Vail Thorne is a member of Taylor English’s Environmental and Energy practice group who focuses on environmental and workplace health and safety law. Most recently, Mr. Thorne was the Senior Environmental, Health & Safety (EHS) Counsel at The Coca-Cola Company where he was responsible for Company operations worldwide. His Company duties included advising on: internal EHS policy; legal compliance; internal auditing and corrective action; regulatory engagement; defense of enforcement action and litigation; crisis management and related internal investigations; SEC and other Company public reporting, and M&A due diligence relating to EHS matters. He also advised the Company on the rules governing “green” or environmental marketing, and was counsel to the Company’s government relations department.
Mr. Thorne has extensive knowledge and experience with EHS laws and regulations in the U.S., Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Africa. With respect to environmental protection, this includes the rules governing: water resource access and use; safe drinking water; wastewater treatment and discharge; hazardous and solid waste management; environmental investigation and cleanup; climate change and air pollution; chemicals registration and regulation; HazMat transport; regulatory reporting of environmental incidents and issues; and environmental impact assessment.
Regarding workplace health and safety, Mr. Thorne’s knowledge and experience encompasses: an employer’s “general duty clause” obligations; specific OSHA standards (lockout/tag out, personal protective equipment (PPE), fall protection, machine guarding, etc.); “permissible exposure levels” (PELs) to hazardous materials in the workplace; employee hazard communication and right-to-know (e,g, chemical labeling, safety data sheets (SDSs)); record keeping and reporting of workplace injuries and illnesses; and management of OSHA inspections and related enforcement action.
Mr. Thorne also understands and works with the laws and regulations relating to engagement with government officials and staff, including campaign finance laws, government ethics rules, and related public reporting requirements.
Mr. Thorne is past chair of two Committees of the American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy and Resources: International Environmental Law; and In-House Environmental Counsel. Mr. Thorne is a member of the Bar and admitted to the practice of law in California and Georgia. He received his law degree from Pepperdine University School of Law where he served as an editor and on staff of the Law Review. Following law school, Mr. Thorne was a law clerk for the Honorable Jesse W. Curtis, a U.S. District Court Judge in Los Angeles, California. He also earned his undergraduate degree from Washington and Lee University and then worked for U.S Senator John W. Warner (Va.) in Washington, D.C. before attending law school.