Portrait of Kirsten L. Nathanson
Recognized as a leading environmental lawyer
in Washington, D.C.
by Chambers and Partners
Kirsten L. Nathanson, Partner Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1 202.624.2887
1001 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20004-2595

Kirsten L. Nathanson is a partner in the firm's Environment & Natural Resources Group, focusing on environmental litigation, enforcement defense, risk assessment, and regulatory counseling under the major federal environmental and public lands statutes. She currently serves as a member on the firm's Environment & Natural Resources Group Steering Committee. Her litigation experience covers the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, Endangered Species Act, FIFRA, NEPA, SMCRA, RCRA, and CERCLA, encompassing citizen suit defense, regulatory challenges, remediation cost recovery and defense, Administrative Procedure Act actions, and EPA enforcement.

Current representative engagements include:

  • Representing a Fortune 10 energy company in CERCLA contribution litigation against the United States at a National Priorities List Superfund site.
  • Providing strategic and compliance counseling to clients on EPA’s new Coal Combustion Residual (CCR) Rule, including its enforcement scheme and related litigation risk.
  • Litigation for various national trade associations against EPA challenging the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) as contrary to the APA and Clean Water Act.
  • Representing leading crop protection companies in ESA-FIFRA litigation challenging product registrations.
  • Serving as federal environmental counsel to a corporation across multiple facilities and CERCLA sites, including the Berry's Creek Study Area, a complex contaminated sediment site in New Jersey.
  • Serving as Clean Water Act regulatory and litigation counsel to multiple national trade associations serving agriculture and forestry.

Prior engagements of note include:

  • Defending a large natural gas producer in avoiding threatened Clean Water Act citizen suits related to hydraulic fracturing operations in the Marcellus shale.
  • Litigating the first Endangered Species Act citizen suit against a wind energy project.
  • Defending a Fortune 50 company in a citizen group challenge to the company's environmental remediation activities at a historical industrial facility.
  • Representing a coal company in a citizen suit brought under RCRA and SMCRA related to the company's handling and disposal of coal ash.
  • Defending a Clean Water Act criminal enforcement action against a private wastewater treatment corporation.
  • Litigating through trial a Clean Water Act citizen suit for a major animal agriculture corporation.
  • Serving as national coordinating counsel to a Fortune 10 company in its toxic tort litigation.
  • Conducting an internal Clean Water Act investigation for a corporation related to historical development activities in wetlands.
  • Regulatory litigation for the National Mining Association under SMCRA, and for agricultural trade associations under the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act.
  • Conducting an internal investigation and risk assessment for a Fortune 100 corporation related to the company's remediation activities.
  • Defending EPA enforcement actions under CERCLA, including defense of unilateral administrative orders. 
  • NEPA litigation for a land developer requiring public lands access for a planned resort development.

Her experience includes federal district court motions and trial practice and federal appellate oral arguments. She is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court and numerous federal appellate and district courts nationwide. 

Kirsten currently serves on the Board of the Washington, D.C. Chapter of the Women's Energy Network and was a founding President of the Chapter in 2011-2012. She is a past president and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Energy & Mineral Law Foundation and has also led the Crowell & Moring Women Attorneys' Network.

Kirsten has been recognized as a leading environmental lawyer in Washington, D.C. by Chambers and Partners USA (2013-2015).

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