Julia (Julie) Hatcher is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Latham & Watkins, focusing on the environmental, health, safety and product defense. Ms. Hatcher currently co-chairs Latham's Chemical Regulation, Product Strategy & Defense Practice Group and is regularly recognized as a leading practitioner in Washington, D.C. by Chambers USA and Super Lawyers.
Ms. Hatcher possesses deep expertise in laws that control chemicals at every life cycle stage, including the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the Superfund law (CERCLA), the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, the Federal Hazardous Substances Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Clean Water Act, federal transportation statutes, the Occupational Safety and Health Act and related state laws, as well as the intersection of these laws with toxic tort liability. Her chemicals expertise also extends to consumer products-related requirements for labeling, reporting, “green” and “health” claims and recalls administered by the Consumer Products Safety Commission, the Federal Trade Commission and state counterpart agencies.
Ms. Hatcher’s expertise includes international chemical control requirements, such as the European Union Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), the Stockholm Convention and the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (LRTAP). Ms. Hatcher collaborates regularly on international matters with Latham colleagues in offices outside of the United States.
Ms. Hatcher also has worked extensively in the Clean Air Act and climate change arenas. She has been involved for clients in all recent major rulemakings to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.
Ms. Hatcher represents clients in matters ranging from compliance advice to rulemaking to agency enforcement proceedings to federal court litigation. She appears regularly before the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and state counterpart agencies as well as other regulatory bodies, including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Department of Transportation (DOT), the Consumer Products Safety Commission, the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board and the Department of Homeland Security.
Ms. Hatcher possesses particular expertise advising both individual companies and industry groups on forward-looking management of regulatory, public policy and litigation risks with reference not only to current legal requirements, but also to emerging areas, such as the measurement of chemicals in the body, nanotechnology and climate change. She also has worked extensively with major semiconductor, electronics and chemical companies in connection with Clean Air Act rulemakings, policy development, compliance issues, enforcement matters and appellate litigation arising under the PSD, NSR and Title V permitting programs as well as under Title III (air toxics) and Title VI (ODS replacements). In this capacity, Ms. Hatcher has been instrumental in pursuing innovative performance-based regulatory approaches that provide the flexibility necessary for technologically dynamic industries to compete in the global marketplace and yet to remain environmentally progressive.
Prior to practicing law, Ms. Hatcher served as a law clerk intern for Judge Chief Judge Harry T. Edwards of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
Ms. Hatcher’s representative experience includes advising:
- A major automobile manufacturer in connection with its vehicle service and recall campaigns. Recent work entailed leading a large, multi-disciplinary team to obtain approvals and assure compliance at the dealer-level with air, waste, zoning, building and fire code regulatory compliance issues across over 20 states and addressing complex waste issues raised by a separate component part recall.
- Chemical and consumer product companies on issues raised by the detection of chemicals in the human body, including extensively with 3M Company on its fluorochemical-related regulatory and litigation matters. These 3M matters have involved diverse work that ranges from, for example, serving as the primary drafter and negotiator of an innovative memorandum of understanding for fluorochemical plant site investigation and exposure assessment to negotiating a new form of TSCA Section 4 consent agreement for research and development to formulating strategies around scientific and regulatory developments in pending toxic tort litigation. Ms. Hatcher also is currently representing the chemical industry in discussions with US EPA on when and how the TSCA Section 8(e) “substantial risk” reporting requirements apply to human biomonitoring information.
- An aircraft industry company in connection with an investigation by the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board and related enforcement matters before the DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration stemming from the company’s disposal of unspent oxygen generators as hazardous waste that were alleged to have contributed to a fire and evacuation situation.
- A large consumer products company on various chemical control issues raised its imported products. This work currently entails representation before US EPA on an enforcement matter related to ozone depleting substances and defense against a threatened citizen’s suit by a national environmental group related to risk reporting for lead in products.
- Ms. Hatcher has served for over 10 years as environmental counsel to the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA). In this capacity, she has represented SIA as well as several of its member companies on strategies for addressing both pending and threatened “clean room” worker health litigation and for responding to charges by several well-funded activists groups supporting such litigation. Her SIA work also entails developing approaches for preemptive action before business disruptions occur due to chemical restrictions, including approaches for tracking "chemicals of concern;" securing "essential use" regulatory status; and identifying more environmentally-viable replacement chemicals. She also represents SIA on climate change-related matters, including in connection with its member companies’ voluntary reduction commitments memorialized in a memorandum of understanding with US EPA, the greenhouse case rulemakings for reporting and permitting currently being conducted by US EPA, state laws, such as California AB-32 and federal legislative proposals for a “cap and trade” system.
- Conducted special investigations for individual companies into product- and manufacturing-related risks pertaining to the intersection between regulatory, public policy and litigation. For example, Ms. Hatcher led a multi-year TSCA auditing effort for 3M Company that resulted in the recently-announced innovative settlement with US EPA involving pre-negotiated penalties. As another example, she is currently conducting an assessment for a multi-national chemical producer as to whether its TSCA compliance systems are sufficient to address new types of data that may become more prevalent, such as biomonitoring data, and the related liability issues.