Lewis Jones is a nationally recognized expert in environmental law, specializing in water, natural resources, and infrastructure development. He advises water utilities on water supply and wastewater issues, environmental compliance, permitting, and fee setting; helps clients obtain and defend permits to build infrastructure; and assists with a wide range of issues relating to the civil works and regulatory programs of the United States Army Corps of Engineers.
Lewis is experienced in working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on reservoir permitting and management, contracting and licensing, and matters relating to wetlands and endangered species. With a Master’s degree in ecology, extensive experience with the permitting and environmental review processes, and a record of success in court, Lewis is adept at finding strategic solutions to difficult legal and environmental problems to achieve his clients goals.
Active in shaping policy at the federal and state levels, Lewis advises clients on proposed rulemakings and legislation and helps to initiate needed changes.
Lewis is recognized by the Legal 500 US in the Environment-Litigation category; by Best Lawyers in the Environmental Law and Water Law Categories; and by Chambers USA in the Environment category (Band 2).
On-going representation of the National Water Supply Alliance, a national advocacy organization focused on national water policy and the water supply and regulatory programs of the United States Army Corps of Engineers.
Ongoing representation of the City of Atlanta and other metropolitan Atlanta water supply providers in the “Tri-State Water Wars” litigation involving the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) and Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa (ACT) River Basins.
Confidential representation of two Georgia clients in separate inter-governmental disputes about water rates and rate differentials.
Successful representation of Tarrant Regional Water District (Fort Worth, Texas) to solve contract issues relating to Benbrook Reservoir, a Corps reservoir near Fort Worth, Texas, including proposing a solution that was enacted it as part of the Water Resources Development Act of 2017.
On-going representation of Murfreesboro, Tennessee and the Consolidated Utilities of Rutherford County on water supply and water rights issues relating to the Corps’ J. Percy Priest Reservoir, a Corps reservoir east of Nashville.
Successful defense of permit to allow a new wastewater discharge for county system to be located within the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area.
Representation of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce in the development of the Georgia Statewide Comprehensive Water Plan; representation of Georgia and Metro Chambers and other statewide advocacy groups to file amicus briefs in litigation relating to the buffer rule and in the development of anti-degradation procedures under the Clean Water Act.
Representation of the Georgia Water Quality Stakeholders to file comments on new NPDES rules promulgated by the United States EPA and to revise NPDES implementation procedures developed by Georgia Environmental Protection Division.
Successful representation of clients to obtain state and federal approvals necessary to develop residential, commercial, and industrial projects in wetlands, coastal environments, and other sensitive areas.
Successful representation of Paulding County to obtain all necessary permits and approvals to build Richland Creek Reservoir, a major new water supply reservoir.
Representation of multiple clients in connection with “reallocation studies” and water storage contracts by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Representation of clients to obtain permission from US Army Corps of Engineers’ under 33 U.S.C. § 408 to alter or amend federal projects.
Representation of hydropower licensees in proceedings before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, including successful negotiation of acceptable fish passage requirements for a facility in the Augusta Canal.
Representation of clients to obtain § 404 permits to fill wetlands and to negotiate mitigation requirements, including representation of multiple mitigation bank sponsors to maintain necessary approvals from the Corps.
Helped to formulate and to win approval by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service of habitat conservation plan allowing a 2,000-acre residential development completely surrounding an endangered woodstork rookery.
Defeated numerous endangered species act claims brought by the State of Florida alleging that water use and reservoir operations caused “take” of endangered species.
Negotiated a favorable settlement agreement with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on behalf of licensee regarding fish passage requirements for the threatened Atlantic sturgeon at the Augusta Canal.
Served as principal environmental counsel to obtain all permits necessary for LNG terminal within an area designated as critical habitat for the Gulf sturgeon.
Assisted in securing and successfully defending permits to allow major developments in coastal marshlands. Represented developers to obtain (or to avoid the need to obtain) Clean Water Act Section 404 permits from the United States Army Corps of Engineers for the discharge of “dredged and fill” material into wetlands.
Assisted mitigation banking clients in negotiations with the Army Corps of Engineers to get banking instruments approved and to transfer ownership of banks already in operation.
J.D., Harvard University, cum laude
M.S., University of Wisconsin
B.S., University of the South, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa
United States Supreme Court
Supreme Court of Georgia
Georgia Court of Appeals
United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
United States District Court for the District of Columbia
State Bar of Georgia
American College of Environmental Lawyers
American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy and Resources
Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership (Class of 2009)
Chair, Board of Education of the City Schools of Decatur (elected 2014; elected chair 2018)
Trees Atlanta, Board Member
Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education, Board Member