Leah J. Knowlton

Leah J. Knowlton

  • Atlanta
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Leah J. Knowlton has more than 30 years of experience in a broad range of environmental regulatory, litigation and transactional matters. She has particular expertise in remediation of contaminated sites listed in the Superfund (CERCLA) program and analogous state Brownfields programs. Ms. Knowlton has successfully litigated complex federal Superfund litigation and other civil litigation involving chemical contamination and alleged environmental violations, and has defended clients in federal environmental criminal prosecutions. She has served as lead crisis response counsel to major manufacturing companies in workplace toxic exposure incidents and fatal industrial accidents.

Ms. Knowlton has extensive experience conducting environmental due diligence and negotiating contracts and remediation plans in corporate, real estate and lending transactions. She regularly counsels clients on permit compliance and develops and implements environmental management systems. Ms. Knowlton advises clients on process safety management and chemical manufacturing security matters. 

For example, she: 

  • Advises a major chemical manufacturing company on RCRA regulations governing hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal and workplace chemical safety
  • Serves as crisis-response counsel for industrial exposure incidents for clients in chemical processing, consumer product manufacturing and metal fabricating industries, and has conducted numerous internal investigations of incidents.
  • Served as lead counsel on a team that recently won summary judgment for a Fortune 100 manufacturing client in years-long Superfund litigation involving an 84-acre dump and dozens of potentially responsible.
  • Counsels a leading Georgia educational institution on the remediation and redevelopment of several Midtown Atlanta properties in the Georgia Voluntary Cleanup and Brownfield programs. Most recently, she has negotiated contracts with developers and tenants, and negotiated remedial action goals with the Environmental Protection Division, to facilitate the development of a $450 million mixed-use project on one of the properties.

Ms. Knowlton has been involved with several organizations including the Air and Waste Management Association, the American Bar Association's Environmental Committee and its Energy, Environment and Resources Law Section and its Litigation Section, the American Water Works Association, the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance, Litigation Counsel of America, and the Atlanta Chapter of the Women’s Energy Network.

Practice Highlights



Speaking Engagements



News Releases


Yale Law School, JD, 1987

University of Chicago, BA, with honors, 1982

Bar Admissions


New York

Courts & Adjudicative Bodies

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit


LEED Accredited Professional for New Construction and Major Renovations Projects

Chambers USA: Leading Business Lawyers - Environment, 2013-2020

Georgia Trend's Legal Elite, Environmental Law, 2012, 2015-2020

Georgia Super Lawyers, Environment, 2013-2020

Top 50 Women Attorneys in Georgia, Atlanta Magazine, 2014

Business and Law Award from the Georgia Women's Institute, 2014