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Henry J. Handzel, Jr.

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  • J.D., St. Louis University Law School
  • B.S., Canisius College


  • Wisconsin
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Wisconsin
  • U.S. Supreme Court

For more than 30 years Hank’s focus has been on environmental law, administrative law and litigation. He has extensive experience in air permitting, water permitting, mine permitting, superfund proceedings, air enforcement matters, site remediation, solid and hazardous wastes, as well as air and water pollution. He has successfully appealed permit denials and defended agency enforcement actions. A proponent of preventative law, Hank provides counsel to help clients comply with environmental laws.

During his career he has challenged laws and regulations and he has helped to shape them. Hank was involved in the development of major revisions to Wisconsin's air pollution statutes and rules adopted by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The revisions included changes to state statutes and regulations to implement the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments. He also successfully challenged the NOx SIP Call levied by the EPA on Wisconsin.

Prior to entering private practice, Hank worked for the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Division of Water Pollution Control as a manager of the Enforcement Preparatory Unit in the Enforcement Services Section. He then worked for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as an advisor for its Mid-Atlantic Regional Office in Philadelphia where he counseled on the implementation of environmental protection laws. He represented the EPA in administrative hearings and assisted the Department of Justice with environmental law cases at both trial and appellate levels and was appointed as a special assistant United States attorney.


  • American Bar Association
  • Dane County Bar Association
  • Environmental Law Institute Associates Program
  • State Bar of Illinois
  • State Bar of Missouri
  • Wisconsin Beef Council – Board Member
  • Wisconsin Cattlemen’s Association – Past President-Board and Executive Committee Member

Articles & Presentations

  • Co-author, Wisconsin Environmental Law Handbook (1990, 1992)
  • The 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments (May 1991) Wisconsin Lawyer magazine
  • Wisconsin Environmental Law. A Primer for the Business Community (1981, 1983)
  • Control of the Environment Through the Doctrines Governing Judicial Review of Administrative Agencies, 15 St. Louis U.L.J 429 (1971)
  • Criminal Law: Pre-Trial Discovery—The Right of an Indigent’s Counsel to Inspect Police Reports, 14 St. Louis U.L.J. 310 (1969)

Awards & Recognitions

  • Best Lawyers in America® – Environmental Law (Since 1989)
  • “Top Lawyer” – Madison Magazine
  • Wisconsin Super Lawyers® (2005-2007)
  • Friend of the Cattlemen (2001) – Wisconsin Cattlemen’s Association
  • Cattleman of the Year (2010) – Wisconsin Cattlemen’s Association
  • Named to Who’s Who in American Law


  • His clients include Individuals, businesses, and trade associations continue to seek his help with matters involving environmental law, administrative law, litigation and real estate
  • Hank represents trade associations in the development of state environmental regulations, and has served on advisory bodies that created many of Wisconsin's current air laws
  • He was also deeply involved in Wisconsin’s adoption of the Great Lakes Compact implementation legislation

Notable Representations

  • Represented trade associations during the development of new or revised Wisconsin environmental regulations, particularly governing air pollution and hazardous air emissions
  • Counseled small and large companies on various permitting issues. For example, he represented Kennecott Exploration (Australia Ltd.) and Flambeau Mining Company to obtain all necessary federal, state and local regulatory approvals for the only metallic mine to be planned, permitted, operated and reclaimed under Wisconsin's modern mining laws
  • Defended various enforcement actions initiated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, and other state environmental agencies
  • Hank is one of the few attorneys in Wisconsin who has been involved in successfully obtaining a Certificate of Completion for reclamation of a metallic mining project
  • Cost recovery actions for site remediation costs
  • Development of consent decrees and potentially responsible party agreements on several site remediation projects

Service Area Subspecialty

  • Government Relations
    • Administrative Law