Joe is an Associate at Lewis Glasser PLLC in Charleston, West Virginia. His practice focuses on energy and natural resources law, environmental law, condemnation law, legislation, rule-making and litigation with an emphasis in oil and gas, highway and pipeline condemnation, mining and quarrying and all matters of local, state and federal environmental regulation, policy, permitting, compliance and enforcement. He was recently recognized in the 25th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America in the practice areas of energy law, environmental law and oil and gas law.
He has extensive legislative and regulatory experience having previously served as Senior Counsel for the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (“WVDEP”) and as Counsel to the West Virginia Senate Committees on Energy, Industry and Mining and Transportation and Infrastructure during the 2011 Legislative Session. During his tenure at the Senate and WVDEP, he was actively involved in the drafting of the W. Va. Horizontal Well Act and its rules, as well as other regulatory acts and rules. While at WVDEP, he prepared and filed on behalf of the Interstate Mining Compact Commission, WVDEP, the Commonwealth of Virginia and the State of Alaska an amicus brief in the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. He is also familiar with federal criminal law after serving for several years as a CJA attorney for the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia representing indigent defendants. He began his legal career as a law clerk to the Honorable H. L. Kirkpatrick III, Circuit Judge of Raleigh County, West Virginia.
Joe attended Concord College (now University) in Athens, West Virginia where he received his undergraduate degrees, summa cum laude, in Biology (B.S.) and Geography (B.A.). He then obtained his law degree (J.D.) from the University of Oregon School of Law earning a certificate in environmental and natural resources law. While in law school, he was a negotiation and mediation teaching assistant, served as co-director of the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference, was active in student government and the ABA and attended the University of Notre Dame’s summer London program taking classes in jurisprudence, European Union law and international human rights.
His additional legislative, regulatory and litigation experience includes:
- Representing West Virginia Division of Highways in complex condemnation matters that include the condemnation of businesses and mineral interests;
- Monitoring and summarizing for clients, trade organizations and professional organizations current litigation, legislative and regulatory developments involving oil and gas production and midstream operations, eminent domain and environmental regulation;
- Monitoring floodplain ordinances and permit issues for oil and gas clients and successfully defending the first citizen challenge before a county commission to a floodplain permit issued to an oil and gas operator;
- Successfully defending a challenge to the State’s notice, comment and appeal procedures for surface owners with regards to the issuance of oil and natural gas well permits before the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia. Martin v. Hamblet, No. 11-1157, 2012 W.Va. LEXIS 904 (W. Va. Nov. 21, 2012);
- Successfully defending and prosecuting challenges to NPDES and SMCRA permits issued by WVDEP;
- Successfully addressing coal industry objections to oil and gas operations; and
- Successfully assisting clients with navigating the myriad of local, state and federal environmental and safety requirements.
Joe’s ability to summarize and distill complicated regulatory matters for his clients has led him to be a frequent presenter on environmental regulation in West Virginia. Some of his presentations include:
- Pipelines 101, Real Estate & Land Use, WVCLE, WVU College of Law, Morgantown, W. Va., Sept. 7, 2018.
- Update on Regulatory Issues in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, Panel Presenter for West Virginia, 9th Law of Shale Plays Conference, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Sept. 5, 2018.
- Understanding the Requirements of the Floodplain Ordinance, WVU College of Law, Mountain State Land Use Academy, Stonewall Resort, W. Va., May 3, 2017.
- Pipelines 101, Shale Gas Law, WVCLE, WVU College of Law, Morgantown, W. Va., Nov. 18, 2016.
- Planning for the Oil & Gas Boom & Bust, WVU College of Law, Mountain State Land Use Academy, The Resort at Glade Springs, W. Va., May 4, 2016.
- Litigation and Regulatory Update, Shale Gas Law, WVCLE, WVU College of Law, Morgantown, W. Va., Nov. 14, 2015.
- Coal Law Update, 36th Annual Institute, EMLF, Amelia Island, Fla., June 23, 2015.
- W. Va.’s New Aboveground Storage Tank Act & Its Ramifications on Oil and Gas Development, Shale Gas Law, WVCLE, WVU College of Law, Morgantown, W. Va., Sept. 19, 2014.
- Who’s the Fracking Boss? The Struggle and Tension Created by Municipal, State and Federal Government Regulation of Hydraulic Fracturing, ABA Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law, Webinar, Dec. 4, 2013.
Joe has also provided commentary and analysis on bills impacting environmental regulation for LexisNexis’s West Virginia Legislative Review Service for 2014 and 2015, which included the passage of the 2014 Aboveground Storage Tank Act and it’s subsequent, significant amendment in 2015.
In addition to preparing materials for his presentations, Joe has authored and edited the following for the ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources’ national publications:
- Mining and Mineral Extraction 2017 Annual Report, Environment, Energy, and Resources Law: The Year in Review 2017 (Joseph L. Jenkins ed., ABA SEER 2018)
- Supreme Court won’t allow Gold King Mine to flood its original docket, 49 Trends 1 (ABA SEER Sept./Oct. 2017).
- Mining and Mineral Extraction 2015 Annual Report, Environment, Energy, and Resources Law: The Year in Review 2015 (with Michael R. McCarthy) (Joseph L. Jenkins & Michael R. McCarthy eds., ABA SEER 2016)
- Mining and Mineral Extraction 2014 Annual Report, Environment, Energy, and Resources Law: The Year in Review 2014 (with Michael W. Young & Lauren Reber) (Joseph L. Jenkins & Michael W. Young eds., ABA SEER 2015).
- Never let a serious crisis go to waste? West Virginia decides to plug the hole in regulation of aboveground storage tanks, 45 Trends 6 (ABA SEER July/Aug. 2014) (Updated as Troubled Waters: West Virginia plugs a hole in the regulation of aboveground storage tanks, The W. Va. Lawyer, Oct. – Dec. 2014, at 36).
- Mining and Mineral Extraction 2013 Annual Report, Environment, Energy, and Resources Law: The Year in Review 2013 (with Michael W. Young, Michael McCarthy & Susan L. Stephens) (Joseph L. Jenkins & Michael W. Young eds., ABA SEER 2014).
- Mining and Mineral Extraction 2012 Annual Report, Environment, Energy, and Resources Law: The Year in Review 2012 (with Michael W. Young, Susan L. Stephens & Timothy M. Riley) (Joseph L. Jenkins & Michael W. Young eds., ABA SEER 2013).
For four years he served as The Year in Review Vice Chair for the Mining and Mineral Extraction Committee of the ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources and for 2016-2018 he is serving as Chair of the Mining and Mineral Extraction Committee. He was also selected to participate in the Section’s prestigious 2013-2014 Leadership Development Program.
Joe currently serves as the Chair of the Waste Subcommittee, Environment Committee, West Virginia Chamber of Commerce. He is a member of the W. Va. Oil and Natural Gas Association’s Environmental Committee and the Energy & Mineral Law Foundation. He coauthored the following for the Energy & Mineral Law Foundation’s Annual Institute:
- Recent Developments in the Law and Regulation of Oil and Gas Pipeline Infrastructure, 38 Energy & Min. L. Inst. 25 (2017) (with Ramonda C. Lyons & Angela Ramsey).
He is a member of the board and serves as treasurer for the Mountaineer Montessori School in Charleston, West Virginia and volunteers as a Neighborhood Assistance Officer with the Charleston Police Department.
Joe is licensed to practice in West Virginia, the United States District Courts for the Southern and Northern Districts of West Virginia, the United States Courts of Appeals for the Fourth and Tenth Circuits and the Supreme Court of the United States.