• University of Pennsylvania, B.A. (1992) cum laude
  • The George Washington University Law School, J.D. (1998) with high honors, The Order of the Coif


  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. Court of Appeals
  • D.C. Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 3rd Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 10th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Colorado
  • U.S. District Court, D.C.
  • U.S. District Court, Maryland

Kirsten L. Nathanson


When companies face environmental regulatory enforcement—whether from the U.S. EPA, the DOJ, other government agencies, citizen activist groups, or other private parties—they turn to Kirsten Nathanson as a strategic and pragmatic legal advisor to navigate the myriad risks and drive toward efficient and positive outcomes. In addition to handling litigation encompassing citizen suit defenses; National Environmental Policy Act challenges; CERCLA remediation cost recoveries and defenses; Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act actions; and EPA enforcement, Kirsten’s practice includes a focus on consensus-based dispute resolution and multilateral negotiations and mediation.

Kirsten also serves as a strategic counselor in areas of emerging risk, including climate change; environmental justice; and environmental, social, and governance considerations, particularly when they intersect with all forms of regulatory enforcement and dispute resolution. She supports clients across a range of industries, including energy, agricultural chemicals, and transportation.

Kirsten is co-chair of the firm’s Environmental practice, serves on the firm’s Management Board, and is co-chair of the board’s Strategic Growth Committee.


Professional Activities and Memberships

  • Past President, Women's Energy Network, Washington, D.C. Chapter
  • Past President, Energy & Mineral Law Foundation
  • Member, American Bar Association, Section on Environment, Energy & Resources

Representative Matters

  • Serving as federal environmental counsel to several corporations across multiple facilities and CERCLA sites, including significant landfill and contaminated sediment waterway sites and allocation mediation proceedings.
  • Representing leading crop protection companies and national trade associations across a docket of litigation challenging product registrations under FIFRA; the Endangered Species Act; and the California Environmental Quality Act in California and D.C. federal district, state, and appellate courts.
  • Representing a major transportation company in defending a CERCLA cost recovery claim by the United States.
  • Representing a Fortune 50 company in the strategic management of legacy environmental liabilities.
  • Representing multiple clients in CERCLA and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act enforcement actions at the state and federal levels, including vapor intrusion, groundwater plumes, and ethanol production waste.
  • Serving as federal environmental regulatory and litigation counsel to multiple national trade associations.
  • Representing a Fortune 10 energy company in CERCLA contribution litigation against the United States.
  • Prior engagements of note include:
  • Provided strategic counseling on Sustainability Accounting Standards Board standards for ESG disclosures, particularly with regard to endangered species.
  • Defended a large natural gas producer against threatened Clean Water Act citizen suits related to hydraulic fracturing operations in the Marcellus Shale.
  • Litigated the first Endangered Species Act citizen suit against a wind energy project.
  • Provided strategic and compliance counseling to a major power-generating facility on federal environmental regulatory requirements, such as EPA’s Coal Combustion Residuals Rule, including enforcement schemes and related litigation risk.
  • Represented a major mining company in multiple citizen suit litigation matters under NEPA and other federal laws challenging federal leasing and mine plan approval actions.
  • Defended a Fortune 50 company in a citizen group challenge to the company’s environmental remediation activities at a historic industrial facility.
  • Represented a coal company in a citizen suit brought under the RCRA and the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act related to the company’s handling and disposal of coal ash.
  • Defended a Clean Water Act criminal enforcement action against a private wastewater treatment corporation.
  • Litigated through trial a Clean Water Act citizen suit for a major animal agriculture corporation.
  • Served as national coordinating counsel to a Fortune 10 company in its toxic tort litigation.
  • Conducted an internal Clean Water Act investigation for a corporation related to historical development activities in wetlands.
  • Conducted regulatory litigation for the National Mining Association under the SMCRA and for agricultural trade associations under the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act.
  • Conducted an internal investigation and a risk assessment for a Fortune 100 corporation related to the company’s remediation activities.
  • Defended EPA enforcement actions under CERCLA, including defense of unilateral administrative orders.
  • Conducted NEPA litigation for a land developer needing public lands access for a planned resort development.


Speeches & Presentations


Client Alerts & Newsletters

Press Coverage

Firm News & Announcements

August 18, 2022 The Best Lawyers in America 2023 Recognizes 54 Crowell & Moring Attorneys, Three Selected as Lawyer of the Year
June 29, 2022 Crowell & Moring Named Among Seramount’s ‘Best Law Firms for Women’ for 11th Consecutive Year and Earns Hall of Fame Designation
June 1, 2022 Chambers USA 2022 Ranks 70 Crowell & Moring Lawyers and 37 Practice Areas Among Best in U.S.
July 9, 2021 Crowell & Moring Named Among Working Mother’s 'Best Law Firms for Women' for Tenth Consecutive Year and Earns Hall of Fame Designation
May 20, 2021 Chambers USA 2021 Ranks 63 Crowell & Moring Lawyers and 30 Practice Areas Among Best in U.S.
January 8, 2021 Law Firms Unite to Defend Constitutional Democracy
January 7, 2021 In Defense of Constitutional Democracy
July 21, 2020 Crowell & Moring’s Environment & Natural Resources Co-Chair Kirsten Nathanson Named Member of the Environmental Law Institute’s Leadership Council
April 23, 2020 Chambers USA 2020 Ranks 53 Crowell & Moring Lawyers and 21 Practice Areas Among Best in U.S.
November 6, 2019 WomenInc. Names Crowell & Moring a Top Law Firm for Women
April 29, 2019 Chambers USA 2019 Ranks 53 Crowell & Moring Lawyers and 21 Practice Areas Among Best in U.S.
March 18, 2019 Crowell & Moring’s Kirsten Nathanson Named a Washington Emerging Woman Leader in Private Practice
May 9, 2018 Chambers USA 2018 Ranks 52 Crowell & Moring Lawyers and 24 Practice Areas Among Best in U.S.
May 26, 2017 Chambers USA 2017 Ranks 53 Crowell & Moring Lawyers and 23 Practice Areas Among Best in U.S.
May 27, 2016 Chambers USA Ranks 56 Crowell & Moring Attorneys and 19 Leading Practice Areas Among Best in U.S.
May 19, 2015 Chambers USA Ranks 53 Crowell & Moring Attorneys and 20 Leading Practice Areas Among Best in U.S.
May 23, 2014 Chambers USA Ranks 51 Crowell & Moring Attorneys and 19 Leading Practice Areas Among Best in U.S.
May 24, 2013 Chambers USA Ranks 45 Crowell & Moring Attorneys and 19 Leading Practice Areas Among Best in U.S.
December 4, 2007 DC Circuit Upholds EPA Consent Agreement With America’s Farms
May 4, 2005 Second Circuit Denies Environmental Petitioners' Request for Rehearing of Clean Water Act Case
April 2, 2003 Crowell & Moring Obtains a Win For the Mining Industry