Leah Ziemba Photo

Leah Hurtgen Ziemba

Partner
Industry Group Chair, Agribusiness, Food & Beverage

Overview

Leah takes a big-picture approach in advising clients as they face challenges on environmental, food safety, and regulatory compliance issues. She draws on experience gained in cases involving the EPA, FDA, and other public agencies.

Leah’s success as a counselor, litigator and negotiator reflects her combination of subject matter expertise, industry knowledge, and creativity. Her work includes:

  • Investigating, assessing, and remediating vapor intrusion issues at sites with historic solvent contamination
  • Providing environmental liability assessments and risk management during transactional due diligence
  • Implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act and advising on food labeling matters (e.g., “natural” claims, standards of identity)
  • Navigating local, county, and state environmental regulations to permit and build or expand manufacturing facilities and commercial dairy operations
 

Leah has successfully negotiated State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System-related consent orders for agribusinesses with state regulatory agencies and the EPA. She has also achieved positive outcomes for clients with Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) on environmental compliance matters. 

Experience

Notable matters include:

  • Assisted a client that planned to open a large-scale dairy farm with environmental and regulatory permitting processes at the local, county, and state level
  • Advised a client involved in aluminum die-casting manufacturing on responding to soil, groundwater, and vapor intrusion contamination at an industrial location and off-site properties including counseling the client through a comprehensive environmental site investigation and several response actions. The client settled state and federal class action lawsuits and obtained a favorable historic insurance coverage settlement.
  • Worked on regulatory issues for a client providing animal health and veterinary health supplies and services. As part of a regulatory review of business structure in multiple states, Leah assisted with regulatory due diligence for an equity acquisition and also provided regulatory compliance training to company employees.
  • Guided a vegetable processor during acquisition due diligence. Leah advised on environmental and food safety matters to ensure seamless transition and continued production after acquisition
  • Advised an agribusiness on FDA enforcement regarding drug residue matters. Leah reached settlement with the FDA that addressed compliance matters that allowed the operation to continue operating and drafted going-forward compliance documents
  • Counseled a former wire manufacturer on soil, groundwater, and vapor intrusion concerns at historic manufacturing facility that was redeveloped for housing purposes. Leah assisted in addressing an immediate need regarding vapor intrusion risks to redeveloped housing property, and also advised on enforcement defense and regulatory compliance matters to bring site to regulatory closure.
  • Serves as the general counsel for a dairy trade association. Leah advises on corporate governance matters as well as environmental, labor, and employment, immigration and other matters affecting dairy farms in the Northeast U.S.
  • Prior to attending law school, Leah built her knowledge of the regulatory area working as a public policy specialist, regulatory coordinator and lobbyist in Albany, New York.

Honors & Recognitions

  • Empire State Counsel® honoree, New York State Bar Association, 2009

Professional Activities

  • Member, New York State Bar Association
  • Member, Wisconsin State Bar Association
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Michael Best Women’s Development Group

Education

Admissions

Community Involvement

  • Board Member, Dairy Girl Network, 2015-present
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