Josh has more than 25 years experience litigating environmental cases in federal courts, at both the trial court and appellate levels. Since joining NELC in 1994, he has represented national, state, and local citizen groups in more than a dozen states in citizen enforcement suits against many of the largest corporations and biggest polluters in the country. Josh oversees and is involved in all aspects of NELC’s litigation.
Major cases include a series of lawsuits that, for the first time, subjected the salmon aquaculture industry to Clean Water Act permitting and greatly reduced the impacts of these highly polluting facilities on endangered wild salmon in downeast Maine rivers. A suit against a coal burning power plant resulted in the largest Clean Water Act penalty in a citizen suit in Pennsylvania history, the installation of new treatment technology now used throughout the industry, and millions of dollars to fund numerous restoration projects in the Conemaugh River watershed.
More recently, Josh has led NELC’s efforts to crack down on air pollution from some of the nation’s dirtiest fossil fuel plants on the Texas Gulf Coast. In addition to securing groundbreaking settlements against Shell, Chevron Phillips, and a subsidiary of Petrobras, Josh and our team took on ExxonMobil in the largest Clean Air Act case ever brought by citizens, involving 10 million pounds of illegal pollution from 16,000 proven violations of the Clean Air Act, a three-week trial, two appeals, and the largest civil penalty ever assessed in an environmental citizen suit. (That penalty is still on appeal.)
Prior to joining NELC, Josh worked as a staff attorney at the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group, where he advocated for consumer and environmental protection laws and was appointed by governors from two different parties to serve on blue ribbon investigatory commissions.
Josh attended Northeastern University School of Law, where he completed internships with legal services, a labor law firm, and a worker cooperative organization, and served as a Massachusetts Superior Court law clerk after graduation. As an undergraduate at Harvard, Josh wrote his senior history thesis on the evolution of baseball from a gentleman’s pastime to the first mass-marketed professional sport, ran the Quincy House Cinema Guild, and brought down the house with his “hilarious” performance as Dr. Purgon in Moliere’s The Imaginary Invalid.