Martin Shelton is a partner in the Atlanta office of Lewis Brisbois and brings over 24 years of experience in environmental and land use law including environmental issues in real estate transactions, site remediation, regulatory compliance, and environmental litigation. His practice includes managing legal issues associated with hazardous waste sites or facilities under RCRA, CERCLA, and related state laws; counseling clients on environmental issues arising in real estate transactions and development such as Brownfield redevelopment, environmental liability risk assessment, and related contractual issues; addressing ongoing environmental questions in property ownership, such as compliance and permitting for dams, storm water, wetlands, or hazardous waste issues; and he has extensive experience in trial and appellate litigation of environmental claims for both plaintiffs and defendants regarding hazardous waste (RCRA/CERCLA), water pollution and Clean Water Act regulation, dam regulation, and natural resources.
Martin has extensive experience handling remediation, clean-up, contribution, and cost recovery actions under CERCLA, RCRA, and related state statutes, citizen suits under a range of federal environmental statutes, including the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and Clean Water Act, defense and resolution of state and federal environmental enforcement actions, as well as matters involving property damage stemming from dam management, excessive storm water flows, erosion and sedimentation.
Martin is admitted to the trial and appellate courts in Georgia, Washington, and the District of Columbia as well as the United States Supreme Court, District of Columbia and 11th Circuit Courts of Appeal, and federal trial courts in Georgia and the District of Columbia.
Active in the legal community and civically, Martin is a member of the environmental practice sections of the American, Georgia, District of Columbia, Washington, and Atlanta Bar Associations as well as the Lawyers Club of Atlanta. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Savannah Riverkeeper, Inc. based in Augusta, Georgia and operating along the Savannah River in both Georgia and South Carolina. Martin has served in the past as a volunteer group leader for the Georgia Chief Justice’s Commission of Professionalism for over a decade as well as the City of Atlanta, Neighborhood Planning Unit W Executive Committee (2004-2010). Currently, he is active in his local community as a Scout Leader and youth soccer coach.
He has been named a "Georgia Super Lawyer" by Law & Politics Magazine multiple times since 2010.
A sampling of representative projects and matters he has worked on include:
- Supervision of multi-million dollar property remediation for hazardous materials under Georgia’s Hazardous Site Response Act (HSRA) and the Federal Comprehensive Environmental Remediation, Compensation, & Liability Act (CERCLA or Superfund) in metro-Atlanta.
- Supervision of multiple sites in the Georgia Voluntary Remediation Program (VRP) for hazardous materials.
- Supervision and management of legal work for management of environmental response and redevelopment of various former industrial sites for commercial and residential use under HSRA and the Georgia Brownfield Act.
- Supervision and management of legal work for redevelopment of former RCRA un-permitted landfill sites for residential and commercial use as well as managed containment of waste areas and preservation of adjacent wetlands.
- Lead counsel in litigation under CERCLA, RCRA, and HSRA related to remediation, contribution, and cost recovery for sites ranging from the corner gas station to multi-million dollar remediation sites.
- Supervision and management of legal work for redevelopment of former un-permitted landfill and mining site for commercial use under the Georgia Brownfield Program in northwest Georgia.
- Assisted a metro-Atlanta small municipality with its Notice of Intent Renewal and Annual Report under the Clean Water Act Multiple Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit.
- Lead counsel in numerous Clean Water Act and state law nuisance and trespass cases regarding impacts to lakes, streams, ponds, wetlands, and other waters.
- Provided guidance and consultation in numerous real estate transactions regarding legal environmental risk assessment and Brownfields issues.
- Represented neighborhood community group in fight to preserve and protect a 30 acre intown urban forest along Peachtree Creek from residential development facilitating its eventual dedication as the Morningside Nature Preserve in the City of Atlanta.
- Assisted clients with various environmental due diligence matters including removal and closure of Underground Storage Tanks (USTs) and development of previously contaminated sites.
- Assisted clients with administrative resolution of USEPA and State enforcement actions including wetlands violations, hazardous waste handling and disposal, and lead based paint regulations.
- Assisted clients with Safe Dams Act enforcement matters and in navigating the dam remediation or reconstruction process under the law.
- Negotiated resolution of USEPA enforcement action for commercial lead-based paint disclosure violations reducing penalty from over $200,000 to less than $2,000.
Primary Area(s) of Practice
- Toxic Tort & Environmental Litigation
- Environment, Land, & Natural Resources Law
- Water & Waste Water
- Real Estate & Land Use
- National Trial Practice
District of Columbia
- American Bar Association, Environmental & Natural Resources Sections
- Atlanta Bar Association, Environmental Law Sections
- Environmental Law Institute
- Lawyers Club of Atlanta
- State Bar of Georgia, Environmental Law Section (Chair 2008)
- Washington Bar Environmental Law Section
- District of Columbia Environmental and Natural Resources Law Section
- “Land Use and Zoning: Working with Local Governments,” National Business Institute Seminar, September 2020.
- “Environmental Considerations in Real Estate Transactions,” National Business Institute Seminar, Spring 2018 (Hazardous Waste).
- Practical Application of Hazardous Waste and Water Quality Law in Land Use Planning, Georgia Institute for Technology, Class Session of Graduate Seminar in Planning, 2016-2018.
- “Certified Hazardous Materials Manager Review Course (Legal Issues Topic),” Georgia Chapter of Association of Hazardous Materials Professionals, 2007-2018.
- “Development of Water Laws: Quantity, Quality, and Usage,” Halfmoon Education Inc. Georgia Water Laws and Regulations Seminar, September, 2017.
- Hazardous Waste Issues for Civil Engineers and Land Surveyors, Halfmoon Education Inc. Seminar, December, 2016.
- “Complying With Stormwater and Surface Water Management Regulations,” Halfmoon Education Inc. Georgia Water Laws and Regulations Seminar, November 30, 2012.
- Atlanta Bar Association, Real Estate Section: “Review of Georgia’s New Voluntary Remediation Program for Hazardous Sites,” 2010.
- “Georgia and Brownfield Development,” Brownfield News & Sustainable Development, (Vol. 12, Issue 5) pp. 25-26, October 2008.
Georgia State University College of Law
Juris Doctor, cum laude, 1995
University of North Carolina
Bachelor of Arts, 1991
- City of Mountain Park, Georgia v. Lakeside at Ansley, LLC et al., 560 F.Supp2d 1288 (N.D. Ga. 2008), Continuing violations under Clean Water Act from historic sediment deposition.
- Colony Bank Southeast v. Brown et al., 275 S.E.2d 807 (Ga. App. 2005), Application of lis pendens to property involved in Clean Water Act suit.
- Parker v. Scrap Metal Processors, Inc., 386 F.3d 993 (11th Cir. 2004), Standing and citizen claims under Clean Water Act and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.
- Driscoll v. Adams, 181 F.3d 1285 (11th Cir. 2000), Duty to comply with Clean Water Act when no permit is available.