Michael S. Kettler


Michael S. Kettler is Counsel in the Firm’s Environmental Law Practice.

Mike represents national and multinational corporations, public utilities, developers, and small businesses in both litigated and transactional matters. He advises clients regarding the numerous regulatory obligations of federal and state environmental law.

In a series of significant litigation matters, Mike represented the developer of a major utility infrastructure project to resist several challenges in the New Jersey Appellate Division to permits and approvals granted by the Pinelands Commission and NJDEP. His successful opposition to multiple stay requests allowed the project to be completed. He also prosecutes and defends cost recovery actions and other litigation regarding environmental remediation costs, and he represents parties subject to enforcement actions and cost recovery claims by environmental regulators. In addition, he has represented a public utility in litigation to overcome local opposition to the siting of infrastructure.

Mike also helps clients navigate the effects on high-value corporate and real estate transactions of New Jersey’s unique and strict environmental laws, such as the Industrial Site Recovery Act (ISRA), as well as New Jersey’s nascent regulations concerning environmental justice and climate change. For example, he advised the seller of a vacant brownfield site subject to remediation obligations under ISRA, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and the Toxic Substances Control Act, and shepherded the sale through bankruptcy court approval following the bankruptcy filing of our client’s parent company.

Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances.

Mike routinely advises clients concerning environmental regulatory and permitting matters. In particular, he guides numerous clients through the complex and ever-changing requirements of the New Jersey site remediation program. He also has counseled developers of offshore wind projects on coastal permitting issues and other environmental aspects of siting transmission lines and associated facilities.

Before joining Riker Danzig, Mike was a litigation and environmental law associate in the New York office of an international law firm, where he litigated a major natural resource damages case brought by the government of the U.S. Virgin Islands and advised potentially responsible parties at one of the nation’s largest Superfund sites.

At Columbia Law School, Mike served on the editorial board of the Columbia Journal of Environmental Law. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and a proud alumnus of the Penn Band.

Areas of Emphasis

Cost Recovery Litigation

Contaminated Site Remediation


Appellate Litigation

Administrative Litigation

Bar Admissions

New Jersey

New York

United States District Court, District of New Jersey

United States District Court, Eastern District of New York

United States District Court, Southern District of New York


Columbia University School of Law, J.D., 2012

University of Pennsylvania, B.A., summa cum laude, 2009

Professional Activities

New Jersey State Bar Association, Environmental Law Section

New Jersey Licensed Site Remediation Professionals Association

Maplewood Community Music, Third Trombone

Rankings & Recognitions

Thomson Reuters has included Mike on New Jersey’s “Rising Stars” list for Environmental Litigation for 2022.

Mike has been included in the 2024 edition of Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch® in America for his work in Environmental Law. The “Ones to Watch” awards are recognitions given to attorneys who are earlier in their careers for outstanding professional excellence in private practice in the United States.

See Awards and Honors Methodology.

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