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J.D. University of Montana School of Law, honors (1996)
B.S. Arizona State University, cum laude (1991)
Awards and Recognitions
Colorado, Utah, Arizona
Joan has more than 20 years of experience in natural resources and environmental law, administration, and policy, with a principal focus on water quality matters, including surface water quality standards and permitting, groundwater regulation and cleanup, and safe drinking water regulation and compliance. Joan is solution-oriented and advises and represents clients in permitting and enforcement actions under the Clean Water Act--including the section 402 (NPDES) and 404 (dredge and fill) permitting programs, the Safe Drinking Water Act--including the Underground Injection Control program, CERCLA administrative actions, and other federal and state-based environmental programs. She has significant experience working with clients, agencies, and industry on the legal and practical aspects of water quality challenges associated with hard-rock mining and its environmental legacy in the western United States. Joan advises clients and colleagues working to address the challenges and opportunities around water quality and water resource management, and water infrastructure planning, finance, and development.
Prior to joining Culp & Kelly, LLP, Joan served from September 2013 through January 2017 as Senior Policy Advisor at the Region 8 Office of the Environmental Protection Agency in Denver, Colorado. She assisted the Regional Administrator in the day-to-day work of managing the Region’s approximately 500 employees in rulemaking, permitting, compliance and enforcement matters in 6 states, 28 tribal nations and Washington DC. At Region 8, Joan also had direct management responsibility for the Region’s four Senior Advisors for Energy, Science, Agriculture, and International Affairs.
Prior to joining EPA, Joan managed the environmental regulatory affairs program for Park City, Utah. At Park City, she provided strategic advice to the City Council and City Manager on addressing the area’s hard rock mining legacy through CERCLA administrative actions and Clean Water Act permitting actions. Joan served as Director of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Water Quality Division from 2005 to 2009, administering Arizona's water quality programs—the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Aquifer Protection Permit Program, as well as the state’s Pesticide Contamination Prevention Program. As ADEQ's Deputy Administrative Counsel from 2004 to 2005 she provided the agency’s Director and its five divisions with legal and policy advice on environmental, administrative, and personnel matters.
Before joining ADEQ, Joan was an Attorney Advisor in the Phoenix Field Solicitor's Office of the U.S. Department of the Interior where she counseled the Bureau of Reclamation’s three Lower Colorado River offices on water and natural resource matters, including NEPA and Endangered Species Act compliance. In that position, she also represented the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in CERCLA natural resource damages matters.
Joan began her career in Arizona as an Assistant Attorney General in the Environmental Enforcement Section of the Arizona Office of the Attorney General where she represented ADEQ in administrative and other environmental enforcement litigation. Prior to that, Joan served internships with the Arizona Department of Water Resources and the Wilderness Society and guided river and hiking trips for Cimarron River Company.
Joan is a Commissioner on the Colorado Water Quality Control Commission, the state's water quality policy-making body. Joan is a member of the AirWaterGas External Advisory Committee at the University of Colorado. She is a former member of the Western States Water Council and past Chair of that organization's Water Quality Committee, and was a member of the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Forum and Advisory Council. She also previously served as a Board Member of the Association of State and Interstate Water Pollution Control Administrators (now AWCA) and as a member of the Utah Radiation Control Board.
Joan received her J.D. from the University of Montana School of Law where she was Co-Editor in Chief of the Public Land and Natural Resources Law Review and received her Bachelor of Science from Arizona State University. She is a member of the bar in Arizona, Colorado and Utah and is a member of the American Bar Association. She is a Utah native and currently resides with her family in Colorado.