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A Better Partnership

Kurt A. Kissling

Partner | Email

  • Southfield

    t. +1.248.784.5142

    f. +1.248.784.5005


Kurt Kissling is an environmental attorney who specializes in permitting, compliance, enforcement and advocacy related to the Clean Air Act as well as its state and local counterparts. Regional and national clients across a variety of industries rely on Kurt’s expertise to address complex air and waste matters that impact their operations. These industries include: agribusiness, automotive, cement, chemical, consumer products, ethanol, glass, lead smelting, manufacturing, mining, petroleum, pulp and paper, steel, remediation, utility, waste-to-energy and wood products. In addition to routinely organizing and speaking at environmental programs, Kurt serves on the Board of the East Michigan Chapter of the Air & Waste Management Association, on the Council for the Environmental Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan and as Chair of the Environmental Law Section’s Air Committee. 


  • Vermont Law School J.D. 2000
  • Vermont Law School M.S.E.L. 2000 cum laude
  • Valparaiso University B.S. 1996 Civil Engineering with honors


  • Michigan


  • U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan

Bar Associations

  • State Bar of Michigan, Environmental Law Section
  • Oakland County Bar Association, Energy, Sustainability and Environmental Law Committee

Teaching and Lecturing

  • Lectured on the Clean Air Act for an Environmental Course at the University of Detroit-Mercy School of Law


Environmental Counseling
  • Advising regulated clients with day-to-day permitting and compliance concerns across the country, including issues under the Clean Air Act, RCRA, EPCRA, the Clean Water Act, TSCA, CERCLA and their local equivalents
  • Formulating air permitting strategies to account for New Source Review, air dispersion modeling. NESHAPs, NAAQS nonattainment, consent decree compliance and other variables
  • Managing self-audits under federal and state laws, regulations and policies
  • Assisting clients with internal programs to identify permitting projects and monitor ongoing compliance
  • Conducting environmental due diligence for business sales and acquisitions
  • Defending clients' material management and waste recycling practices in various states and EPA, including securing regulatory approvals for proprietary practices
  • Responding to agency information requests (e.g., under Clean Air Act § 114 and CERCLA § 104), including requests seeking testing of clients' emission, ingredients and products
  • Shaping federal, state and local laws and policy through stakeholder groups, petitioning for rule changes, commenting on proposals such as SIP rules, NAAQS designations. NESHAPs, climate change programs and hazardous/solid waste regulation

Environmental Enforcement and Litigation
  • Defending clients targeted by U.S. Department of Justice investigations and enforcement actions, including NSR enforcement pursuant to EPA's National Enforcement Initiatives, which has involved federal consent decree negotiation, implementation and litigation
  • Assisting clients facing federal, state, and local noncompliance allegations (e.g., NOVs, FOVs, NFOVs) from Puget Sound to the Carolinas, from the California air districts to Massachusetts, and myriad jurisdictions in between
  • Successfully litigating a challenge to a facility-specific RACT Order during a week-long trial before a state Pollution Control Hearing Board
  • Defending and challenging clients' permits in administrative and court proceedings, including a third-party air permit challenge that reached the state Court of Appeals
  • Challenging NAAQS nonattainment designations before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, in EPA petitions for reconsideration, and during state and federal rulemakings
  • Defending an environmental remediation company from criminal and civil charges brought by the attorney general for violations of air, hazardous waste, and water laws
  • Representing clients in CERCLA actions that included appeals to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court

Civil Litigation Matters
  • Defending businesses against odor, dust, nuisance and diminution of property value claims brought by nearby residents
  • Pro bono work for the ACLU, U.S. Department of Defense, Project Salute (representing military veterans with VA claims) and the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center

Honors & Awards

  • Named as a Michigan Super Lawyer Rising Star
  • Managing Editor, Vermont Law Review


Professional Affiliations

  • Air & Waste Management Association, East Michigan and West Michigan Chapters
  • Michigan Manufacturers Association, Air Quality Committee
  • Southeast Michigan Air Quality Study

Community Affiliations

  • Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Energy & Environment Committee
  • Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce, Energy & Environment Committee

Speaking Engagements

  • "The Environmental Agenda Entering 2020," OESA 2020 Automotive Suppliers Legal Hot Topics, Troy, Michigan, February 12, 2020
  • "Updates on Litigation and Policy Changes Under the Trump Administration," West Michigan A&WMA Spring Conference, Grand Rapids, Michigan; April 30, 2019
  • Organized and hosted Clearing the Air in 2019: An Overview of Federal, Regional and State Air Quality Issues, Lansing, Michigan; April 11, 2019
  • Organized and hosted Clearing the Air in 2018: An Overview of Federal, Regional and State Air Quality Issues, Lansing, Michigan; April 11, 2018
  • The Curious Case of Clean Air Act Civil Monetary Penalty Inflation, EUEC; March 5, 2018
  • Hot Topics in Air Quality, 2017 Joint Environmental Conference, Lansing, Michigan; November 8, 2017
  • Organized and hosted Clearing the Air in 2017: An Overview of Federal, Regional and State Air Quality Issues, Lansing, Michigan; April 13, 2017
  • Organized and hosted Clearing the Air in 2016: An Overview of Federal, Regional and State Air Quality Issues, Lansing, Michigan; April 14, 2016
  • Legal Developments Panel, 2015 Joint Environmental Conference, Lansing, Michigan; November 5, 2015
  • When and Why You Might Need an Environmental Attorney, Compliance Essentials for Manufacturers Program, Michigan Manufacturers Association, Lansing, Michigan; September 17, 2015
  • The National Ambient Air Quality Standards: How Did We Get Here and What Comes Next?, 2015 (108th) A&WMA Annual Conference, Raleigh, North Carolina; June 22, 2015
  • The State of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards in 2015, EUEC, San Diego, California; February 17, 2015
  • Organized and hosted Clearing the Air: An Overview of Federal, Regional and State Air Quality Issues in 2014, Lansing, Michigan; April 23, 2014
  • The State of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards, EUEC, Phoenix, Arizona; February 3, 2014
  • GHG Regulation Panel, 2013 Joint Environmental Conference, Lansing, Michigan; November 6, 2013
  • Federal Clean Air Act Reform: What We Want v. What We Can Get, Carolinas Air Pollution Control Association, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; October 17, 2013
  • The Future (Form) of Climate Change Policy and Regulation in the United States, A&WMA Climate Change: Impacts, Policy and Regulation 2013, Herndon, Virginia; September 9, 2013
  • The National Ambient Air Quality Standards: A Sustainable Program or a Runaway Train?, 2013 (106th) A&WMA Annual Conference, Chicago, Illinois; June 24, 2013
  • The State of the NAAQS, EUEC, Phoenix, Arizona; January 29, 2013
  • NAAQS Panel Discussion, The Evolving Environmental Regulatory Landscape, Lansing, Michigan; May 16, 2012
  • Organized and hosted Air Quality Regulations in 2011: Greenhouse Gases and Beyond, Lansing, Michigan; April 12, 2011
  • NAAQS: Keeping Up With The Runaway Train, EUEC, Phoenix, Arizona; February 2, 2011
  • NAAQS Standards, Designations, Implementation ... Evolution?, EUEC, Phoenix, Arizona; February 2, 2010
  • Organized and hosted 2009 Joint Environmental Conference, Lansing, Michigan; November 5, 2009
  • The Lowered National Ambient Air Quality Standard For Lead: What You Don’t Know Could Hurt You, 2009 (102nd) A&WMA Annual Conference, June 16, 2009
  • NESHAP/MACT – Area Source Standards, 2008 Joint Environmental Conference, East Lansing, Michigan; November 5, 2008

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