HARRISBURG (May 8, 2018) — The Pennsylvania Bar Association Administrative Law Section will present its James S. Bowman Award to Pittsburgh-based Judge Thomas W. Renwand, chairman and chief judge of the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board, on May 10 at the Annual Meeting Awards Luncheon in Hershey.
The James S. Bowman Award honors a lawyer who is making a significant impact on the practice of administrative law and who is demonstrating leadership in mentoring administrative law practitioners.
Appointed to the Environmental Hearing Board in 1995, Renwand has authored landmark decisions on diverse topics related to administrative and environmental law, including Marcellus Shale drilling, air quality standards and water pollution.
Committed to the timely and efficient adjudication of decisions and opinions, Renwand co-authored the first internal board procedures on the issue. He has also developed innovative techniques for the systematic monitoring and disposition of cases in order to enhance the efficiency, accountability and professionalism of the board. One such example — Renwand worked with the Environmental Hearing Board Rules Committee to develop a system of mandatory electronic filing to improve transparency and provide greater access to information by the public, as well as cost savings. He has enhanced efficiencies in other ways, too, continuing to operate four offices effectively and increasing productivity despite facing administrative and budgetary challenges.
An active member of the legal community, Renwand is past chair of the PBA Administrative Law Section, and a member of PBA Environmental and Energy Law Section and Allegheny County Bar Association Environmental Law Section.
Under Renwand’s leadership, the PBA Environmental and Energy Law Section’s Pro Bono Program grew from one with small, local impact to a program that assists many individuals and small businesses throughout the commonwealth with pro bono legal representation before the Environmental Hearing Board.
Renwand annually presides over the University of Pittsburgh School of Law Environmental Law Clinic’s Moot Court hearing before the Environmental Hearing Board. As part of this program, he provides feedback and mentors law students who are interested in a career in environmental law in Pennsylvania.
Prior to being appointed to the board, Renwand practiced law at firms in Pittsburgh and Erie, representing clients before state administrative agencies in the areas of environmental law, civil rights, employment discrimination and professional liability.
Renwand graduated with honors from John Carroll University in 1977 and the University of Akron School of Law in 1980.
Founded in 1895, the Pennsylvania Bar Association strives to promote justice, professional excellence and respect for the law; improve public understanding of the legal system; facilitate access to legal services; and serve the 26,000 lawyers who are members of the association.