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Emerging Issues in Environmental Law: A Discussion with Judges Mary Kay Lynch and Kathie Stein, U.S. EPA Environmental Appeals Board


March 29, 2017


Los Angeles, CA

Judge Mary Kay Lynch

Judge Lynch has extensive litigation and management experience in both the private and public sector. She has served in a number of senior legal and management positions within the EPA, most recently as the Associate General Counsel for Solid Waste and Emergency Response leading the Agency’s participation in Supreme Court, federal Appellate Court and federal rule making practice in these subject areas. Prior to that she served as Regional Counsel for EPA Region 4 in Atlanta, Georgia. There she led a large interdisciplinary staff including attorneys and engineers to provide legal counsel for civil and criminal enforcement cases, defensive litigation, counseling issues, and general law matters. Earlier in her EPA career she served in EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, first in the Federal Facilities Office as Director of the Site Remediation and Enforcement Staff and later as Director of OECA's Policy Office. Judge Lynch has served as the Vice Chair of the Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Trustee Council where she has advised on complex and unprecedented issues. Prior to joining EPA, she was engaged in private law practice.

Judge Lynch's work has been recognized with numerous awards including the Meritorious Presidential Rank Award, the EPA Excellence in Management Award and EPA Gold and Silver Medals. She earned a Juris Doctor degree, from the University of Georgia School of Law, where she served as the Executive Editor of the Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law. She earned a Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, from Boston College and was part of the Scholars of the College program.

Judge Kathie A. Stein

Judge Stein has over 35 years of legal experience in both the private and public sectors. Prior to her appointment to the Board, Judge Stein held several leadership positions at EPA, including Director of EPA’s Air Enforcement Division within EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA). She also headed OECA’s Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Enforcement Division and served as the Acting Regional Counsel for EPA's Region III (Mid-Atlantic Region). In these capacities, she supervised teams of lawyers as well as technical and administrative personnel.

Before joining EPA in 1990, Judge Stein served as Senior Counsel with the Environmental Enforcement Section of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division; Senior Attorney and Director, Environmental Information Exchange, at the Environmental Defense Fund; Assistant Attorney General for the Maryland Attorney General’s Office (handling environmental cases); and engaged in private law practice with two private law firms in San Francisco, California where she specialized in commercial and complex civil litigation, first at Orrick, Herrington, and Sutcliffe, and subsequently at Feldman, Waldman & Kline. Judge Stein has been a frequent speaker at national conferences on environmental law, and leads the Board’s work on international judicial capacity building. She also oversaw the development of the Board’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Program. In addition, during 1995-1996, while on leave from EPA, she worked as a consultant to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Judge Stein earned her Juris Doctor degree, magna cum laude, in 1979 from the Georgetown University Law Center, where she served as an editor of the Georgetown Law Journal. She received her Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in 1974 from Oberlin College, where she majored in government.