Joe Ullo is a Shareholder in the Firm’s Tallahassee office with nearly 25 years of experience serving clients throughout Florida. Joe counsels large and small business owners, land owners, private companies, federal agencies, and county and municipal governments statewide in all aspects of federal, state, and local environmental law, regulations, and processes that govern the consideration and usage of land and real property rights.
Joe is also a registered patent attorney. He represents private companies and individual inventors in patent and trademark prosecutions before the United States Patent and Trademark Office and consults with clients on intellectual property matters including licensing, branding, trade secrets, patents and trademarks.
Prior to joining the firm, Joe served as Director of Division of Waste Management at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. In this role, Joe directed the policy and the programmatic management of solid and hazardous waste generated and disposed throughout Florida. In this capacity, Joe oversaw the following:
- State funded cleanups
- Superfund screening, listing, and cleanup coordination;
- Site investigations of regional contaminant sources;
- CERCLA brownfield grant administration;
- Florida brownfield and voluntary cleanup tax credits;
- Brownfield agreements;
- Memoranda of agreements;
- Private funded cleanups pursuant to Florida Rule 62-780
- DOD and FUDS assessments and rehabilitation;
- RCRA compliance assistance and enforcement;
- RCRA HSWA permitting and corrective actions;
- Solid waste permitting and landfill closures;
- Storage tank regulation and compliance;
- Waste registrations;
- Waste reduction and recycling;
- Waste tire mitigation;
- Coral reef restoration;
- Rulemaking and adoption for rules governing solid and hazardous waste, storage tank and waste cleanup facilities and
- All intergovernmental coordination needed to effect the Division’s mission.
Before practicing law, Joe worked as a registered professional engineer in Florida. He managed hazardous waste, petroleum and drycleaning cleanups in the southeastern United States, oversaw environmental compliance for private manufacturers, and assisted with wastewater infrastructure evaluations at federal facilities. Joe also led the environmental cleanup for various military bases, particularly in Jacksonville and Orlando, which now serve as incredible reuse examples for both industrial and residential mixed uses in Florida.
Areas of Concentration
- Site rehabilitation utilizing risk based corrective actions and controls
- Administrative law, permitting, registrations, rulemaking, and litigation
- Brownfield redevelopment and state liability protection
- Multiple and single party brownfield site rehabilitation agreements
- Real estate and corporate due diligence
- Real estate acquisition, sale and disposition of industrial or agricultural properties
- Sediment remediation
- Water use regulation, permitting, and water quality credit trading
- Stormwater management
- Waste reduction, recycling and reuse
- RCRA inspections and compliance and corrective action
- CERCLA screening, superfund cleanup and liability protections
- Potable water systems
- Water quality credit trading and basin management action plans
- Patent prosecution, infringement defense, and reexamination proceedings
- Trademark prosecution
- Trade secrets
- Represents clients in CERCLA cost recovery actions and toxic tort litigation involving determination and appropriation of liability.
- Assisted in the transfer of regulatory oversight from federal to state purview for a Superfund Alternative Site to allow for a more streamlined remediation and reuse consideration.
- Represents clients on hazardous waste management matters and general industrial regulatory compliance and advises clients in the event of regulatory enforcement.
- Represents clients in the application for hazardous waste, solid waste, and other environmental resource permit needs, including defending permits in the event of challenge.
- Represents clients in the negotiation of memoranda of agreement to allow for facility wide conditional closures and commercial/industrial consideration under the Department rules.
- Assists in developing water resource management solutions by incorporating water quality credit trading.
- Represents Brownfield Redevelopment clients assisting with brownfield designations, site rehabilitation agreement negotiation, brownfield tax credit applications, and other brownfield incentive and grant programs.
- Represented governmental clients and boards in defending decisions where development rights are affected. Specific examples include rezoning, grandfathered/non-conforming uses, and architectural review board decisions affecting historic building demolition.
- Represented church organization in a federal land use challenge raising religious land use and Section 1983 claims.
- Represented private developer in the mixed use redevelopment of a former golf course property including the designation, rehabilitation plan development, and tax credit applications.
- Assists in the due diligence phase especially where recognized environmental conditions create challenges for the transaction.
- Represented clients in the sale of a large manufacturing facility where environmental liability matters required reconciliation.
- Represented clients in the sale of agricultural lands including the farming operations, equipment and business.
- Counsels clients on the intellectual property components of new business ventures where new product lines are invented. Advises on the potential for patent and trademark protection or infringement, consideration of trade secrets, manufacturing options, and overall production and marketing including copyrights.
- Sets strategic co-counsel partnerships as needed to ensure that all client intellectual property needs are met.
- Advised a small business startup in the development of intellectual property and marketplace branding resulting in national and international patent and trademark protection as appropriate for the products at issue.
- Assists clients in negotiating manufacturing and license agreements.
- Counsels private companies and individual inventors regarding patent prosecution and infringement defense.
- Advises client on the necessary audience within the Department of Environmental Protection to ensure the right decision maker is fully apprised of critical factors.
- Appeared before the Florida Legislature as a technical expert in the fields of waste management and brownfields and negotiated legislation which combined the state taxpayer and stakeholder business needs.
- Possesses comprehensive experience in all facets of environmental federal, state and local governmental laws and rules and coordinated with federal and local governments on mutual benefit agreements to effect innovative environmental policies.
- Counseled local governments on real property and environmental matters involving the government property sale, purchase or reuse, contamination cleanup and property tax collection.
- Counseled local governments on festival branding, trademarks and marketing and responding to copyright infringement claims.
Professional & Community Involvement
- Bill Hinkley Center for Solid and Hazardous Waste Management, Advisory Board, 2018-2020
- Florida Bar Grievance Committee 2A, serving the 2d Judicial Circuit, 2017-2020
- Florida Brownfield Association
- Board member, 2013-2015
- Legislative Days Chairman, 2014
- President, 2010-2011
- Legislative Committee Co-Chair, 2007-2010 - drafted, lobbied and helped pass 2008, 2010, and 2014 Amendments to Florida's Brownfield laws
- Conference Committee Co-Chair, 2010 - in charge of planning the 2010 FBA Conference
- Georgia Tech Tallahassee Thomasville Alumni Network
- President, 2012-Present
- Northeast Florida Network, Board Member, 2010-2011
- Presidential Scholarship Program Committee, 2010-2011
- Tallahassee Area Association of Environmental Professionals, Board Member, 2013-2015
- Florida Engineering Society, Northeast and Big Bend Chapters
- Professional Development Committee, 2002-2003
- Vice President, 2003
- Treasurer, 2002
- Chapter Secretary, 2001
- Mathcounts Chairman, 2000
- American Bar Association - Intellectual Property Section Member, 2009-2016
- American Intellectual Property Law Association Member, 2012-2017
- Florida Minerals and Chemistry Council
- Ecology and Environment Inc.’s Company Representative, 2000-2003
- Counsel to the Mining Subcommittee, 2006-2008
- First Coast Manufacturer's Association, Professional Progress Class of 2007
- Florida Bar Leadership Academy, Class II
- Florida Super Lawyers, Rising Star in Environmental Law, 2009-2015
- Winner of the Dean Frank E. Maloney Writing Competition with “Adding Pollution Trading to Florida's Total Maximum Daily Load Program,” 2006
- Young Engineer of the Year, Big Bend Chapter of the Florida Engineering Society, 2001
Publications & Presentations
Publications, Recent News Updates:
New Bipartisan Federal Law Presents Opportunities for Public-Private Partnerships
Stearns Weaver Miller New Update|November 2018
In his former capacity as Director of Division of Waste Management at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Mr. Ullo spoke routinely on various waste policy matters and provided updates on the various programs that affected and guided waste.
Co-Author, Brownfields Site Rehabilitation
Florida Environmental & Land Use Law Treatise|June 2014
Co-Author, Intellectual Property: A Primer on What It Is and How to Protect It
American Water Works Association Journal|August 2013
Co-Author, Brownfields Site Rehabilitation
Florida Environmental & Land Use Law Treatise|June 2013
Water Quality Credit Trading - It Could be Coming to a Waterbody Near You
American Water Works Association Journal|June 2013
Redevelopment and Water Quality Credit Trading: Square Peg in a Round Hole?
Florida Engineering Society Journal|October 2008
Water Quality Credit Trading: A Practitioner's Perspective
Florida Bar Journal|May 2007
Jacob T. Cremer Appointed to Florida Brownfields Association Board of Directors