Mr. Johnson's practice involves all aspects of environmental law, including permitting, compliance, enforcement and transactional issues.
Prior to practicing law, he was a consulting environmental engineer concentrating on permitting, emissions estimation, reporting, modeling and compliance issues. He continued his engineering practice while attending law school, and can draw upon this experience when assisting clients with complex technical issues.
Mr. Johnson advises and counsels companies in administrative, litigation, and transactional matters. Issues upon which he offers guidance include the performance of environmental audits, pursuit of various environmental permits, and disclosure of enforcement issues to federal and state governmental agencies.
Additionally, he counsels clients in the environmental aspects of corporate transactions, evaluates release reporting issues and Louisiana public trust issues, and participates in agency rulemaking efforts.
Mr. Johnson serves as General Counsel to the International Carbon Black Association, an industry trade group whose members include all of the manufacturers of carbon black in North America and Western Europe. His representation of the Association covers a wide range of regulatory matters, including the negotiation of Maximum Achievable Control Technology standards for the industry and the procurement of key Occupational Safety and Health Administration interpretations. In addition, Mr. Johnson provides antitrust surveillance and negotiates sponsored research contracts for the group.
Mr. Johnson has represented a variety of organizations in the areas of complex air, water and hazardous waste regulatory issues, Louisiana constitutional environmental law issues and other controversial issues including environmental justice.
One such case was his representation of Gramercy Alumina LLC in its acquisition of the former Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Corporation facility in Gramercy, Louisiana. As part of his representation, Mr. Johnson achieved the first-ever confirmation of Bona Fide Prospective Purchaser status in favor of the company, offering it a statutory defense to federal and state cleanup liability.
For several companies, such as Shintech and GTX, Inc., Mr. Johnson assisted in their efforts to locate and permit industrial facilities in Louisiana. In these types of cases, he prepares permit documents, attends public hearings, represents clients in cases seeking judicial review of the permit decisions, and negotiates with environmental groups on behalf of the companies.
Mr. Johnson also represented a major specialty chemical company, then named Witco Corporation, in the investigation and disclosure of emissions and reporting violations, as well as the handling of subsequent related agency negotiations. His successful results in the matter included a waiver by the U.S. EPA of all fines and penalties under the applicable federal regulatory programs.
A frequent speaker on energy and environmental topics, Mr. Johnson is a Past Chair of the Louisiana State Bar Association's Environmental Law Section.
Honors & Affiliations
•Chambers USA - America's Leading Lawyers for Business - Environment,2010-2014
•The Best Lawyers in America, 2012-2015
•Louisiana Super Lawyers, 2014
•Named a Top Lawyer in New Orleans Magazine in the area of Environmental Law, 2013
•New Orleans CityBusiness Leadership in Law Award, 2010
•Louisiana State Bar Association - Environmental Law Section - Chair, 2008-2009; Vice Chair, 2007-2008; Secretary, 2006 - 2007; Treasurer, 2005-2006; Council Member, 2001-2005
•New Orleans Bar Association - Board of Directors 2003 - 2006; Young Lawyers Section -Chair, 2002; Environmental Committee - Chair, 2000 - 2001; Briefly Speaking - Editor, 2000 - 2001
•New Orleans, Louisiana State and American Bar Associations - Member
•Air & Waste Management Association - Sections and Chapters Council, Vice Chair, 2013-2015; Chair, 2016-2018
•Air & Waste Management Association - Louisiana Section - Director, 2010-2013; Chair, 2002-2004; Treasurer, 2000-2002; Speaker Chair 2008-2010; Education Chair, 1996-2000
•Environmental Engineer, Waldemar S. Nelson & Co., Inc., 1992 - 1995
•There and Back Again: EPA's Boiler MACT Rule, Air & Waste Management Association Louisiana Section Meeting, March 17, 2011
•Clean Air Act Recent Developments, Liskow & Lewis 2009 Environmental Law Seminar, Houston, TX, May 7, 2009
•The Contractual Issues of Turning Brownfields into Greenfields, ABA Forum on the Construction Industry, 2009 Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA, April 16-18, 2009
•Preparing for Greenhouse Gas Regulations, AIChE 2008 Spring Meeting, New Orleans, LA, April 8, 2008
•Overview of the Brownfields and LDEQ's Voluntary Remediation Programs, Liskow & Lewis and U.S. Risk Management, New Orleans, LA, January 16, 2008
•Louisiana Environmental Regulations, Louisiana Land Law for Civil Engineers and Land Surveyors, New Orleans, LA, July 19, 2007
•Hot Air - Recent Developments on Clear Air Act Issues, Liskow & Lewis, Environmental Compliance: Hot Issues and Recent Developments, New Orleans, LA, April 26, 2007
•Louisiana and Texas, Issues Up in the Air: News for Non-Attainment Areas, Liskow & Lewis, Environmental and Safety Developments Affecting the Energy Industry: OCS and Offshore, Houston, Texas, January 2006
•The Purchaser's Due Diligence Process, Liskow & Lewis, Buying and Selling Oil and Gas Properties Seminar, Houston, Texas, May 2005
•Environmental Liability Issues for Energy Companies, International Energy Credit Association, 2005 Spring Education Conference, Dana Point, California, March 2005
•Due Diligence in Louisiana - Legal and Technical Issues: Buying Contaminated Property Free From Superfund Liability, Louisiana State Bar Association, Environmental Law in Louisiana 2004, New Orleans, Louisiana, December 2004
•Bona Fide Prospective Purchaser (BFPP) Protection, Air and Waste Management Association, Louisiana Section, Environmental Focus 2004, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, October 26, 2004
•Title V Compliance Certifications, NPRA 2004 Environmental Conference, San Antonio, Texas, September 2004
•The Intersection of Criminal Environmental Enforcement and Toxic Torts, Liskow & Lewis, New Orleans, Louisiana, April 2004
•Title V Operating Permits, Enterprise Products Company, March 2003
•RECAP and Brownfields in Louisiana and Managing Uncertainty with Louisiana Permit Procedures, Government Institutes, Inc., December 2002
•RCRA and CERCLA Issues on the OCS, Current Environmental and Other Regulatory Issues Affecting the Offshore E&P Industry, Liskow & Lewis and The Independent Petroleum Association of America, Houston, Texas, November 2002
•Environmental Concerns for Developers, National Business Institute, Louisiana Land Use: Current Issues in Subdivision Annexation and Zoning Laws, New Orleans, Louisiana, January 2002
•Brownfields Redevelopment, New Orleans Bar Association, Real Property Seminar, New Orleans, Louisiana, November 2001
•Brownfields Redevelopment, Procrastinators' Program, New Orleans Bar Association, New Orleans, Louisiana, December 2000
•Facility Remediation Policy and Managing Uncertainty with Louisiana Permit Procedures, Government Institutes, New Orleans, Louisiana, December 2000
•Liskow & Lewis Brownfields Seminar, New Orleans, Louisiana, August 2000
•Coping with Environmentally Distressed Properties, 15th Institute on Real Estate Law, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 1999
•Pollution Prevention Pays: Economic Benefits Beyond Compliance, Louisiana Environmental '99, Tulane Law School, New Orleans, Louisiana, 1999
•Environmental Exposures in the Oilfield and Allocating and Insuring Environmental Risks, (with Mary S. Johnson and Mark D. Latham), Liskow & Lewis Admiralty Seminar, New Orleans, Louisiana, 1998
•The Status of Greenhouse Gas Regulation - Keeping Your Cool About Hot Air
•Time is Running Out on the Louisiana Brownfields Tax Credits
•Environmental Risks Posed by Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Activities (with Tom Randolph), Chapter in Restoration of Oilfield Sites, Remediation Requirements for Major Oil and Gas Producing Jurisdictions (1999)
•Select Steel: A Return to Traditional Measurements of Environmental Impact? (with Robert E. Holden), La. St. B. Ass'n, Envtl. Section Newsl., Winter, 1999
•What Environmental Professionals Need to Know, A&WMA, The Monitor, January/February 1998
•Air Monitor, La. St. B. Ass'n, Envtl. Section Newsl., Fall 1996
•Article regarding TMDLs, La. B.J., Environmental Law Section Recent Developments, December 1998
•Constitutional Environmental Protection in Louisiana: Losing the Reason in the Rule of Reasonableness, 42 Loy. L. Rev. 97 (1996).