Jack C. Bender


Jack is experienced in consulting and representing clients on environmental law matters, including administrative and court litigation regarding emissions, solid and hazardous waste, and wastewater compliance and permitting issues. A frequent speaker at business and trade group meetings on environmental issues, he has also written extensively on a variety of permitting and enforcement topics.

With respect to environmental permitting, Jack has assisted manufacturing, electric utility, coal mining, and municipal clients in applying for and negotiating the terms of Title V and Prevention of Significant Deterioration air emission permits, NPDES wastewater permits, municipal and industrial solid waste landfill permits, and dredge and fill permits and associated state water quality certifications. He has also defended third party challenges to air emission, wastewater discharge, and landfill permits in administrative proceedings and state court. In these permit related matters, Jack works closely with the clients’ technical consultants to ensure the permits are reasonable and practicable from a compliance standpoint and the terms and supporting administrative record are defensible so as to minimize third party or EPA objection risks. His regulatory compliance and permitting experience and engineering background is also used to assist clients and consultants in conducting compliance audits for single facility and multiple site projects.

He also defends clients in state, federal, and citizen suit enforcement actions. He has defended citizen suit actions brought by environmental interest groups under the Clean Water Act, the Solid Waste Disposal Act, and the Clean Air Act. On behalf of municipal clients, Jack has negotiated wet weather consent decrees and state consent judgments for remedial actions to address separate and combined sewer overflows, treatment plant bypasses, and MS4 compliance. He has negotiated numerous settlements with EPA and state regulators to resolve environmental regulation enforcement actions against industrial and utility clients.

Jack is active in assisting clients and trade groups in commenting on environmental regulations. He has also represented business and industry trade groups as interveners and amici in environmental interest group challenges to state water quality standards and other environmental regulatory determinations.

Prior to attending law school, became registered as a professional engineer in Kentucky in the field of mining engineering.


  • University of Kentucky College of Law  (J.D., 1987)
    • Journal of Mineral Law & Policy, articles editor
    • Order of the Coif
  • Pennsylvania State University  (B.S., 1978)
    • Mining Engineering

Bar Admissions

  • Kentucky

Court Admissions

  • Kentucky Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky


  • Fayette County Bar Association
  • Kentucky Bar Association
  • Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Energy and Environment Committee


  • Best Lawyers®
    • "Lawyer of the Year" in Lexington for Litigation - Environmental (2016, 2019)
    •  Administrative/Regulatory Law, Environmental Law, Litigation – Environmental, Water Law
  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business for Environment, Natural Resources & Utilities: Environment - Kentucky
  • Kentucky Super Lawyers®