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Ethan Ware, Williams Mullen, Environmental Law Attorney Columbia SC, Headshot

Ethan R. Ware

Columbia, SC
  • T.
  • 803.567.4610
  • F.
  • 803.567.4601

Ethan Ware is chair of the Environment and Natural Resources Group at Williams Mullen and represents clients in a broad range of matters involving environmental issues.

Located in the Columbia, South Carolina office, Ethan has defended cases, both in courts and before administrative agencies at both the state and federal level. Those cases have included class action lawsuits, federal and state enforcement actions in the courts, cost recovery actions, permit appeals and administrative investigations and litigation.

As part of his background, Ethan has defended mining, manufacturing, and importers/distributors in all facets of EPA regulation. His cases have involved exposures to and releases of heavy metals from manufacture and fabrication, organic chemicals, paint, pesticides, asbestos, PCBs, hazardous wastes, air and water emissions, animal waste and regulatory requirements.

Ethan has defended cases arising under the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, EPCRA, RCRA, CERCLA, TSCA, and their state counter-parts. He has also represented clients in connection with criminal prosecutions and investigations. His experience also includes review of environmental issues in transactions and environmental and health and safety training and auditing programs. As part of service to the mining industry, Ethan has defended cases for mine safety and exposure liability.

Ethan is listed as a leading environmental attorney by Chambers USA (2016-present), and he is listed in The Best Lawyers in America® for environmental law and environmental litigation (2013-present). In 2013, Ethan was named the Best Lawyers® Columbia Lawyer of the Year for both environmental law and environmental litigation. In addition, Martindale-Hubbell has rated Ethan an AV attorney, its highest rating available. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of South Carolina and a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Wofford College.


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  • University of South Carolina (J.D.), 1986
  • Wofford College (B.S. Biology), 1982
Professional & Community Affiliations

Professional Affiliations

  • Natural Resources and Environmental Section of the South Carolina Bar – Chair (1994-1995)
  • South Carolina Chamber of Commerce – Technical Committee
  • Society for Human Resource Management – Member
Bar & Court Admissions

Bar Admissions

  • South Carolina State Bar
  • Tennessee Bar

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, District of South Carolina
  • U.S. District Court, District of Tennessee

Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rating

Chambers USA – Environment (2016-present)

The Best Lawyers in America® – Environmental Law and Litigation - Environmental (2006-present)

Columbia, South Carolina "Lawyer of the Year" by The Best Lawyers in America© for Environmental Law (2013)

Columbia, South Carolina "Lawyer of the Year" by The Best Lawyers in America© for Litigation: Environmental (2013)

Greenville Business Magazine – "Legal Elite of the Midlands," Environmental Law (2020-present)


  • Air Permitting/NSPS Regulations Applicability/PSD Permitting for many manufacturers and Restrictions on 401 Water Quality Certification Authority
  • OSHA Exposure Cases
  • Air Permitting/PSD/Flexible Permitting
  • TSCA Registration
  • Defense of nuclear and solid waste landfill permit appeal
  • Defense of EPA action to fine a company for alleged violations of TSCA premanufacture notification requirements.
  • Challenge of State enforcement of 401 water quality standards for wetlands filling project.
  • Defense of OSHA benzene exposure allegation and enforcement action.
  • Sought a variance to State RACT standards for VOC air emissions.
  • Assisted in filing State and Federal voluntary disclosure for environmental violations.
  • Defended MSHA cases for mine employee safety and exposure liability
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He knows the environmental laws very well. He thinks of all potential possibilities.

Williams Mullen Client Feedback - Chambers USA, 2023