Beth S. Gotthelf

Bloomfield Hills | P 248 258 1303 | F 248 258 1439

Beth S. Gotthelf is a Shareholder based in Butzel Long's Bloomfield Hills office. She is the firm's Director of Innovation and External Relations, Co-Chair of the Energy & Sustainability practice, and the Chair of the Aerospace & Defense industry team. Ms. Gotthelf brings a pragmatic and holistic approach to clients' issues, assisting them in reaching their business goals, often matchmaking clients' needs and acting as an outside general counsel. Her assistance in diversifying automotive suppliers into the aerospace & defense arena during the economic downturn is just one example of her holistic approach. Ms. Gotthelf now counsels clients in governmental contracting, ITAR, EAR, and Foreign Military Sales. Another example is her work with start-up companies at the Macomb-Oakland University INCubator. Ms. Gotthelf is also a leader in environmental law, bringing creative solutions to remediation, redevelopment, tax incentives, and waste management.

Ms. Gotthelf represents and counsels a diverse mix of clients in numerous matters throughout the country. These matters include compliance and permitting; alternative energy issues; responding to an emergency; siting new facilities; civil and criminal enforcement; compliance audits; brownfields; tax incentives; remediation of contaminated sites; insurance claims; administrative procedures; solid and hazardous waste; landfills; composting; and occupational safety and health.

Ms. Gotthelf has served as general counsel to the Michigan Chapter of the National Association of Surface Finishers since 1990 ; Macomb-Oakland University INCubator Executive in Residence and Advisory Board member (2013-present); Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Detroit Advisory Board (2014-present); Better Business Bureau Board member (2012-present); Michigan Israel Business Bridge Board member (2007-present); former general counsel to the Wayne County Brownfield Authority. She has represented the Wayne County Department of Environment on a broad variety of issues, including the Detroit bankruptcy as it related to the Detroit Water & Sewerage Department; wastewater treatment plant expansion, upgrade and compliance; wet weather; landfills; remediation; and ordinance amendments. She has also represented Oakland County on matters concerning stormwater and wastewater.

Ms. Gotthelf credits her successful counseling on using her business experience, legal training, and active participation in professional groups and non-profits that gives her much experience to draw upon.

Ms. Gotthelf has been very active in the Bar, including past service as: Vice Chair of the American Bar Association ("ABA") Section of Natural Resources, Energy and Environmental Law, Water Quality and Wetlands; former Vice Chair of the Section's Keystone Committee; Chair of the State Bar of Michigan Environmental Law Section; and Chair of the Environmental Law Committee of the Oakland County Bar Association. Ms Gotthelf is a past member of the State Bar Representative Assembly on behalf of Oakland County.

Ms. Gotthelf serves on the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce Leadership Committee for Transportation, and is past Chair of the Chamber's Task Force on Water and Sewer Issues. She is a Fellow of the Michigan State Bar Foundation and a past Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America. Ms. Gotthelf is Chair of the City of Birmingham (Michigan) Brownfield Authority (2005-present). On behalf of industry, Ms. Gotthelf served on the Federal Advisory Committee charged with recommending stormwater rules and served as a Director of the Detroit Area Commercial Board of Realtors, which covers the State of Michigan. She served as an arbitrator for the National Arbitration Forum. She is also past Co-Chair of the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) Legislative Action Committee.

Ms. Gotthelf's charitable activities include serving as Co-Chair of the Gleaners Food Bank Women's Power Breakfast fundraiser (2015); Board member and eventually President of the Board of Trustees for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Michigan Chapter (1996-2008); Board member and eventually Chair of the Board of Trustees of Oakland Plus Foundation (2005-11); Trustee of the Jewish Vocational Services (2000-15); member of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, State Government Relations Oversight Committee (2004-present); member of the Board of Directors for the University and Cancer Foundation(2000-07), to name a few.

Ms. Gotthelf was selected as one of 20 influential leaders by Michigan Lawyers Weekly - Women in Law (2010). She was listed as one of the "Top 100 Michigan Super Lawyers" by Michigan Super Lawyers (2006, 2007, 2008) and as one of the "Top 50 Female Michigan Super Lawyers" (2006 and 2008). She has received a number of awards and special recognitions, including as an emerging leader by the Detroit Regional Chamber (2003); the National Association of Surface Finishers (2002); Corp! Magazine as one of "Michigan's 95 Most Powerful Women" (2002); Corp! Magazine's "Top 10 Business Attorneys for Southeast Michigan" (1999); and Crain's Detroit Business' 40 emerging leaders under age 40 ("40 Under 40") (1994).

Ms. Gotthelf has authored articles of national interest for the ABA on Proposed Wastewater Regulations and Underground Storage Tanks, and authored a public policy update on the Detroit wastewater ordinance amendments for Detroiter. National lectures include National Brownfields Conference (2008); Walsh College "FIN or Else: FIN 47" Seminar; Urban Land Use Planning (2007); COATING 2005 on "Doing Business in China"; the ABA Annual Meetings, Section of Natural Resources, Energy and Environmental Law concerning general practice (2007) and water issues (2004 and 2002); "A Civil Reaction: Confronting Environment Problems in the New Millennium" (1997); "Annual Fundamentals of Real Estate Taxation" (1997, 1998, 2000, 2001 and 2002); and at the National Association of Metal Finishers, "Federal Wastewater Pretreatment Issues."

  • University of Detroit Mercy School of Law Law School 1985, J.D.
  • Oakland University Undergraduate 1980, B.S., Public Administration and Public Policy

Michigan Lawyers Weekly - recognized as one of 20 Women in Law, 2010

The Best Lawyers in America, Environmental Law, 2013-2018

DBusiness Top Lawyers in Metro Detroit, Environmental Law, 2011-2018 Energy Law, 2011-2012, 2016, 2018 Government Relations Law, 2011-2012

Michigan Super Lawyers, Environmental, 2006-2017

2009 Oakland University Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award

Litigation Counsel of America - Fellow

Michigan State Bar Foundation - Fellow

Oakland County Bar Foundation- Fellow

Top 100 Michigan Super Lawyers (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009)

Top 50 Female Michigan Super Lawyers (2006, 2008, 2014 and 2015)

Detroit Regional Chamber - recognition as an emerging leader (2003)

National Association of Metal Finishers (2002)

Corp! Magazine - one of "Michigan's 95 Most Powerful Women" (2002)

Corp! Magazine - "Top 10 Business Attorneys for Southeast Michigan" (1999)

Crain's Detroit Business' 40 emerging leaders under age 40 ("40 Under 40") (1994)

  • Michigan

Macomb-Oakland University INCubator Advisory Council

American Bar Association (ABA) - Vice Chair, Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources Water Quality and Wetlands Committee

Vice-Chair, Teleconference Seminars

Vice-Chair, 2010 Eastern Water Resources Conference

Former Vice-Chair, Annual Keystone Environmental Conference

State Bar of Michigan - past Chair, Environmental Law Section past Section Council-person and Chair of Program Committee Superfund, Solid and Hazardous Waste and Insurance

State Bar of Michigan - past member Representative Assembly on behalf of Oakland County

Oakland County Bar Association

Jewish Vocational Services - Board of Trustees

Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce - Translink Advisory Committee past Chair, Task Force on Water and Sewer Issues

Great Lakes Guardians - Chair, Board of Trustees

Michigan Israel Business Bridge - Board of Directors

Diplomat Helping Hands Foundation - Director

Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) - past Co-Chair, legislative action committee

Federal Advisory Committee Member - rulemaking Phase 2 stormwater rules

  • Financial lending for development of Bloomfield Park
  • Assisted clients in obtaining permits and defending action in alleged disturbance of an endangered species (eagles).
  • Representation of a county in a variety of issues from construction of a $300 million upgrade and expansion of its wastewater treatment plant to compliance of its wastewater discharge limits
  • Advised client concerning purchase, tax incentives and the remediation of a contaminated site to redevelop into residential units
  • Successfully prosecuted several contested case proceedings related to wetland permit denials.
  • Defend Client in multiple class action and multi-party lawsuits that were filed in reaction to hydrochloric acid release at Client's property; pursue insurance coverage related to same.
  • Representing companies in alleged criminal environmental conduct
  • Ongoing representation of numerous solid waste and recycling companies on a variety of landfill compliance & permitting issues.
  • Represented energy company in development, land purchase, equipment purchase and tax incentives for wood pellet manufacturing
  • Represent company in the sale of highly contaminated gas station, conversion to drugstore while remediating contamination.
  • Ongoing representation for numerous casino clients in a variety of OSHA issues
  • Assisting with the construction, financing & permitting of ethanol plants in two locations in a northern area of Michigan
  • Defend client in CERCLA cost recovery claim.
  • Conducted environmental due diligence and organized a transfer of environmental permits for the purchase of a portable energy production facility
  • Assisted Developer in obtaining a unique 2007 Wetland Permit that allowed the construction of a wetland shelf for sediments and dredging
  • Defended several class action law suits against waste treatment & disposal clients alleging harm due to odors and other impact from respected facilities.
  • Advised bond insurer for Michigan higher education facilities authority on various aspects of bond and environmental issues
  • Various enforcement actions pursuant to Wayne County's air regulations against companies such as local steel and automotive corporations
  • Negotiated an administrative order for a landfill client with the DNRE resulting from alleged violations of the laws and regulations regarding the operation and maintenance of solid waste landfills
  • Defend various companies against alleged wastewater discharge violations
  • Represented major manufacturer in negotiating complex remedial action plan.
  • Represent Client in lawsuit against travel agent for refund of the cost of trip.
  • Represented manufacturing company with respect to multimedia inspection by state and US EPA
  • Representation of companies undergoing a multimedia environmental investigation by local, state and federal authorities, with criminal undertones
  • Chaired Brownfield Authority for large suburban community
  • Assisted manufacturing company in reopening after major fire
  • Construction of a combined sewer overflow basin at a former dump site.
  • Obtained court order to allow access for remediation.
  • Prosecuted several cost recovery actions on behalf of clients seeking to recoup remediation costs against responsible parties.
  • Represent solar and windmill energy company for tax incentives, pilot projects and sale for residential use
  • Working with a developer to obtain DEQ permit to fill wetlands and negotiating an agreement with a nearby conservancy
  • Represented numerous clients in obtaining, modifying and or transferring air permits.
  • Successfully represented industry group in negations to amend an ordinance regulating industrial discharges into one of the largest wastewater treatment plants in the country.
  • Represented a private equity investor in the lengthy and complicated effort to purchase all of Ford Motor Company's glass manufacturing operations in North America
  • Worked with client to obtain $1 million Single Business Tax Credit, approval of brownfield plan and negotiation of brownfield agreement with city
  • Defended against suit filed by MDEQ for alleged contamination of soils and groundwater
  • Represented owner of land next to landfill due to methane gas migrating onsite
  • Reached a settlement for a nuisance value for MDEQ claims against client
  • Assisted in addressing regional transportation issues for client's possible move to downtown Detroit
  • Environmental representation for a metal finishing company in connection with a release of hazardous chemicals that caused the evacuation of over 3,000 people and a flood of class action lawsuits
  • Represented the County in the transfer of sewer capacity to the communities of Novi, Northville & Plymouth
  • Assist with the purchasing, contracting, bonding, construction and permitting of two ethanol plants
  • Reviewed various environmental due diligence and terms in sales agreements on behalf of bank and its borrowers.
  • Representation of solid waste and recycling company included a variety of landfill compliance and contamination issues of multiple landfills and transfer stations
  • Review and analyze environmental due diligence reports, and purchase agreements on behalf of buyers, sellers, and lenders, and advise as to potential environmental liability and available protections.
  • Represented a healthcare client with the environmental aspects of the sale of the company
  • Convinced MDEQ to reverse its policy not to process permit applications for wastewater discharges from treatment plants until proper zoning is in place
  • Creation of a 13-community management authority for a regional wastewater plant
  • Settled a suit against a manufacturer and designer of the pumps at the Wyandotte wastewater treatment plant, resulting in a program to repair the mammoth pumps and monetary damage
  • Worked with client to obtain $1 million Single Business Tax Credit.
  • Represent developer in the obtaining of a wastewater discharge permit from a manufactured home park, including fighting the State's decision not to issue a permit through a contested case proceeding
  • Represent client after it was "raided" by US EPA
  • Represented manufacturing company in class action suit for damages as a result of evacuation
  • Assisted client in purchasing, tax incentives and permits of alternative fuel, R&D facility
  • Successfully represented client in dispute with DEQ over wetland delineation for 50 acre development.
  • Numerous remediation projects of abandoned dumps.
  • Represented credit union in sale of contaminated property and cost recovery against Texaco
  • Create the first wetland bank in Michigan.
  • Represented manufacturing company in lawuit against insurance company for coverage after environmental emergency
  • Assist in purchasing hundreds of thousands of dollars of tax credits in numerous transactions
  • Represented several manufacturing home park clients in obtaining ground water discharge permits.
  • Assisting with PUD approval, condo documents, along with wetland, shoreland and sewer water permits for a 450-acre lakefront residential development
  • Investigation of remedial contamination and negotiation of non-liability status with state
  • Supervised environmental due diligence and remedial activities related to major multi-parcel development in major metropolitan downtown area.
  • Defended against several claims of injury related to alleged mold exposure.
  • Obtained a judgment of approximately $24 million for DWSD and its rate payers
  • Assisted numerous clients with international transactions involving environmental due diligence and permitting throughout South America, Asia and Europe.
  • Represent manufacturer in stock purchase of contaminated property
  • Created Brownfield Authority for large metropolitan county and local municipalities
  • Representation of manufacturer in remediation using soil miting
  • Represented a County against the City of Detroit and Detroit Water and Sewerage Dept. to terminate special powers the Court gave to the Mayor of Detroit
  • Various enforcement actions against industrial wastewater dischargers