JOHN M. HEYDE’S practice includes civil and administrative litigation concerning various federal environmental statutes, with an emphasis on contaminated waterbodies and other sites and complex scientific issues. John has also provided regulatory advice, especially regarding the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, and assisted with internal investigations and environmental audits.
Mr. Heyde has represented several clients in complex cases arising from contaminated river and bay sediment, advocating client positions on scientific issues such as the toxicity of environmental contaminants, the fate and transport of contaminated sediment, and the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of various alternatives for managing sediment. Mr. Heyde has also counseled clients in risk-based corrective actions and in natural resource damages matters.
Mr. Heyde’s litigation experience includes cases in federal and state courts arising from environmental contamination, including Superfund, citizen suits under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and various state-law claims.
Of Particular Interest
Prior to his legal career, Mr. Heyde was the environmental policy director for the Council of Great Lakes Governors, an association of the eight Great Lakes state governors. In that role, Mr. Heyde negotiated a government-industry partnership to prevent oil spills. Mr. Heyde has given numerous presentations at professional seminars on hazardous substance policy issues and hazardous release reporting requirements. Mr. Heyde first addressed natural resource damages issues in a law review comment entitled, “Is Contingent Valuation Worth the Trouble?” (62 U. Chi. L. Rev. 331)
- Assisting a former paper manufacturer in responding to Superfund cleanup and natural resource damages claims arising from contaminated sediment in a 40-mile stretch of a major Wisconsin river.
- Defending a major oil company in state and federal lawsuits arising from releases of hydrocarbons from underground storage tanks at service stations in the Chicago area.
- Defended a major chemical company in a RCRA citizen suit by two environmental groups seeking cleanup of a major New England river and bay system.
- Negotiated enforcement of an indemnity for a client that resulted in a “cash-out” settlement at a major contaminated sediment Superfund site for no cost to the client.
- Conducted an internal investigation of alleged air permitting violations for a manufacturing client.
- Assisted in an internal investigation of alleged hazardous substance release reporting violations for a manufacturing client.
- Represented numerous clients at Superfund sites, including defending cost allocation lawsuits and participating in groups of potentially responsible parties.
Admissions & Certifications
- U.S. Court of Appeals, 1st Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit
- U.S. District Court, N.D. of Illinois - General
- U.S. District Court, C.D. of Illinois
- U.S. District Court, W.D. of Michigan
- U.S. District Court, E.D. of Wisconsin
- The University of Chicago Law School, J.D., 1995 (with high honors)
- Harvard University, A.B., 1988 (magna cum laude)