Tammy L. Helminski is a partner in the Grand Rapids office of Barnes & Thornburg, and a member of the firm’s Environmental Law Department, which was recently recognized as Tier 1 for national environmental litigation in the annual “Best Law Firms” ranking by U.S. News and Best Lawyers. She is also a Co-Chair of the Remediation, Corrective Action and Voluntary Cleanups Practice Group.
Ms. Helminski counsels municipal, institutional, manufacturing, and individual clients on the environmental aspects of their operations. She has experience with environmental compliance and permitting, including evaluating stormwater, wastewater, hazardous waste, TSCA and FIFRA issues, and environmental management systems like ISO 14001. She is active in evaluating and drafting comments on proposed regulations and has experience with administrative regulatory challenges. Ms. Helminski has also worked with clients on Department of Energy product energy efficiency compliance and enforcement and similar state programs.
Ms. Helminski has managed complex remediation sites involving numerous parties under both state and federal oversight. Her litigation experience includes representing clients in cases involving CERCLA, NEPA, RCRA and NREPA, as well as product liability, mold, asbestos, construction and contract litigation matters. In addition, Ms. Helminski has emergency response experience and is a member of the firm's Pipeline Practice Team.
Prior to her legal career, Ms. Helminski was a pollution prevention coordinator at the NASA Ames Research Center and was an environmental engineer at Ford Motor Company.
Ms. Helminski earned her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. While in law school, she was an intern for the Honorable Robert H. Cleland in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, served as an associate editor of the Michigan Journal of Gender & Law and was co-chair of the Environmental Law Society. Ms. Helminski earned her M.S. in environmental policy and her B.S. in environmental engineering from Michigan Technological University.
Ms. Helminski was recognized on the Michigan Super Lawyers Rising Stars list in 2009, 2011-2014 and the Michigan Super Lawyers list since 2015. Since 2016, she has also been recognized on The Best Lawyers in America list for her work in environmental law. Ms. Helminski belongs to the State Bar of Michigan Environmental Law Section, and is a chair of the Hazardous Substances & Brownfields Committee. She is also a graduate of the inaugural class of the Urban Land Institute’s Larson Center for Leadership, where she conducted the Technical Assistance Project: Daylighting Potential of the Clinton River: A Feasibility Study in Pontiac, Michigan. She is currently the chair of the City of Grand Rapids Vital Streets Oversight Commission.
Ms. Helminski is admitted to practice in the State of Michigan.