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Ronald J. Tenpas

Ronald J. Tenpas

Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP

Washington, DC, USA

Ronald J. Tenpas
Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP
Washington, DC

Ron brings his Justice Department experience working with federal environmental agencies such as the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the US Fish and Wildlife Service to the advice he offers clients on regulatory compliance questions under environmental laws and related compliance programs. He also handles due diligence issues involved in transactional settings.

Ron previously served as Assistant Attorney General (AAG) for the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the US Department of Justice, a presidentially appointed, Senate-confirmed position. In that role, he managed a 700-person division that included 400 lawyers, and oversaw civil and criminal litigation arising under more than 150 environmental and natural resources laws. He also advised Cabinet and White House officials on policy and litigation risks associated with the environmental laws. The Division’s major client agencies were the EPA and the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Energy, Homeland Security, and Interior. Ron oversaw litigation in which regulated entities challenged new regulatory commands, and matters in which the government sought to enforce environmental requirements arising under the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, CERCLA (Superfund), RCRA, the Pipeline Safety Act, and other statutes. Ron received the Edmund Randolph Award, the Justice Department’s highest honor, for his service.

Before serving as AAG, Ron served as an Associate Deputy Attorney General, as the US Attorney in the Southern District of Illinois (also requiring Senate confirmation), and as an Assistant US Attorney in the District of Maryland and the Middle District of Florida. In these positions, he investigated and tried white collar matters related to healthcare fraud and public corruption. He has testified five times before Congress on multiple topics, including environmental enforcement, healthcare fraud, insider trading, and identity theft. He chaired the Justice Department’s healthcare fraud coordinating committee, served on the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee of US Attorneys, and served as executive director of the 17-agency Identity Theft Task Force.

Ron has an active pro bono practice, chairing the Washington, DC, office’s Pro Bono Committee and serving on the Board of the DC Legal Aid Society.

Ron served as law clerk to Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist of the US Supreme Court, Judge Louis H. Pollak of the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and Judge Howard Holtzmann of the Iran-US Claims Tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands.  Ron was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to attend Oxford University.


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