Exciting News!

As of April 1, 2023, Nexsen Pruet will merge with
Maynard Cooper & Gale. 

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We look forward to serving our clients from 23 offices and with 550 attorneys coast-to-coast.


Joan W. Hartley practices in the environmental and real estate groups.  Joan focuses her practice on environmental litigation, regulatory compliance matters, and business transactions involving environmental issues.

She counsels companies on a variety of federal environmental laws and their state counterparts, including compliance with the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Resource Conservation Recovery Act, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, the Toxic Substances Control Act, the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.  She represents clients in environmental litigation in state and federal courts and before administrative law courts.

Joan earned her undergraduate degree, summa cum laude, from USC-Aiken. She worked in the waste management industry before attending the University of South Carolina School of Law, where she received her J.D., cum laude, in 2004.

Community & Professional

  • American Bar Association
  • Richland County Bar Association
  • South Carolina Bar
  • Urban Land Institute


York County v. South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and C&D Management Company, LLC, 397 S.C. 217, 723 S.E.2d 255 (Ct. App. 2012).

Town of Arcadia Lakes, et al. v. South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and Roper Pond, LLC, 404 S.C. 515, 745 S.E.2d 385 (Ct. App. 2013).

South Carolina Coastal Conservation League, Petitioner, v. South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and Oakridge Landfill, Inc., Respondents, 14-ALJ-07-0221-CC, 2015 WL 6776857 (S.C.A.L.C. Oct. 21, 2015).


  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America for "Lawyer of the Year" in Columbia, S.C. in Environmental Law, 2022
  • Columbia Business Monthly's Legal Elite of the Midlands, 2018, 2019 and 2022
  • Center for Sustainable Leadership Graduate, Urban Land Institute, 2013
  • Recognized by Chambers USA, Environmental Law, South Carolina, 2015-2022
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America for Environmental Law and Litigation - Environmental, Since 2017


Contributor, Environmental Law in South Carolina, Fourth Edition, South Carolina Bar Association, 2016.

Contributor, North Carolina Environmental Law Desk Manual, North Carolina Bar Association, May 2015

Joan authored "EPA Proposes Approval of Amendment to ASTM E1527 Standard" for the October 2013 edition of Environmental News. The newsletter is a publication of the Environment, Energy & Natural Resources Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association. 

"Federal Courts Provide Guidance of Bona Fide Prospective Purchaser Obligations under CERCLA," South Carolina Lawyer, 2011.

Speaking Engagements


  • South Carolina
  • North Carolina
  • U.S. District Court, District of South Carolina
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of North Carolina
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