Steven Johnson is a litigator who focuses on environmental and land-use issues. He is the former Principal Counsel for the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE).
Steve has significant experience in matters involving the redevelopment of contaminated properties. He defends clients during investigations and enforcement actions, challenges adverse permit and license decisions, and helps clients develop regulatory compliance policies.
Steve also assists in obtaining the environmental permits and approvals necessary to conduct regulated activities such as waste management, processing and recycling, manufacturing, land development, power generation, and activities involving waterways or wetlands.
As the chief legal adviser to the MDE on matters arising under federal and state environmental laws, Steve represented the state in litigation in federal and state courts as well as at the Maryland Office of Administrative Hearings. He led enforcement actions in cases involving wetlands, water pollution, and waste disposal, oversaw creation of an innovative regulatory vehicle to facilitate the remediation and development of a contaminated industrial site, and managed the review and analysis of hundreds of proposed legislative bills concerning the environment.
Steve's background makes him uniquely positioned to help clients navigate MDE’s regulatory programs, including taking contaminated properties through the MDE’s Voluntary Cleanup Program. He also can advise on the Department’s nutrient pollution trading program as well as the related requirements under the EPA-mandated Chesapeake Bay cleanup plan.
Steve has served on the City of Rockville (Maryland) Planning Commission and the Rockville Board of Appeals, giving him practical knowledge into Maryland’s land development review and approval process. He also has represented the City of Alexandria (Virginia) in land-use litigation.
Articles in the National Law Review database by Steven R. Johnson