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Donald M. Snemis is a partner in Ice Miller’s Environmental, Natural Resources and Toxic Tort Group.  

Donald M. Snemis concentrates his practice on environmental compliance, environmental litigation and business litigation. Don joined Ice Miller in 1988 and focused his practice on litigation and environmental law. He represented companies, municipalities and citizens in state and federal courts across the country on various business and environmental issues including complex business disputes, the cleanup of historical water and soil contamination, accidental releases of contamination, property transfers, leaking underground storage tanks, cost recovery actions, brownfields redevelopment and toxic torts. Don entered public service in 2014. He first served as commissioner of the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles and then as special counsel for the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration. He joined the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) as general counsel in June of 2015 and assumed the additional duties of deputy chief of staff a few months later. While at IDEM, Don served as the agency’s chief legal counsel and managed the Office of Legal Counsel, including its 15 staff attorneys. In addition, Don managed the Rules Branch, Office of Criminal Investigations and Office of Records Management.

Watch our environmental video here.

Don has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America and as an “Indiana Super Lawyer.” He holds an “AV-Preeminent” peer review rating from Martindale-Hubbell

In January of 2017, Don rejoined Ice Miller and continued to develop his practice. Don is also an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Indiana University McKinney School of Law, where he teaches environmental law. He is a frequent speaker on a wide range of environmental topics and serves as a member of the Indianapolis Bar Association's Environmental Law Section Executive Committee. 

Environmental law is a complex system of state and federal statutes, rules, reported decisions, guidance documents and policies. Over the course of his career, Don has developed significant experience in many areas of environmental law, including:
 
  • Brownfields remediation and redevelopment, including issues related to soil contamination, groundwater contamination and vapor intrusion
  • Leaking underground storage tanks (LUSTs) and Indiana's Excess Liability Trust Fund (ELTF)
  • Cradle-to-grave hazardous waste management and issues arising under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)
  • Solid waste management, permitting, transportation, recycling, landfilling, legitimate use and other issues arising under state solid waste management plans and RCRA Subtitle D
  • U.S. EPA Superfund sites
  • Air emissions, permitting, compliance and other Clean Air Act issues
  • NPDES permits, storm water, industrial wastewater, wetlands, Waters of the United States, water quality certifications and other Clean Water Act issues
  • IDEM's Voluntary Remediation Program
  • IDEM's State Cleanup Program
  • Indiana Finance Authority's Brownfields Program
  • Asbestos exposure, compliance, remediation, handling, removal and contractor licensing
  • Violation letters, notices of violation, Agreed Orders and Commissioner's Orders issued by IDEM
  • Administrative review by Indiana's Office of Environmental Adjudication (OEA)
  • Long-term stewardship, including environmental restrictive covenants and ordinances
  • Tools for minimizing future environmental liabilities, including prospective purchase agreements, comfort letters, site status letters and no further action letters
  • Self-disclosures and environmental audits
  • Environmental inspections
  • Construction, permitting and management of combined feeding operations (CFOs) and concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs)
  • Coal combustion residuals, including CCR landfills and impoundments 
Reported and Representative Cases
  • Dillon v. Combs, 895 F.2d 1175 (7th Cir. 1990)
  • Loos v. Farmer's Tractor and Implement Company, 738 F.Supp. 323 (S.D. Ind. 1990)
  • Allied Resin Corporation v. Waltz, 574 N.E.2d 913 (Ind. 1991)
  • CSL Utilities, Inc. v. Jennings Water, Inc., 16 F.3d 130 (7th Cir. 1993)
  • Shewmaker v. Etter, 644 N.E.2d 922 (Ind. Ct. App. 1994)
  • Hammes v. Brumley, 659 N.E.2d 1021 (Ind. 1995)
  • Belford v. McHale, Cook & Welch, 648 N.E.2d 1241 (Ind. Ct. App. 1995)
  • In re Commercial Explosives Litigation, 1996 WL 795270 (D. Utah 1996)
  • Holtz v. Hilliard, 1 F.Supp.2d 887 (S.D. Ind. 1998)
  • Lenhardt Tool & Die Company, Inc. v. Lumpe, 722 N.E.2d 824 (Ind. 2000)
  • Zurich­American Ins. Group v. Wynkoop, 746 N.E.2d 985 (Ind. Ct. App. 2001)
  • United Consulting Engineers v. Board of Commissioners of Hancock  County, 810 N.E.2d 351 (Ind. Ct. App. 2004)
  • Energy Plus Consulting, LLC v. Illinois Fuel Company, LLC and Appalachian Fuels, LLC, 371 F.3d 907 (7th Cir. 2004)
  • RWJ Companies, Inc. v. Equilon Enterprises, LLC, 2005 WL 3544295 (S.D. Ind. 2005)
  • Moran Foods, Inc. v. Mid­Atlantic Market Development Co., LLC, 2005 WL 2136363 (N.D. Ind. 2005), reversed by 476 F.3d 436 (7th Cir. 2007)
  • Hartford Fire Ins. Co. v. Guide Corp., 2005 WL 675406 (S.D. Ind. 2005)
  • Al Perry Enterprises, Inc. v. Appalachian Fuels, LLC, 2006 WL 3138720 (E.D. Ky. 2006), affirmed by 503 F.3d 538 (6th Cir. 2007)
  • Riehle v. JDM Infrastructure, LLC, 2006 WL 1043991 (N.D. Ind. 2006)
  • Moran Foods, Inc. v. Mid­Atlantic Market Development Co., LLC, 2007 WL 1662668 (N.D. Ind. 2007)
  • Illiana Surgery and Medical Center LLC v. Hartford Fire Ins. Co., 2008 WL 4976211 (N.D. Ind. 2008)
  • Illiana Surgery and Medical Center LLC v. Hartford Fire Ins. Co., 2008 WL 2622803 (N.D. Ind. 2008)
  • McManaway v. KBR, Inc., 2009 WL 807641 (S.D. Ind. 2009)
  • McManaway v. KBR, Inc., 2009 WL 724599 (S.D. Ind. 2009)
  • Illiana Surgery & Med. Ctr. LLC v. Hartford Fire Ins. Co., 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 122827 (N.D. Ind. 2010)
  • Illiana Surgery & Med. Ctr. LLC v. Hartford Fire Ins. Co., 2011 U.S. Dist LEXIS 26167 (N.D. Ind. 2011)
  • Illiana Surgery & Med. Ctr. LLC v. Hartford Fire Ins. Co., 2011 U.S. Dist LEXIS 26169 (N.D. Ind. 2011)
  • Illiana Surgery & Med. Ctr. LLC v. Hartford Fire Ins. Co., 2011 U.S. Dist LEXIS 99322 (N.D. Ind. 2011)
  • Illiana Surgery & Med. Ctr. LLC v. Hartford Fire Ins. Co., 2011 U.S. Dist LEXIS 99330 (N.D. Ind. 2011)
  • Smith Barney v. StoneMor Operating, LLC, 953 N.E.2d 554 (Ind. Ct. App. 2011), clarified on reconsideration by 959 N.E.2d 309 (Ind. Ct. App. 2011), transferred denied, 967 N.E.2d 1036 (Ind. 2012), cert. denied 133 S.Ct. 758
  • (2012)
  • Goldberg v. Farno, 953 N.E.2d 1244 (Ind. Ct. App. 2011)
  • Farno v. Ansure Mortuaries of Indiana, LLC, 953 N.E.2d 1253 (Ind. Ct. App. 2011)
  • Illiana Surgery & Med. Ctr. LLC v. Hartford Fire Ins. Co., 2012 U.S. Dist LEXIS 30128 (N.D. Ind. 2012)
  • Illiana Surgery & Med. Ctr. LLC v. Hartford Fire Ins. Co., 2012 U.S. Dist LEXIS 112015 (N.D. Ind. 2012)
  • Illiana Surgery & Med. Ctr. LLC v. Hartford Fire Ins. Co., 2012 U.S. Dist LEXIS 133899 (N.D. Ind. 2012)
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Speaking Engagements
  • June 2 & 4, 2020:  “Survival Tips for Environmental Inspections,” Environmental Law Section, Indianapolis Bar Association
  • March 6, 2020: "Infrastructure and Resource Planning," Panelist, IU McKinney School of Law Annual Environmental and Natural Resources Law Symposium
  • October 9, 2019: "PFAS:  Federal and State Regulatory Efforts," 2019 Indiana Chamber of Commerce Environmental Law Conference
  • April 16, 2019: "Self-Disclosure and Environmental Audit Policies," Environmental Law Section, Indianapolis Bar Association
  • March 22, 2019: Co-Chair, "Environmental Resilience: The Legal and Policy Landscape," 10th Annual Environmental, Energy & Natural Resources Law Symposium, Indiana University McKinney School of Law
  • November 12, 2018: "What to Do When an Inspector Shows Up," Ice Miller Environmental Grow Futures Webinar Series
  • November 5, 2018: "The Responsible Corporate Officer Doctrine and EHS Personnel," Ice Miller Environmental Grow Futures Webinar Series 
  • October 23, 2018: "Climate Change and Indiana: Implications for Hoosiers and the Current Legal Landscape," 2018 Indiana Chamber of Commerce Environmental Conference
  • September 27, 2018: "Volkswagen Settlement and the Opportunity for Transformative Projects," 2018 Indiana Energy Association Conference
  • June 28, 2018: "Environmental Cost Recovery Claims," Council of Development Finance Agencies' Brownfields Technical Assistance Program
  • October 24, 2017: "Protecting Corporate Officials from Personal Liability for Environmental Violations - The Responsible Corporate Official Doctrine," Indiana Chamber of Commerce Environmental Conference
  • September 29, 2017: "CCR in Indiana: Perspectives from Regulators and Industry," 2017 Indiana Energy Association Energy Conference
  • March 31, 2017: "From Brownfields to Greenfields in Indiana" panel, Ninth Annual Environment, Energy & Natural Resources Symposium, presented by the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law
  • December 8, 2016: "IDEM’s Office of Legal Counsel 2016 Update," Indiana Chapter, Air and Waste Management Association (AWMA), 15th Annual Winter Technical Meeting
  • November 2, 2016: "Latest Developments at IDEM," Midwestern Environmental Compliance Conference (MECC)
  • October 27, 2016: "State Perspectives on Environmental Law," Indiana Industrial Energy Consumers, Inc. (INDIEC), Indiana Energy Conference
  • October 6, 2016: "Hot Topics in Environmental Law," Indiana Energy Association (IEA) Conference
  • September 1, 2016: "The Waters of the United States Rule: Litigation Status and Practical Effects," Indiana State Bar Association, Environmental Law CLE
  • March 22, 2016: "Current Trends in Indiana’s Environmental Enforcement," 25th Annual Business and Industry’s Sustainability and Environmental Health and Safety Symposium
  • December 15, 2015: "How Changes in the Marion Superior Court and IDEM Will Affect Your Environmental Law Practice," Indianapolis Bar Association
  • December 10, 2015: "IDEM’s Office of Legal Counsel 2015 Update," Indiana Chapter, Air and Waste Management Association (AWMA), 14th Annual Winter Technical Meeting
  • October 27, 2015: "IDEM’s Self Disclosure Policy and Its Application to Title V Permittees," 2015 Indiana Chamber’s Indiana Environmental Conference
  • October 23, 2015: "Legal Liability and Solutions to Manage Long Term Stewardship," Midwestern States Environmental Consultants Association (MSECA) Fall Seminar
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