25 Years Of Practice

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Philip J. Schworer

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Practice Areas:

  • Environmental Regulatory Compliance
  • Environmental Litigation


Phil has over 40 years of environmental law and consulting experience. He applies his technical education in science and environment to identify and execute novel approaches to environmental regulatory compliance and litigation.

Advocacy: Phil advocates for changes to environmental regulatory programs related to air emissions, water discharges, waste management and disposal, underground storage tanks and community right-to-know reporting. For example, Phil recently convinced the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) and Kentucky Environmental Protection Cabinet that the Reformulated Gasoline (RFG) regulation imposed on the northern counties of Kentucky was obsolete and not consistent with the Clean Air Act. The removal of the regulation resulted in an immediate 40 cent per gallon reduction in the cost of gasoline with no negative impact on air quality.

Risk assessment: Phil assists clients in conducting risk assessments, required by U.S. EPA as a condition to the issuance of a permit to operate. For example, Phil prevailed in the U.S. EPA administrative court on behalf of a manufacturing client that faced unprecedented restrictions on operating capacity. U.S. EPA Region V performed a risk assessment on mercury emissions to justify the restrictions. Phil coordinated an independent risk assessment that demonstrated serious shortcomings in Region V's work. When Region V refused to correct the shortcomings, Phil took the matter up with U.S. EPA headquarters in Washington, D.C. Following extensive administrative litigation, including oral argument before a three-judge panel, U.S. EPA headquarters agreed with Phil's position and mandated that Region V remove the restriction on operating capacity.

Compliance auditing and transactional due diligence: Phil assists clients in reducing risk and financial losses arising from environmental law violations. Phil conducts compliance audits of manufacturing operations to assist in client self-assessment and review of operations prior to acquisition. Phil has been performing compliance audits for 35 years.

Environmental litigation: Phil represents clients in federal and state litigation arising from environmental exposures to asbestos, noise, vibration, Legionnaires' disease, heavy metals (chromium, lead and mercury), and chemicals (benzene, dioxin and polychlorinated biphenyls).

Counseling: Phil helps clients understand the product disclosure and labeling requirements, including California's Prop 65; the European Union's Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulations; and the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive.


  • Northern Kentucky University, Salmon P. Chase College of Law, Highland Heights, Kentucky
    • J.D. - 1986
    • Honors: Order of the Curia
  • Northern Kentucky University, Salmon P. Chase College of Law, Highland Heights, Kentucky
    • Doctor of Laws, LL.D. (h.c.) - 2009
  • University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio
    • B.S. - 1977
    • Major: Biology
  • University of Cincinnati College of Engineering, Cincinnati, Ohio
    • Chemical Engineering - 1978
  • University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio
    • M.S. - 1980
    • Major: Environmental Sciences

Bar Admissions

  • Ohio, 1986
  • Kentucky, 1987
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Ohio, 1986
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit, 1997
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Kentucky
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Kentucky
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Professional Associations

  • Kentucky Bar Association, Member
  • Northern Kentucky Bar Association, Member
  • Ohio State Bar Association, Member
  • Cincinnati Bar Association, President, 2008 to 2009
  • Cincinnati Bar Association, President Elect, 2007 to 2008
  • Cincinnati Bar Association, Former Chairman, Environmental Law Committee, 1985
  • Cincinnati Bar Association, Former Member, Committee on Committees on CLE Committee
  • Environmental Auditing Roundtable, Member
  • American Bar Association, Member
  • Bureau of Environmental Auditors Certification
  • Redwood Rehabilitation Center, Board of Directors
  • Redwood Rehabilitation Center, Chairman, Development Council
  • Cincinnati Bar Association, Board of Trustees, 2003
  • Leadership Northern Kentucky, Alumni Association
  • Leadership Kentucky, Board of Directors
  • Northern Kentucky United Way Campaign, Chairman, 2001 to 2001
  • Northern Kentucky United Way Campaign, Vice Chairman, 2000 to 2000
  • Northern Kentucky United Way Campaign, Cabinet, Division Leader, 1999 to 1999
  • Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Member, Board of Directors
  • Leadership Cincinnati, Class XXIII
  • Cincinnati Academy of Leadership for Lawyers, Class III
  • St. Elizabeth Medical Center Foundation, Board and Executive Committee Member
  • Northern Kentucky University Partnerships Study Program, Chairman, Chase College of Law Committee
  • Cincinnati Bar Association, Vice President, 2006 to 2007
  • Cincinnati Bar Association, Secretary, 2005 to 2006
  • Cincinnati Bar Association

Local & National Recognition

  • The Best Lawyers in America for Environmental Law and Litigation, 2006 – Present and Lawyer of the Year, 2018
  • AV Rated, Martindale Hubbell
  • Ohio Super Lawyer
  • "Cincy Leading Lawyer" by Cincinnati Business Magazine
  • Chambers USA for Environment, Natural Resources & Utilities
  • Kentucky Super Lawyer

Classes & Seminars

  • Lecturer, Environmental Auditing Roundtable
  • "Environmental Auditing", Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce
  • "Air Emission Permitting Issues for Manufacturing Facility Expansion Projects", Cincinnati Bar Association, 1986 to 1986
  • "Emission Permit Issues", Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce, 1986 to 1986
  • "Radon Emission Issues", Air Pollution Control Association, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1986 to 1986
  • "Community Right-To-Know Requirements", Cincinnati Bar Association
  • "Asbestos Regulations", Executive Enterprises, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1988 to 1988
  • "Air Pollutants and Industrial Regulations", Better Breathers Club of St. Elizabeth Medical Center, Edgewood, Kentucky, 1988 to 1988
  • "Environmental Law", Salmon P. Chase College of Law, Highland Heights, Kentucky, 1988 to 1988
  • "Environmental Law", Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, 1988 to 1988
  • "Superfund Liability Issues", Cincinnati Paralegal Group, 1989 to 1989
  • Environmental Due Diligence During the Sale or Purchase of Property, Automotive Recyclers Association, 09/27/2006 to 09/27/2006
  • Environmental Audits Under KY Law/RCRA: Overview of Laws & Regulations/CERCLA: Management by the Book, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, 05/23/2006 to 05/24/2006
  • Current Environmental Issues In Real Estate (including updates on Mold, Environmental Due Diligence and Brownfield Redevelopment), Cincinnati Bar Association, 2005 to 2005
  • Environmental Crimes: Avoiding Personal Liability for Environmental Law Violations, 2004 to 2004
  • Update on Environmental Litigation and Enforcement, 2004 to 2004
  • Overview of US EPA and Ohio EPA Audit Disclosure Requirements, Ohio Spill & Prevention Emergency Response Conference, 2004 to 2004
  • Identifying Environmental Issues for Non-Environmental Lawyers, Kentucky Bar Association, 2002 to 2002
  • Global Risk Management, Ecole Normale Superieure De Cachan Research Group in Risk, Information and Decision, Northern Kentucky University, 2002 to 2002
  • Issues In Environmental Transactions, Kentucky Bar Association, 2002 to 2002
  • Kentucky OSHA Regulations: Does Your Construction Site Comply? - Environmental Law Issues In Construction, 2001 to 2001
  • The Impact of EU's REACH Legislation on U.S. Industries, Cincinnati Bar Association, 2007 to 2007

Published Works

  • "Problems Arising from the Creation of a Computer-Based Litigation Support System", Northern Kentucky Law Review, Vol. 14, pg. 263
  • "Environmental Problems and Their Effect on Lending Institutions", Northern Kentucky Law Review, Vol. 18, pg. 175
  • "Overview of Brownfield Redevelopment Initiatives: A Renaissance in the Traditional Command and Control Approach to Environmental Protection", Northern Kentucky Law Review, Vol. 25, pg. 29
  • "A Manual Method for TRS Determination", Journal of Air Pollution Control Association, 35:1280-1286, 1985
  • "Method 16A-Determination of Total Reduced Sulfur Emissions from Stationary Sources (Impinger Technique)", 40 CFR 60, Appendix A
  • "Method 15A-Determination of Total Reduced Sulfur Emissions from Sulfur Recovery Plants in Petroleum Refineries", 40 CFR 60, Appendix A
  • "Mold: The New Frontier for Environmental Law", CBA Report Cincinnati Bar Association, December, 2001
  • General Circulation Journal Articles on Environmental-Law Related Issues
  • "Method 16A-Determination of Total Reduced Sulfur Emissions from Stationary Sources (Impinger Technique)", 40 CFR 60, Appendix A
  • Underground Storage Tank Liability, June, 2008
  • European Union’s New REACH Environmental Legislation Will Significantly Impact U.S. Companies, December, 2007
  • European Union’s New REACH Legislation, March, 2008
  • Will the European Union’s new REACH Environmental Legislation Significantly Impact U.S. Companies?, December, 2007

Certified Legal Specialties

  • Certified Professional Environmental Auditor, Environmental Compliance, Board of Environmental Auditor Certification

Pro-Bono Activities

  • Leadership Cincinnati Alumni Association, President, 2008
  • Leadership Cincinnati Alumni Association, President-Elect, 2007
  • Leadership Cincinnati Alumni Association, Graduate, Class XXIII
  • Leadership Northern Kentucky Alumni Association, President of the Board (Former), 1997
  • Leadership Northern Kentucky Alumni Association, Graduate, Class of 1990-1991, 1990 to 1991
  • Redwood Rehabilitation Center (Ft. Mitchell, Kentucky), Board of Directors, 1997
  • Redwood Rehabilitation Center (Ft. Mitchell, Kentucky), Chairman, Development Council
  • Redwood Rehabilitation Center (Ft. Mitchell, Kentucky), Chairman
  • Northern Kentucky United Way Campaign, Chairman, 2001
  • Northern Kentucky United Way Campaign, Vice Chairman, 2000
  • Northern Kentucky United Way Campaign, Division Leader, 1999
  • Northern Kentucky United Way Campaign, Campaign Volunteer, 1997
  • Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors, 1993 to 1999
  • Just the Beginning Foundation ("JTBF"), Conference Executive Committee, 2006
  • Just the Beginning Foundation ("JTBF"), Chair, Development Committee
  • JTBF 2008 Conference, Washington D.C., Vice-Chairman Development Committee, 2008

Representative Cases

  • Ohio v. Westinghouse Naval Systems Division
  • Confidential Industrial Clients
  • USEPA v. Borden
  • Pristine Superfund Site
  • State of Ohio v. Johnson & Hardin
  • State of Ohio v. Standard Publishing
  • In Re: A&B Foundary
  • State of Ohio v. Cincinnati Incorporated Equivalent
  • In the matter of: Westinghouse Electric
  • State of Ohio v. Rainbow Car Wash

Current Employment Position

  • Attorney