Senior Member

W. Blaine Early III

Blaine’s science background and experience as a college professor help set him apart as an environmental lawyer, where technical expertise is an important complement to the practice of law. His legal practice is a broad approach to environmental law that includes a focus on water and land issues, agriculture, natural resources and energy, and the intersection of surety law and environmental regulatory matters. He counsels clients on environmental compliance and environmental considerations in real estate and business transactions and is active in civil and administrative litigation.

Recent News, Articles & Speaking Engagements

Stormwater Management and Green Infrastructure

Kentuckiana Chapter of Hazardous Materials Managers, Louisville, KY, March 11, 2020

Use Energy Star Portfolio Manager to Monitor Energy Use and Boost Profits

9th Annual Kentucky Energy Management Conference, January 30, 2020

Stormwater Management System Objectives and Design Considerations

Stormwater Basins and Underground Systems, HalfMoon Seminars, Louisville, KY, November 1, 2019

Corporate Sustainability Best Practices...Using the Energy Star Portfolio Manager to Boost Profits and Promote Sustainability

28th Annual Business & Industry's Sustainability & Environmental, Health and Safety Symposium, Cincinnati, OH, March 26, 2019

Overview of Water Laws in Kentucky

HalfMoon Seminars on Kentucky Water Laws and Regulation, Lexington, KY, October 23, 2018

Compliance With Industrial Wastewater Pretreatment Regulations and Unusual Stormwater Conditions

27th Annual Business and Industry's Sustainability and Environmental, Health & Safety Symposium, Cincinnati, OH, March 27-28, 2018

Reporting Sustainability: Zero Waste, Cradle-to-Cradle, and Life Cycle Assessment

Kentucky Chapter of Air & Waste Management Association, Louisville, Kentucky, November 10, 2017

Genetic Editing in Ag Biotech

American Agricultural Law Association Symposium, Louisville, KY, October 27, 2017

The Remains of Water Quality Regulation

20th Annual Kentucky Environmental Permitting and Reporting Conference, Lexington, KY, August 10-11, 2017

Regulatory Climate Under the Trump Administration

Best Practices in Sustainability: Prove Your Success, in Zero Waste, Cradle-to-Cradle, and Life Cycle Assessment

Annual Sustainability and Environmental, Health & Safety Symposium, Cincinnati, OH, March 21, 2017

Current Issues and Perspectives on SMCRA Reclamation Bonding

presented before U.S. Dept. of Interior, Office of Surface Mining, Washington, DC, February 11, 2016

Managing the Risks of Climate Change

14th Annual Kentucky Environmental Conference, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Lexington, Ky., February 10, 2016

Complying with your KPDES Permit Part 2: Details

The Goods, Kentucky Association of Manufacturers, May 2015

Bond What You Know and Insure What You Don’t: A Comment on A Market Approach to Regulating the Energy Revolution

45 Environmental Law Reporter 10756, 2015

Stormwater is Everyone's Challenge

13th Annual Kentucky Environmental Conference, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, February 10, 2015

Read It, Do It, Document It: Complying with your KPDES Permit, Part 1: Implementing Plans

The Goods, Kentucky Association of Manufacturers, January 2015

Water Programs and HazMat Management

25-Year Retrospective for Kentuckiana Chapter of Hazardous Materials Managers, Louisville, KY, January 14, 2015

Sustainability and Biofuels

Waters, waters everywhere: Does the proposed definition of waters of the United States expand the Clean Water Act's reach?

Trends, Vol. 46 No. 2, published by the American Bar Association's Section of Environment, Energy and Resources, November/December 2014

Facing High-Tide Successfully: Getting Stormwater Policies Put into Practice

participant in a Committee Program Call sponsored by three committees of the American Bar Association's Section of Environment, Energy and Resources, October 2014

Environmental Compliance and Drinking Water Protection: The Roles of Permits, Plans, and Reports

17th Annual Kentucky Environmental Permitting & Reporting Conference, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, August 20, 2014

You Thought You Had a Permit for That Discharge?

17th Annual Kentucky Environmental Permitting & Reporting Conference, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, August 19, 2014

From Production to Market

Oil and Gas Rights in Kentucky, Lorman Education Services, Louisville (May 16, 2014) and Lexington, Ky. (May 21, 2014)

Kentucky Regulatory Changes in Water Quality Standards

Environmental Law CLE, Kentucky Bar Association, April 2014

Development of Kentucky Water Laws

and "Complying with Water Quality Laws and Regulations, Kentucky Waters Laws and Regulations, HalfMoon Seminars, Louisville, Ky., January 2014

Stormwater Regulation, It's Time to Get Serious

2013 Kentucky Chamber of Commerce 16th Annual Environmental Permitting & Reporting Conference, August 21, 2013

Legal and tax issues for energy generation in Kentucky

Kentucky Association of Manufacturers, May 2013

Natural resources law update: Issues in surface mining

Kentucky Bar Association, April 2013

Water-related initiatives concerning central Appalachian coal mining

Key Environmental Issues in U.S. Region 4, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 4 and American Bar Association Section on Environment, Energy and Resources, February 2013

What do you do with an old power plant?

You don't miss it until it's gone: Drought highlights the importance of water management

Reclamation Bonds, The Law of Commercial Surety and Miscellaneous Bonds

Second Edition, American Bar Association Fidelity & Surety Law Committee (with George Thompson), May 2012

Trends in Water Quality Issues for Appalachian Mining

Kentucky Water Resources Annual Symposium, March 19, 2012

Current and Emerging Legal Issues on Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining

Court says the EPA and Corps of Engineers must follow the law

The Balancing Act of Biofuels

presented at the Louisville Bar Association, June 8, 2011

Intergovernmental Cooperating and Coercion in Environmental Law

presented at the CLE Seminar sponsored by the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission, Frankfort, Ky., June 1, 2011

Kentucky Water Laws and Regulations

author and presenter, HalfMoon Seminars, Lexington, Ky., March 31, 2011

Environmental/Reclamation Financial Assurances: Back to the Future

56th Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Annual Institute, Banff, Alberta, Canada, July 22-24, 2010

Not All Biofuels are Green

SEC Describes Disclosure Requirements on Climate Change

Big Waters: Everyone's Resource but Whose Responsibility?

presented as introduction to panel discussion on water quality in the Chesapeake Bay, Fall 2009 meeting of the American Bar Association Section on Environmental, Energy, and Resources, Baltimore, Md., September 2009

Property Rights in a Sustainable World: More than Minerals and Surface

Energy & Mineral Law Foundation, presented at the Annual Institute, Hilton Head, S.C., May 2009

Biofuel Production and Water Quality

Newsletter of the Water Quality and Wetlands Committee, American Bar Association Section on Environment, Energy, and Resources, July 2008

Toilet to Tap and the Clean Water Act

Newsletter of the Water Quality and Wetlands Committee, American Bar Association Section on Environment, Energy, and Resources, April 2008

Carbon Concerns: Law, Policy, and Business

Environmental Law Update, Kentucky Bar Association, August 2007

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed: The Marriage of Nuisance and Environmental Regulation

presented as part of the panel on CAFO Litigation: Anticipatory Nuisance and CERCLA/EPCRA Liability, American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy and Resources, Thirteenth Section Fall Meeting, Nashville, Tenn., September 21-25, 2005

Mold Litigation & Risk Management

presented at Concurring Tomorrow Together, hosted by Park Supply at Caesar's Indiana, January 29, 2005

Surety's Rights and Obligations Under SMCRA

The Blending of Bankruptcy and Environmental Law Issues

19th Annual Environmental Law Institute, University of Kentucky College of Law, November 14, 2003

Managing Risks of Mold

Center for Higher Education Law, Morehead State University October 3, 2003

Mold Fundamentals and the Law

Recent Assignments
Bar Admissions
Kentucky
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky
Memberships
American Bar Association
Kentucky Bar Association
Fayette County Bar Association
Kentucky Academy of Science, President, 1991; Upper Cumberland River Watershed Watch, 1999-present; Interbasin Coordinating Committee, Current Representative
Community Involvement

Lexington-Fayette County Urban Government, Environmental Commission, Chair

Bluegrass Tomorrow, Executive Board and Vice-Chair for Bluegrass Forever Green

Upper Cumberland River Watershed Watch, Secretary and Board Member

Watershed Watch in Kentucky, Inc., Board Member

Education
More Than Stites & Harbison

Law is Blaine's second career. He served on the biology faculty of Cumberland College (now the University of the Cumberlands) in Williamsburg, Ky., from 1979 until 1993, chairing the department (1984 to 1993) and earning the rank of full professor. His research focused on insect/plant interactions, and he continues those interests. Prior to joining the firm in September 1998, Blaine was Judicial Law Clerk to Hon. Jennifer B. Coffman, United States District Judge for the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky, in London, Kentucky. Blaine is current Chair of the Lexington-Fayette County Urban Government Environmental Commission and is a member of the Executive Board of Bluegrass Tomorrow. He is a member of the board for the Upper Cumberland River Watershed Watch and is a member of the board of the state-wide organization Watershed Watch in Kentucky, Inc. Blaine is a former Chair of the Kentucky Chamber Energy and Environmental Council, a former member of the Board of Trustees of the Energy and Mineral Law Foundation, former chair of the Water Quality and Wetlands Committee of the American Bar Association's Section on Environment, Energy, and Resources and co-chair of the Section’s Virtual Learning Committee; former chair of the Natural Resources Section of the Kentucky Bar Association; and, a former president of the Kentucky Academy of Science. He is an amateur radio “ham” extra class radio operator, is active in regional emergency communications efforts, and delights in remote, solar-power communications activities.

Accolades

Best Lawyers in America®, Energy Law, Environmental Law and Water Law (2007-22)

Kentucky Super Lawyers® (2016-20)

International Law Office and Lexology, Client Choice Award for Excellence in Client Service (2015)

Robert N. Clay President's Award, Bluegrass Tomorrow Awards Breakfast (2010)

Early Best Law2022
Earlysuperlaw
2015Usacanadalogos 1
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