John Kolanz brings over 30 years of practice experience in environmental and natural resource law to Otis & Bedingfield, LLC.  John spent the first eight years of his career in a large law firm setting.  There he was part of a sophisticated environmental and natural resource practice where he counseled corporate clients on a broad range of regulatory compliance and permitting issues arising out of business operations, enforcement activities, and real estate transactions.

After leaving the large firm to come to Colorado, John worked as in-house counsel for the City of Greeley, where he continued his focus on environmental and natural resource issues.  While at the City of Greeley, John established the Environmental and Water Resources Practice Group, which provides specialized in-house legal counsel to the Greeley Water and Sewer Department and its appointed board.  John’s work for the City of Greeley included leading environmental permitting efforts on large water infrastructure projects.

John currently serves on the South Platte Basin Roundtable as a legislative appointee.  The roundtables were established in 2005 by the Colorado Water for the 21st Century Act to facilitate discussions on water management issues and to encourage locally driven collaborative solutions to pressing water resource issues, including meeting future demand.  John also sits on the Board of the Northern Colorado Legislative Alliance, which advocates for business interests in state and federal policy, legislation, and regulatory development.  He is also a member of the Greeley Chamber of Commerce’s Local Government Business Affairs Committee.

John helps businesses, municipalities, non-profits, and individuals navigate the complex regulatory landscape and achieve their goals in a timely, efficient, and responsible manner.  He has significant practice experience in virtually all the major environmental and natural resource statutory programs, including those addressing water quality, wetlands, drinking water, air quality, endangered species, hazardous wastes, hazardous substances, toxic substances, asbestos, and federal lands. John’s approach is to understand the goals of his client, and to help develop a strategy to achieve those goals.

The regulatory landscape is fluid, and can present a confusing mix of federal, state, and local requirements.  Regulated entities must satisfy not only existing obligations, but also anticipate the impact of future requirements on their operations.  Otis & Bedingfield, LLC can help you minimize exposure in transactions involving contaminated property, defend environmental enforcement matters, obtain environmental permits and authorizations, complete environmental cleanups, understand the regulatory implications of a business expansion or capital project, and stay abreast of regulatory developments crucial to your operations.

John received his Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with High Distinction from the University of Kentucky, with a minor in agricultural economics.  He then went on to graduate in the top 15% of his class at the University of Kentucky College of Law.  A resident of Colorado since 1997, John and his family enjoy the Colorado outdoors and are all avid skiers, hikers, and fly fishermen.

Contact John A. Kolanz:  (970) 473-2071

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Recent Presentations

  • John presented on Clean Water Act Jurisdiction at the Colorado Water Congress Summer Conference on September 15, 2020.
  • John did a radio podcast for the Colorado Ag Water Alliance in July 2020 on Waters of the United States and the Clean Water Act.
  • John presented on State Assumption of Clean Water Act Section 404 program authority to the Interbasin Compact Committee in March 2020, to the South Platte Basin Roundtable in April 2020, and to the Environmental Section of the Colorado Bar in May 2020.
  • In February 2019, John presented on State Assumption of Clean Water Act Section 404 program authority and the Trump Administration’s proposed “Waters of the United States” replacement rule at the 2019 Ditch and Reservoir Company Alliance Annual Conference.
  • In January 2019, John presented on State Assumption of Clean Water Act Section 404 program authority at the 2019 Colorado Water Congress Annual Convention Workshops.
  • In February 2018, John presented on cooperative stream flow agreements at the Poudre River Forum.
  • In October 2017, John presented on Clean Water Act Jurisdiction at the South Platte Forum.
  • In June 2017, John presented on the Waters of the United States rulemaking at the Universities Council on Water Resources/National Institutes for Water Resources Annual Conference at Colorado State University.
  • In July 2017, John presented on Environmental and Natural Resource Legal Considerations to the Larimer County Bar Association.
  • In June 2016, John presented “The Clean Water Rule:  Considerations for Moving Forward” at the Colorado Water Workshop in Gunnison.
  • In April 2016, John presented “An Overview of Clean Water Act Section 404 Permitting” to the Colorado Stream Restoration Network.