments Regarding EPA’s NSR Enforcement Authority,” 28th Annual Conference on the Environment, CSWEA and A&WMA – UMS, November 2013
“Greenhouse Gas Policy and Regulation: A Look Ahead,” Greenhouse Gas Regulation and Reporting Workshop, Air & Waste Management Association – Upper Midwest Section, August 2013
Co-presenter, “Administrative Law Basics for Non-Lawyers,” Seminar, Air & Waste Management Association – Upper Midwest Section, September 2012
“Coalition for Responsible Regulation: Summary and Analysis of Oral Argument Before D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals,” Air & Waste Management Association – Upper Midwest Section, Board Meeting, April 2012
“Greenhouse Gas Regulations: Legal Update,” Greenhouse Gas Workshop, Air & Waste Management Association – Upper Midwest Section, July 2011
“American Electric Power Company: Challenging Greenhouse Gas Emissions Through Public Nuisance Claims,” Air & Waste Management Association – Upper Midwest Section, Board Meeting, February 2011
Co-author, Monthly column in Bench and Bar, Minnesota State Bar Association, 2000 to 2010
“Federal Wetlands Regulation: An Update,” Environmental Law Update 2007, Clarion Legal Services and Thomsen West, August 2007
“Hot Topics in Water Law” (Program Planning Committee and Presenter), Minnesota Environmental Law Institute, Minnesota State Bar Association and Minnesota CLE, Minneapolis, MN, April 2007
“Environmental Case Law, Regulatory and Legislative Update for Minnesota Practitioners” (Program Planning Committee and Presenter), Minnesota Environmental Law Institute, Minnesota State Bar Association and Minnesota CLE, Minneapolis, MN, April 2006
“Environmental Case Law Update” (Program Planning Committee and Presenter), Minnesota Environmental Law Institute, Minnesota State Bar Association and Minnesota CLE, Minneapolis, MN, April 2005
“The Homeland Security Act (and other Security-Related Laws of Interest to the Environmental Attorney),” Environmental Law Institute Conference 2003, Minnesota Institute for Legal Education
"Changing Environmental Laws In A Changed Environment: Terrorism-Related Bills With Environmental Components Before The Minnesota Legislature," MILE 2002 Environmental Law Update, Minnesota Institute for Legal Education
Co-presenter, “Governmental Immunities and Defenses,” Developing Land: Getting Local Governmental Approval, Minnesota CLE, 2002
"2002 Data Practices Act Legislative Update," MILE Data Practices Institute, Minnesota Institute for Legal Education
"Between a Federal Rock and a State Hard Place: Overfiling and Environmental Audit Privilege and Immunity Law Conflicts Between Governmental Entities," Environmental Law 2000, Minnesota Institute for Legal Education
Co-author, "DisHarmony in EPA’s Overfiling Policy," Natural Resources and Environment, American Bar Association, Vol. 15, No. 1, Summer 2000