LaJuana Wilcher speaking at National Clean Water Law Seminar

by Mandy Hicks

ELPO Law attorney, LaJuana S. Wilcher, Partner
LaJuana Wilcher

LaJuana Wilcher, attorney and partner with ELPO, is participating in two presentations this week at the National Clean Water Law Seminar, an annual conference held by the National Association of Clean Water Agencies. LaJuana was the U.S. EPA Administrator for Water from 1989 to 1993. She is a frequent speaker on water-related and environmental law-related topics.

This year, she is participating in two panel discussions. One charts the evolution of NACWA’s legal advocacy. The second looks at the Clean Water Act, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

The Clean Water Act session is described below.

Confessions of a Middle-Aged CWA – Where Have We Been & Where Are We Going?

The CWA (Clean Water Act) is often called one of the most successful federal environmental statutes in history. And for the municipal clean water community it is certainly the most important, providing the fundamental legal underpinnings for all that we do. But with the fanfare of the CWA’s 40th anniversary now behind us the time is ripe to take a more probing look at  both the successes and the failures of the Act to date, and also look at many  of the challenges facing it in the years to come. A panel of veteran clean  water practitioners will examine and discuss the Act’s strengths and  weakness, and provide key legal insights for clean water lawyers on what to expect going forward.

About LaJuana Wilcher

LaJuana Wilcher is a Partner at English Lucas Priest & Owsley LLP (ELPO) in Bowling Green, Kentucky. She began working with NACWA (then AMSA) in 1989, when she was nominated by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as EPA’s Assistant Administrator for Water. In that position, she was responsible for national water policy, and promulgated stormwater, biosolids, and TMDL regulations, among others. She also convened and worked closely with the FACA group that developed the 1994 CSO Policy.
LaJuana worked on environmental law issues in Washington, D.C., for almost 20 years. She was a Partner in the DC offices of Winston & Strawn and LeBoeuf, Lamb Greene and MacRae LLP, where she served as legal counsel for NACWA and numerous municipalities in federal CWA litigation, permitting and enforcement matters. She has also served as a group facilitator, expert witness and legislative counsel on various CWA matters.
Returning to private law practice in her home state of Kentucky in 2002, LaJuana was a partner at ELPO until being tapped by Kentucky’s Governor to be Secretary of Kentucky’s Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet from 2003-2006, where she orchestrated a novel Consent Decree strategy with Louisville Metropolitan Sewer District.
LaJuana has developed and taught environmental law and policy courses at Vermont Law School and Vanderbilt University Law School. She was awarded NACWA’s Special Recognition Award in 1993 and State Public Service Award in 2006. She has been selected as a Lifetime Honorary Member of American Water Works Association and has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America every year since 2009. She speaks frequently throughout the country on environmental law and leadership issues.
LaJuana was a founding Board Member of America’s Clean Water Alliance (now the U.S. Water Alliance) and Friends of Mammoth Cave National Park, and is a Supervisor of the Warren County Conservation District. She owns and operates Scuffle Hill Farm, growing grass-fed Angus cattle, hay and horses, including the 2007 Kentucky Derby Winner.