Named as one of the leading environmental attorneys in Pennsylvania by Chambers USA, Joel focuses his practice on brownfields redevelopment, the environmental aspects of corporate and real estate transactions, regulatory compliance counseling and environmental litigation. Joel advises on:

  • Permit procurement
  • Permit and enforcement actions
  • Environmental assessments and remediation
  • Litigation
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Corporate and real estate transactions
  • Marcellus Shale leasing, permitting and related development

In his Marcellus Shale practice, Joel also represents clients looking to obtain permits to treat and beneficially reuse frac water and drill cuttings. He also helps clients navigate the complex federal and state laws and regulations that govern all aspects of the Marcellus Shale.

Before Fox Rothschild

As Deputy Secretary for Special Projects at the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Joel was involved in permit and enforcement decisions, development of policies, and regulatory initiatives, including:

  • trouble-shooting between the Department and the regulated community
  • the reuse of industrial sites
  • promoting economic development
  • managing the implementation of Pennsylvania’s Land Recycling Act (Act 2 of 1995)
  • writing regulations for the land-recycling program
  • representing the Commonwealth in the Republican Governors Association Task Force on CERCLA reform

At The George Washington University Law School, Joel was a member of the Order of the Coif and an associate of the Law Review.

Beyond Fox Rothschild

Joel is a member of Pennsylvania’s Cleanup Standards Scientific Advisory Board, which provides advice to PADEP on policy and regulatory matters related to Act 2. Joel is also Co-Chair of the Government and Private Sector Innovation Committee of the American Bar Association Section on Natural Resources, Energy and Environmental Law (SEER).

In September 2012, Joel was appointed to the Pennsylvania Infrastructure and Investment Authority (PENNVEST) board by Governor Tom Corbett. PENNVEST funds sewer, storm water and drinking water projects with low cost financial assistance throughout the state, and also assists businesses in locating and expanding operations to create permanent, well-paying jobs in Pennsylvania.

He served three terms on the National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology (NACEPT) for six years, which advises the EPA on domestic and international environmental policy issues.

Joel is a former member of the Standing Committee on Environmental Law of the American Bar Association. He is also a past officer in the ABA’s Section on Natural Resources, Energy, and Environmental Law (now SEER).

Joel was recently appointed to serve as Chair of The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC), which develops state policy and regulations and adjudicates claims alleging discrimination in housing, employment and educational opportunities. Joel has served as a PHRC Commissioner since 1999, having been first appointed by Governor Tom Ridge, and subsequently reappointed by Governors Rendell and Wolf to successive five-year terms. He served as PHRC’s Interim Chairperson from 2016-2018.

Client Resources

In the Zone Blog

Success in the real estate industry often hinges on making smart choices – and on being informed. Fox’s In the Zone blog serves as a resource for developers, investors, lenders, design firms, landlords, tenants and more. Focusing on zoning and land use, the blog reports on trends and news in obtaining approvals and permits for new development, project financing, LEED certification and environmental regulation and enforcement.

Honors & Awards

  • Named to “Who’s Who Legal” in the area of Environment Law (2014, 2016)
  • Named in The International Who's Who of Environment Lawyers (2011, 2014)
  • Named as one of the leading environment attorneys in Pennsylvania, Chambers USA (2004-2018)
  • Named among “The Best Lawyers in America” in the area of Environmental Law and Environmental Litigation (2003-2019)
  • Named a "Super Lawyer" by Philadelphia Magazine and Law & Politics Magazine (2004-2010, 2017, 2018)
  • Recipient, Excellence in Environmental Achievement Award, Bethlehem Steel Company (1999)
  • Recipient, Award for Excellence, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (1995)