Terrence S. Finn


222 South Main Street
Akron, OH 44308
P 330.849.6605
F 330.376.4577
E tfinn@ralaw.com

Terrence S. Finn


Phone: (330) 849-6605
Fax: (330) 376-4577
Email: tfinn@ralaw.com

Mr. Finn focuses his practice on environmental compliance counseling and environmental litigation in administrative, state, and federal forums, representing both public and private sector clients on a wide range of environmental issues. He has defended clients in environmental enforcement actions brought by both state and federal agencies, and prosecuted administrative appeals before the Ohio Environmental Review Appeals Commission. He has extensive experience in brownfield clean-up and redevelopment projects, as well as a variety of environmental permitting matters, including NPDES, wetland, storm water, Clean Air Act, solid waste and hazardous waste matters.

Mr. Finn's clients include major corporations, small closely held businesses, national retailers, developers and municipalities. He was formerly an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Ohio, assigned to the Environmental Enforcement Section.

Representative Matters

  • Successfully negotiated two federal consent decrees for two separate district steam generating systems to resolve NSR / PSD claims under the federal Clean Air Act
  • Ongoing representation of district heating systems on Clean Air Act Title V permitting issues at two separate facilities
  • Representation of large manufacturer in defense of enforcement action brought by Ohio EPA over alleged violations of the facility’s Clean Air Act Title V permit, and negotiation of settlement
  • Represented a major petroleum pipeline company on the permitting requirements under Sections 404 and 401 of the Clean Water Act for a 149-mile pipeline project
  • Represented a county port authority in obtaining a $3 million grant under the Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund, and a $2 million grant/loan under the Brownfield Revolving Loan Fund to assist in funding environmental remediation activities that were part of a major development project in Northeast Ohio, representation included addressing legal issues to obtain a cleanup under Ohio’s Voluntary Action Program, and the negotiations of the environmental provisions of the sales and lease agreements
  • Prosecuted successful action under CERCLA and Ohio's Voluntary Action Program on behalf of shopping plaza owners to recover the cleanup costs incurred in responding to the contamination from historic dry cleaning operations; obtained favorable settlement after successfully defending a motion for summary judgment and obtained Covenant Not-to-Sue from Ohio EPA on behalf of owners
  • Retained by the State of Ohio to serve as Special Counsel for the purpose of negotiating a judicially enforceable Consent Order which resulted in the implementation of the approved remedy at a major municipal and industrial landfill in Toledo, Ohio
  • Represented a large municipality in solid waste landfill enforcement action initiated by the State of Ohio; as part of representation, persuaded the Court of Common Pleas and the Court of Appeals to deny motion to intervene filed by neighboring community and, thus, affirm the amicable settlement entered into with the State of Ohio
  • Ongoing representation of large Ohio municipality on the development and eventual implementation of a long-term control plan to address combined sewer overflows; representation includes negotiations with the Ohio EPA and U.S. EPA
  • Represented a large Ohio municipality on 404/401 permitting of major roadway involving impacts to streams and wetlands
  • Defended an environmental contractor in lawsuit alleging negligence in the response to a release from a petroleum underground storage tank; obtained favorable settlement after briefing the court on summary judgment
  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of national supplier of chemicals in lawsuit involving permanent eye injury resulting from a hydrogen peroxide drum explosion
  • Advised a national retail company on Ohio Voluntary Action Program requirements and implementation of the same at three different brownfield sites; representation included obtaining new and modified Covenants Not-to-Sue and negotiating terms and conditions of operation and maintenance agreements
  • Represented Ohio municipality on acquisition and lease of a brownfield property from an international tire manufacturer. This property was used for manufacturing operations for over 70 years. Representation included due diligence, negotiation of environmental remediation agreement and negotiation of the environmental provisions of the purchase and sale agreement and lease agreement.
  • Represented large industrial manufacturer on environmental audits of multiple facilities located in four states. Representation included disclosures under U.S. EPA’s and Ohio's audit policies
  • Representation of large manufacturer on obtaining CAA Title V permit
  • Represented commercial lender on loan to developer for the construction of student housing on a brownfield property. Representation included analysis of regulatory requirements and associated clean-up in order to avoid liability.


  • AV® Preeminent™ rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory
  • Named the Environmental Law "Lawyer of the Year" for Akron by The Best Lawyers in America© (2016 & 2018)
  • Named to The Best Lawyers in America© in the practice areas of Environmental Law (2006-2019); Litigation - Environmental (2012-2019)
  • Selected as an "Ohio Super Lawyer" by Ohio Super Lawyers magazine (2011-2014, 2017-2019)
  • Selected by Chambers USA "Leaders in their Field" for Natural Resources & Environmental Law, Ohio (2006-2018)
  • Ohio Assistant Attorney General, Environmental Enforcement Section (1988-96)
  • Engineer-in-Training Certification (1984-1994)


  • J.D., The University of Toledo College of Law
  • B.E., Youngstown State University, School of Engineering

Professional Affiliations

  • Akron Bar Association, Past Chairman of Real Estate & Environmental Law Committee
  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • National Brownfields Association, Past Chairman of the Ohio Chapter's Policy & Legislative Committee

Community Affiliations

  • Greenleaf Family Center, Member of Board of Trustees



  • "Regulatory and Consent Decree Issues in Combined Sewer Overflow Cases" - Northeast Ohio Lake & Rivers Conference (May 2016)
  • "Buying a Brownfield? How to Minimize Your Liability" - CREW Real Estate Forum (October 2015)
  • "Managing Environmental Risks and Liabilities in Commercial and Real Estate Transactions" - Roetzel's Executive & Corporate Counsel Forum (2014)
  • "Environmental Issues Related to Hydraulic Fracturing" - Hydraulic Fracturing - The Report: Separating Frack from Fiction, Ohio
  • "Water Management at Drilling Sites" - Ohio Wetlands Conference, Canton, Ohio
  • "Environmental Land Protection" - Ohio Wetlands Seminar, Beachwood, Ohio
  • "Legal and Regulatory Nutrient Control Requirements for POTWs" - Water Quality Nutrients Conference
  • "Ohio Environmental Enforcement Update" - Roetzel Corporate Counsel Forum
  • "Storm Water Regulatory Framework" - Half Moon
  • "The Restoration of Brownfields- How to Get It Done" - National Brownfield Association, Ohio Chapter
  • "Environmental Issues in Property Development" - National Business Institute
  • "Pollution Prevention and Waste Minimization for School Districts"
  • "Current Issues in Storm Water Regulation" - National Business Institute

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