Lee DeHihns is a member of the firm's Environmental & Land Development Group. He concentrates on regulatory and defensive litigation matters for industrial and municipal clients, including climate change, corporate compliance, debarment, white-collar criminal defense, air quality, hazardous waste, wetlands and water quantity and quality matters. He was chair of the American Bar Association's Section of Environment, Energy and Resources (SEER) in 2007-2008 and is a SEER delegate to the ABA House of Delegates (2009-2016). He is Chair of the ABA Presidential Task Force on Sustainable Development (2013-2014). Mr. DeHihns was ranked as a leading environmental lawyer in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business (2006-2014). He wrote a chapter titled “Constitutional Influences on Climate Litigation” in the ABA's Principles of Constitutional Environmental Law published in September 2011.
Mr. DeHihns joined the firm in 1990 after serving four years as the Deputy Regional Administrator of USEPA Region 4, the agency's senior career position in the Southeast. His career began with USEPA in 1974 in Washington, D.C., where he rose to the position of associate general counsel. Mr. DeHihns received a Senior Executive Service Meritorious Rank Award from President Bush in 1989. He is on the Board of Trustees of Marywood University (2009-2015).
- Representing a textile processing company in defending against litigation and government enforcement related to a fish kill on the Ogeechee River in Southeast Georgia in which over 38,000 fish died of a bacterial infection over a 70-mile stretch of the river.
- Counsel for the City of Columbus, Georgia, in the ongoing tri-state water rights litigation involving Georgia, Alabama, Florida and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, where the sustainable future of Georgia is in serious jeopardy.
- Representing the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) in their challenge to EPA’s “Non-Hazardous Secondary Materials That Are Solid Waste” rule in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
- Successfully represented a corporation in defeating class certification in an Alabama federal court case involving allegations of air pollution crossing interstate boundaries.
- Counsel for Decatur Utilities (Alabama) and Dalton Utilities (Georgia) in managing, under USEPA oversight, the issues associated with biosolids contaminated with PFOA and PFOS, which are found in the bloodstream of most of the U.S. population. The chemicals are used in over 1000 consumer products, such as microwave popcorn bags and stain resistant carpet and fabric.
- Counsel for Gwinnett County, Georgia, in litigation challenging the County’s NPDES permit to discharge highly treated effluent into Lake Lanier. This case was likely the highest profile wastewater litigation that ever occurred in Georgia.
- Counsel to municipalities and companies in defending governmental enforcement actions and defending challenges to clients’ permits and business activities pursued by citizens and environmental groups.
- Counsel to a Fortune 100 forest products company in gaining approval from USEPA for a Project XL proposal to develop a regulatory structure that facilitates flexible manufacturing operations and achieves superior environmental performance at a substantial cost savings to the company.
One hundred and forty-seven Alston & Bird lawyers have been selected by their peers for inclusion in the 2015 edition of The Best Lawyers In America. The lawyers span the firm’s eight U.S. offices and represent more than 60 different practice areas.
August 19, 2014
Members of Alston & Bird’s Environment, Land Use & Natural Resources Group were ranked by Who’s Who Legal: Environment 2014.
June 26, 2014
In the News
Twenty-one Alston & Bird practices have been listed in the 2014 Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. These include Antitrust; Banking & Finance; Bankruptcy/Restructuring; Construction; Corporate/M&A; Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation; Energy; Environment; ERISA Litigation; Government: Government Relations; Healthcare; Immigration; Intellectual Property; International Trade; Labor & Employment; Litigation: General Commercial, including White-Collar and Securities Litigation; Outsourcing; Privacy & Data Security; Real Estate; REITs; and Tax.
May 23, 2014
In the News
Lee DeHihns, a member of Alston & Bird's Environment, Land Development & Natural Resources Group, has been appointed to chair the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Task Force on Sustainable Development. The Task Force—consisting of lawyers and non-lawyers from relevant ABA entities; the United Nations (UN); the Environmental Law Institute; the U.S. State Department; the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; and other multinational organizations and nongovernmental organizations—will review and make recommendations regarding the involvement of the ABA in implementing sustainable development matters worldwide.
August 16, 2013
In the News
One hundred and forty-four Alston & Bird attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the 2014 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. In addition, 17 Alston & Bird attorneys were named “Lawyer of the Year” by the publication.
August 15, 2013
In the News
Twenty-one Alston & Bird practices have been listed in the 2013 Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. These include Antitrust; Banking & Finance; Bankruptcy/Restructuring; Capital Markets: REITs; Construction; Corporate/M&A; Energy; Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation; Environment; ERISA Litigation; Government: Government Relations; Health Care; Immigration; Intellectual Property; International Trade; Labor & Employment; Litigation: General Commercial, including White-Collar and Securities Litigation; Outsourcing; Privacy & Data Security; Real Estate; Tax.
May 24, 2013
In the News
Lee DeHihns, a member of the firm’s Environmental & Land Development Group, has recently been appointed to chair the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Task Force on Sustainable Development.
August 16, 2013
Sustainable development has its origins in the conservation and environmental movements in the United States and other countries, and in the laws that were adopted because of those movements. Lawyers in the public and private sectors drafted these laws and worked with clients to implement them. Sustainable development is becoming increasingly important to lawyers and their clients in a world with a growing economy and population in some places, widespread poverty in others, and growing environmental degradation and greenhouse gas emissions.
"EPA Issues First Ever Numeric Nutrient Water Quality Criteria and Standards for Florida Lakes and Rivers," American College of Environmental Laywers, January 4, 2011.
4 January 2011