Benjamin Machlis

Benjamin Machlis



Ben helps clients navigate the complexity of state and federal environmental requirements to achieve their business objectives. He represents clients throughout the life cycle of their projects, from acquisition and permitting to operational compliance, enforcement defense, remediation, closure, and divestiture.

Ben has extensive experience in matters involving state and federal regulations regarding solid and hazardous waste (RCRA), hazardous materials transportation (HMR), toxic chemicals (TSCA), water quality (CWA), community right-to-know laws (EPCRA) and remediation of contaminated property (CERCLA).

Ben has been recognized by Mountain States Super Lawyers® as a “Rising Star” in Environmental practice in 2014 through 2019. He has served as Young Professionals Committee Chairman (2016-2017) of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, as a member of the Board of Directors of Utah Open Lands and as an adjunct faculty member at the S.J. Quinney College of Law.

Education & Admissions

University of Utah, S. J. Quinney College of Law (J.D., 2009), High honors

University of Utah (B.A., 2006)


  • Utah
  • Montana
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit


Representative Experience

Environmental Permitting

  • Defended oil and gas company's Master Development Plan against federal lawsuit brought by third party under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
  • Advised multiple mining companies in state and federal permitting of oil, gas, mining, and alternative energy projects.
  • Successfully obtained decision from the Utah Supreme Court on alternative fuels company's authorizations from the Division of Water Quality.
  • Advised wind and solar energy companies regarding compliance with state and federal environmental regulations for development of new projects.
  • Advised hazardous waste disposal company regarding state permitting requirements.
  • Advised mining company in obtaining permits from the Army Corps of Engineers to construct in wetlands.

Environmental Compliance and Enforcement

  • Defended a manufacturing company in EPA and State of Utah inspection and enforcement action regarding hazardous waste generator requirements.
  • Advised mining company regarding compliance with and disclosure of previous violations of Toxic Release Inventory reporting requirements.
  • Defended a construction company in EPA enforcement action regarding release of diesel fuel.
  • Advised electric utility regarding compliance with coal combustion residual regulation under RCRA.
  • Advised petroleum refinery regarding hazardous waste regulatory issues associated with workplace safety enforcement action.
  • Counseled mining company regarding compliance with revised hazardous waste import and export regulations.
  • Represented pipeline owner in state and federal enforcement actions related to pipeline breach.
  • Advised oil and gas clients regarding transportation of crude oil by truck and rail.
  • Provided strategic advice to minority interest owner in a housing development when the majority interest owner and developer sought authorizations to change the nature and scope of the development.
  • Counseled mining client on protecting information requested by a third party under FOIA.
  • Defended organic dairy against USDA enforcement action.
  • Represented mining client in successful settlement with EPA of Toxic Release Inventory enforcement action.

Environmental Rulemaking

  • Drafted comments on proposed revisions to EPA's Definition of Solid Waste rulemaking on behalf of an association of mining companies.
  • Drafted comments for several clients on EPA's Definition of Waters of the United States rulemaking.
  • Drafted motions, briefs and other filings in challenging, and successfully obtaining a stay of EPA's waters of the United States rulemaking.
  • Worked with coalition of industrial companies to revise state administrative adjudication regulations.

Contaminated Property Remediation

  • Represented unpatented mining claim owner regarding contaminated soils remediation being conducted by the Bureau of Land Management under CERCLA.
  • Represented mining client in remediation of uranium mining and processing facilities.
  • Represented mining client in EPA remediation of historic mining property.
  • Represented manufacturing client regarding historic contamination of property.


  • Advised multiple mining clients on environmental aspects of transactions to acquire mining properties and assets.
  • Advised manufacturing company on environmental aspects of transaction to sell company.
  • Advised sellers regarding environmental issues in sale of medical device manufacturing company.
  • Advised multiple alternative energy companies on environmental aspects of purchase, sale, and financing transactions.

News & Resources


Supreme Court Limits the Clean Water Act’s Reach
Tribal Nations Summit Update
Supreme Court Clears Path to Guam’s Superfund Costs Recovery
U.S. District Court for Montana Enjoins Key Army Corps of Engineers' General Permit for Energy Infrastructure Projects
"Environmental Due Diligence in Mining Transactions," Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation Journal, Vol. 56, No. 1
Chemical Industry Update - March 2019
Clarifying “Muddy Waters:” EPA and Army Corps Propose Revisions to the Scope of CWA Jurisdiction
Chemical Industry Update - December 2018
Chemical Industry Update - November 2018
Chemical Industry Update - October 2018
Chemical Industry Update - September 2018
CEQ Seeks Public Comment on Revisions to NEPA Regulations
SCOTUS Rules Clean Water Rule Challenges Belong in District Court
A Win For The Mining Industry: EPA Declines To Impose CERCLA 108(b) Financial Responsibility Requirements
"Title Due Diligence in Conservation Easement Transactions," S.J. Quinney College of Law, Gaining Ground Seminar
"Hazardous Waste Compliance for Nutritional Supplement Industry," Association of Corporate Counsel Mountain West Chapter – Nutrition Law Seminar
"The New Toxic Substances Control Act – Dealing With The Present And Looking To The Future," Industrial Minerals Association – North America Webinar
"Holistic Regulatory Compliance: Integrating Workplace Safety and Environmental Compliance," Petroleum Association of Wyoming Annual Conference, Casper, WY

News & Press Mentions

200 Dorsey Lawyers Selected for Inclusion in 2024 Best Lawyers in America, Lawyers of the Year, and Ones to Watch
ACOEL Elects Dorsey Partner Benjamin Machlis as a Fellow
21 Dorsey Attorneys and Four Practices Recognized in 2023 Utah Legal Elite
Chambers USA 2023 Recognizes 23 Dorsey Lawyers and Four Practices in Salt Lake City
Chambers USA 2023 Recognizes Dorsey Lawyers and Practices
Utah 2023 Legal Elite
Dorsey Partner Ben Machlis Discusses the Supreme Court's Decision in Sackett v. EPA
Ben Machlis Included in List of the Top 25 Attorneys of Utah
Chambers USA 2022 Recognizes Dorsey Lawyers and Practices
Seventeen Dorsey Attorneys Named to Utah ‘Legal Elite’
Super Lawyers Recognizes 16 Dorsey Attorneys in Salt Lake City
Dorsey Partner Ben Machlis Discusses Guam's Dispute Over Superfund Settlement
Twenty-three Dorsey Attorneys Named to Utah Legal Elite
Super Lawyers Recognizes 21 Dorsey Attorneys in Salt Lake City
Twenty-two Dorsey Attorneys Named to Utah ‘Legal Elite’
Super Lawyers Recognizes 22 Dorsey Attorneys in Salt Lake City
Chambers USA 2019 Recognizes Dorsey Lawyers and Practices
Super Lawyers Recognizes 15 Dorsey Attorneys in Salt Lake City
Dorsey Adds Experienced Regulatory Attorney Ben Machlis in Salt Lake City

Professional & Civic

Professional Achievements

  • Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, Young Professionals Committee Chairman, 2016-2017
  • Utah Open Lands, Board of Directors
  • University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, Adjunct Faculty


Chambers USA 2023Chambers 2022Chambers USA 2021  Ranked in Chambers USA 2020  Ranked in Chambers USA 2019 Leading Individual

  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America©, Environmental Law, 2024
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America©, Natural Resources Law, 2024
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America©, Commercial Litigation, 2024
  • Named one of “America’s Leading Business Lawyers” by Chambers USA (Environment, Natural Resources & Regulated Industries), 2019-2023
  • Listed in Utah Business Magazine Legal Elite, Environmental, 2020-2021
  • Mountain States Super Lawyers® Rising Stars, Environmental, 2014-2021
Benjamin Machlis