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Gretchen M. Mendez-Vilella

Gretchen M. Mendez-Vilella

Limited Member
San Juan, Puerto Rico
(787) 759-4207
787-759-8000 (Ext. 2179)
(787) 474-2407

Gretchen M. Mendez-Vilella is a Limited Member in the Firm's Corporate and Banking Law Department, where she specializes in Environmental Law.  Ms. Mendez-Vilella has ample experience in hazardous substance compliance (including RCRA permitting, and UST requirements); Clean Air Act compliance (including local RCAP compliance, NSR, PSD, NESHAPS, MACT, RMP and Title V permitting), Clean Water Act compliance (including NPDES, MSGP, SPCC, UIC and PRASA permitting and compliance), facility assessment, due diligence/all appropriate inquiries, release reporting, response and remediation (from the RCRA, CWA, CERCLA, EPCRA and transactional perspectives) - and litigation matters, including defending federal civil enforcement and toxic tort actions.  She regularly assists clients in complying with environmental standards promulgated under OSHA and the Commonwealth’s non-hazardous wastes, noise pollution, emergency plans, water franchises, earth crust extraction, erosion and sedimentation control, recycling, and permits process reform programs. Ms. Méndez-Vilella also provides counsel in matters of federal, Commonwealth and local environmental compliance in construction and decommissioning, decontamination, dismantling, demolition and disposal projects (3D and 5D). She regularly appears before federal and local environmental agency officials to advocate on behalf of industrial and commercial clients.  She directs environmental audits, self policing efforts, and assists clients in establishing environmental compliance assurance programs. Ms. Mendez-Vilella is skilled at delivering creative solutions aimed at a wide range of environmental compliance matters at a federal, Commonwealth and local level that afford the client the much needed flexibility to remain competitive in this ever changing market.  Ms. Mendez-Vilella continues to be dedicated to local environmental and natural resources agency regulatory drafting efforts, since she worked at the P.R. Environmental Quality Board.  She is also a lecturer on Solid Waste, Clean Water Act, Title V permitting, minor source operational flexibility, auditing and self disclosure, land use and environmental permitting and all appropriate inquiries standards for environmental due diligence in real estate transactions. 

Bar Admissions

  • Puerto Rico, 1991
  • U.S. District Court District of Puerto Rico, 1993
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 1st Circuit, 1992


  • Inter-American University of Puerto Rico School of Law, Santurce, Puerto Rico
    • J.D. - 1991
  • Vermont Law School, South Royalton, Vermont
    • Masters in Studies of Environmental Law magna cum laude - 1994
  • Catholic University of America, Washington, District of Columbia
    • B.A. - 1988
    • Major: International Politics


  • Seminar on Advanced Real Estate Law, NBI, 2007
  • Seminar on Effective Permit Compliance Strategies when Starting a Business, P.R. Chambers of Commerce, Women’s Chapter, 2008
  • Seminar on Effective Project Management and Regulatory Compliance Strategies, General Contractors Association, P. R. Chapter, 2009
  • Moderator, Seminar on Recent Environmental Enforcement Trends in the Americas, Red Internacional de Especialistas en Legislación Ambiental (RIELA), PR, 2011
  • Seminar on USEPA’s Self Audit Policy, RIELA, PR 2011
  • Seminars on USEPA and PREQB’s Enforcement Authorities, multiple forums, 2012
  • Seminars on 2008 MSGP Compliance, multiple forums, 2013

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Puerto Rico Bar Association, Member, 1991
  • American Bar Association, Member, 1991
  • Environmental Law Institute, Member, 1991

Past Employment Positions

  • P.R. Environmental Quality Board, Public Interest Attorney, 1991 - 1992


  • Spanish
  • English


  • Phi Alpha Delta
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