Leah J. Knowlton has more than 25 years of experience counseling clients on environmental regulatory matters and representing them in criminal and civil litigation involving chemical contamination and other environmental violations. Ms. Knowlton regularly develops and implements environmental compliance management systems and advises clients on chemical safety and security matters. She has extensive experience assessing environmental risk and negotiating contracts and remediation plans in corporate and real estate transactions.
Litigation Counsel of America
American Bar Association, Energy, Environment and Resources Law Section and Litigation Section
State Bar of Georgia, Environmental Law Section
Atlanta Bar Association, Environmental Committee
American Water Works Association
Women's Energy Network, Atlanta Chapter
Georgia Association for Women Lawyers
Lead counsel in Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) cost recovery litigation for owners of property contaminated by polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) from an adjacent National Priorities List (NPL) Superfund Site.
Serves as common counsel to a PRP Group of more than 20 companies alleged to be large volume generators at a Superfund site in U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 4.
Lead joint defense counsel in a federal Clean Water Act citizens suit brought by property owners adjacent to a 100-acre residential development.
Coordinating remediation of contaminated sites under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), and state remediation programs, including daily management of a Superfund site during emergency removal action.
Counseling clients on Section 404 wetlands permits and National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit compliance under the Clean Water Act, and defending administrative challenges to such permits.
Advising manufacturing clients on OSHA hazardous communications regulations (HazCom 2012), Globally Harmonized System (GHS) chemical classification and labeling requirements, and registration under the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) program.
Developing environmental management systems for clients in automotive, chemical and plastics manufacturing businesses, in compliance with ISO 14001 Environment Management System (EMS) standards.
Counseling poultry producers on water quality and waste issues, including wastewater treatment and surface and groundwater withdrawal permitting.
Negotiating air permits with federal and state agencies, and conducting permit appeals in the Georgia Office of State Administrative Hearings.
- Defense of a manufacturing company and employees indicted for felony violations of the Clean Water Act
Served as lead environmental counsel in the successful defense of a manufacturing company and five employees indicted for eight felony violations of the Clean Water Act, and orchestrated Daubert challenges of scientific evidence that led to dismissal of all charges.
Served on a team as national Daubert counsel for a Fortune 100 consumer products manufacturer in hundreds of latex glove and medical device toxic tort suits.
- Hobart Corp. et al. v. Waste Management of Ohio, Inc., 758 F.3d 757 (6th Cir. 2014)
- Wilson Road Development Corp. et al. v. Fronabarger Concreters, Inc., et al., 971 F.Supp.2d 896 (E.D. Mo. 2013)
- Hobart Corp., et al. v. Coca-Cola Enterprises, Inc., et al 923 F.Supp.2d 1086 (S.D. Ohio 2013)
- September 20, 2017
- "Environmental Due Diligence and Contract Provisions," Real Estate in Mergers and Acquisitions, Webinar, National Business InstituteApril 27, 2017
- "Leveraging Latest CERCLA Decisions and Navigating New Complexities," Strafford Publications, WebinarApril 11, 2017
- "CERCLA Actions and Statute of Limitations," Strafford Publications, WebinarFebruary 2, 2017
- "Drafting Real Estate and Environmental Contract Provisions in M&A Agreements: Guidance for M&A Counsel," Strafford Continuing Education WebinarsAugust 16, 2016
- "Leveraging Latest CERCLA Decisions and Navigating New Complexities," Strafford Publications webinarApril 22, 2015
- "Solving the CERCLA Statute of Limitations and Preemption Puzzles - Lessons from Recent Decisions for Timing in Superfund and Environmental Litigation," Strafford Publications webinarFebruary 5, 2014
- "Environmental Criminal Enforcement," Chattanooga Regional Manufacturers Association Environmental SummitNovember 14, 2012
- "Environmental Criminal Investigations and Enforcement," Strafford Publications webinarMay 10, 2012
- "EPA Criminal Enforcement on the Rise," Strafford Publications webinarAugust 6, 2011
- "Alternative Dispute Resolution of a Stormwater Runoff Case," State Bar of Georgia Environmental Law SectionJuly 31, 2010
- "Legally Green: Compliance with Green Building Codes," National Facilities Management Conference, BaltimoreMarch 17, 2010
- "Water Law," Everyday Law/Leyes Cotidianas, WABE Channel 30February 26, 2010
- "Green Retrofitting Commercial Buildings: Conserving Water and Energy," Green Retrofitting SeminarOctober 8, 2009
- Green Building Code Compliance, Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International ConferenceJune 29, 2009
- "Environmental Risks in Lending and Foreclosure," Spring Program for Bank Directors and Executives, Community Bankers Association of GeorgiaApril 25, 2009
- "Sustainable Building Codes: Key Features, Incentives and Challenges," Southeastern Greenprints ConferenceMarch 26, 2009
- "Water Features of Green Building Codes," Georgia Association of Water Professionals' Annual ConventionMarch 18, 2009
- "Everyday Environmental Law," Everyday Law/Leyes Cotidianas, WABE Channel 30January 25, 2009
- May 25, 2017
- "The Risks and Benefits of Rule 26 Amendments for Expert Reports," American Bar Association, In-House Litigator, Vol. 25, No. 3, Spring 2011
- Co-author, "Any Port in a Storm: Strategies for Defending Environmental Criminal Enforcement Actions," Georgia ICLEJanuary 28, 2011
- "Georgia's Drought Response," Daily Report, Litigation/Technology Practice GuideJune 16, 2008
- "Water Law for a Thirsty Atlanta," American Bar Association, Wetlands Committee Newsletter, Vol. 17, Issue 11April 2008
- June 3, 2017
- June 3, 2017
- May 31, 2017
- December 16, 2016
- December 16, 2016
- September 16, 2016
- August 9, 2016
- July 14, 2016
- July 8, 2016
- June 30, 2016
- "Leah Knowlton: Partner in the Environmental and Energy Team at Taylor English Duma," Atlanta Business ChronicleJune 30, 2016
- June 30, 2016
- June 30, 2016
- June 23, 2016
- Ten Attorneys Also Recognized as Leaders in Their FieldsMay 30, 2017
- February 23, 2017
- December 13, 2016
- June 28, 2016
- Six Attorneys Also Recognized as Leaders in Their FieldsMay 27, 2016
Yale Law School, JD, 1987
University of Chicago, BA, with honors, 1982
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, 2013-2017
Georgia Trend Legal Elite, 2012, 2015, Environmental Law, 2016
Georgia Super Lawyers, Environment, 2013-2017
Top 50 Women Attorneys in Georgia, Atlanta Magazine, 2014
Business and Law Award from the Georgia Women's Institute, 2014