Russell B. Selman

A nationally recognized attorney representing corporate, real estate and power generation companies in environmental disputes, Russell works on many of the largest, most complex, and potentially most expensive environmental matters in the United States.
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These high-profile cases require counsel with substantial factual and technical understanding, which Russell has developed during his 30-year career. Whether in court or before an arbitrator, clients benefit from his knowledgeable, yet plainspoken style.

Russell is now advising several leading corporations with Superfund sites in New York, California and in the Midwest. These sites involve century-old processes where the land and adjacent waterways are the joint focus of the EPA or state regulators.

Russell’s clients value his extensive experience, ability to implement overall strategic plans for large projects and identify other responsible parties to share costs. Given the uncertain and often unfair imposition of environmental costs, his careful building-block approach to developing his clients’ cases has proven successful, and convinced many opponents to assess early settlement.

Previous Work

Russell previously served as acting assistant enforcement counsel for the EPA in Washington, D.C. He litigated nationally significant PCB and pesticide cases as the EPA headquarters lead national counsel. Russell also served as a special assistant to the EPA’s General Counsel and developed legal and enforcement policies for EPA's enforcement and reauthorization of the Superfund statute.

Client Work

  • Represents the Town of Oyster Bay, and the Town of Hempstead New York against Grumman and the U S Navy for contaminant releases to groundwater supply sources.
  • Lead counsel for National Grid at Newtown Creek and Gowanus Superfund sites.
  • Lead counsel for National Grid at the Williamsburg, NY petroleum site.
  • Lead counsel for multiple national utilities managing groundwater and toxic tort litigation.
  • Represents multiple corporations on insurance recovery matters.
  • Performed as co ordinating counsel on all environmental matters affecting some of the Country’s largest chemical and utility corporations and managed cost recovery litigation, consultant hiring, and public communications.
  • Multiple representations of multi party Steering Committees at Superfund sites.

  • Arbitrator for Superfund cost recovery matters.

  • Lead attorney at over 300 manufactured gas sites and coking facilities.

  • Counsel for Pacific Gas & Electric on multiple San Francisco contamination sites and designed settlements on complex land reacquisition.

  • Lead counsel at Illinois’s largest private party remediation ($200 million) at a public park.

Publications, Presentations & Recognitions


  • "Inside the Minds: Environmental Law Client Strategies," (co-author) Aspatore Books (2008)


  • “Rethinking the Steps for Effective Identification of Third Parties at Sediment Sites,” The 8th International Symposium and Exhibition on the Redevelopment of Manufactured Gas Plant Sites, Atlantic City, N.J. (Jun. 3, 2019)
  • “Re-Thinking Responses to Sediment Site Cleanup Demands” (co-presenter) 2017 Energy, Utility & Environment Conference, San Diego, Calif. (Feb. 9, 2017)


  • Chambers USA – Environment: Litigation, Illinois (2011-2021)
  • Illinois Leading Lawyer, Law Bulletin's Illinois Leading Lawyers Network (2012-2021)
  • Peer Reviewed AV® Preeminent™, Martindale-Hubbell (Since 2009)
  • “Special Achievement” Award for Litigation, Environmental Protection Agency (1982)



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