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.