Retired Chief Judge Thomas W. Renwand, Pa. Environmental Hearing Board, to Receive PBA Environmental and Energy Law Section Lifetime Achievement Award

HARRISBURG, Pa. (March 12, 2024) — Pittsburgh area retired Chief Judge Thomas W. Renwand will receive the 2024 Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) Environmental and Energy Law Section Lifetime Achievement Award during the Environmental Law Forum, April 10, at the Hilton Harrisburg.

The award honors contributions made to the section and general efforts that enhance the development, improvement and furtherance of the practice of environmental law that benefit the community or represent outstanding personal achievement.

Judge Renwand served on the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board from 1995 until his retirement in February 2003. In 2007, he was named acting chairman and chief judge by former Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell, who later appointed him chairman and chief judge in 2009. Judge Renwand was the longest serving chairman and chief judge in the board’s history.

Under Judge Renwand’s leadership, the board streamlined its management of cases and filings and became one of the first courts in the country to adopt a fully electronic docket and mandatory electronic filing system. These changes improved transparency and provided the public with greater access to documents filed with and issued by the board.

During his tenure, Judge Renwand authored landmark decisions on topics related to environmental law, including Marcellus Shale drilling, air quality standards and water pollution. He also wrote extensively on prehearing procedure, expert witnesses and discovery.

Prior to serving on the bench, Judge Renwand was a partner and trial attorney with Meyer, Unkovic and Scott LLP in Pittsburgh. He started his legal career with Knox McLaughlin Gornall & Sennett PC in Erie. His practice focused on professional liability, products liability, civil rights and environmental law.

A member of the PBA since 1980, Judge Renwand is a past chair of the Administrative Law Section and member of the Environmental and Energy Law Section. In 2018, he received the PBA Administrative Law Section James S. Bowman Award for making a significant impact on the practice of administrative law and demonstrating leadership in mentoring administrative law practitioners. Within the Allegheny County Bar Association, he has served as a member of the Environmental and Energy Law Section.

Serving the Pittsburgh community, Judge Renwand annually presided over the University of Pittsburgh School of Law Environmental Law Clinic Moot Court hearing before the Environmental Hearing Board. As part of this program, he provided feedback and mentored law students who were interested in a career in environmental law in Pennsylvania.

Judge Renwand received his law degree from the University of Akron School of Law, where he was editor-in-chief of the Law Review. He graduated with honors with a bachelor’s degree from John Carroll University in University Heights, Ohio.

Offering up to 12 Continuing Legal Education credits, the Environmental Law Forum will feature updates on energy, conventional land developments, environmental litigation, changing laws, developing legislation, new technologies and more. For additional information, visit