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Robert E. HoldenShareholder, New Orleans
(504) 556-4130fax (504) 556-4108

Mr. Holden  represents natural resources, petrochemical and industrial companies. He has handled extensive environmental litigation, including environmental enforcement and regulatory matters, oil spill and oil spill insurance matters, and energy litigation.

Mr. Holden devotes a substantial part of his practice to regulatory and enforcement matters before the Environmental Protection Agency and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ). His practice includes the representation of refining and chemical companies on air requirements (Title V, MACT, and NSR), wastewater requirements (LPDES and NPDES), hazardous waste requirements (typically generator requirements), and solid waste requirements (permitting and closure issues). Mr. Holden had a lead role in preparing industry comments on EPA’s PVC MACT rulemaking in 2012. He servesas lead industry counsel at the Combustion and Dutchtown Superfund sites. Mr. Holden was the lead environmental counsel for the permitting of chemical plants in St. James and Iberville Parishes, and of a commercial hazardous waste incinerator located in St. Mary Parish. He has represented many clients in enforcement proceedings before EPA Regions 6 and 8, and before the LDEQ.

Mr. Holden has worked extensively on behalf of BP in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. He has extensive experience with the Oil Pollution Act and similar state statutes and Oil Spill Financial Responsibility requirements. He has also worked on major oil spills caused by Hurricane Katrina and oil spills from several pipeline spills.

Mr. Holden devotes a substantial part of his practice to counseling on environmental and regulatory requirements for facilities operating in the federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico, including matters concerning the Gulf of Mexico General NPDES permits, Clean Air Act requirements, and BSEE operational requirements. He was the lead environmental counsel for the permitting under the Deep Water Port Act of the Freeport Main Pass Energy Hub in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Honors & Affiliations:

  • AV Preeminent rating by Martindale-Hubbard, 2017
  • Best Lawyers in America 2017 “Lawyer of the Year" in Administrative/Regulatory Law, New Orleans
  • Chambers USA America's Leading Lawyers for Business, 2006–2016
  • The Best Lawyers in America, 2010–2017
  • New Orleans "Best Lawyers 2011 Environmental Lawyer of the Year"
  • Louisiana Super Lawyers, 2009–2017
  • Named a "Top Lawyer" in New Orleans Magazine in the areas of Administrative/Regulatory Law and Environmental Law, 2012–2015
  • New Orleans, Louisiana State, and American Bar Associations – Member
  • Louisiana Bar Foundation – Fellow
  • Air and Waste Management Association – Member
  • Energy Bar Association – Member
  • Loyola University New Orleans College of Law – Adjunct Professor – Clean Air Act Seminar – 2006–2008
  • Louisiana State Bar Association, Environmental Section – Chairman, 1991–1992


  • “Legal Concerns About BSEE’s BAST Proposal,” OOC BAST Workshop, with Allen Verret and Sandi Fury, The Woodlands, TX, July 10, 2014
  • “BAST Rulemaking—Why the Loss of the Safe Harbor is Important,” Gulf Petroleum Club Coast Safety & Training Group, with John Gray, Lafayette, LA, March 14, 2014
  • “The Lawyer’s Role in Oil Spill Planning,” Houston Bar Association, Environmental Luncheon, with John Gray, Houston, TX, October 9, 2013
  • “NPDES Upset and Bypass Defenses,” 2010 Water Workshop, ExxonMobil, Houston, TX, June 2, 2010
  • “Current Developments and Environmental Compliance for Liquids Terminals,” ILTA Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA, October 15, 2009
  • “Proposed GHG Mandatory Reporting Rule,” Air & Waste Management Association, September Dinner Meeting, Baton Rouge, LA, September 24, 2009
  • “Air Compliance Requirements for E&P Facilities on Indian Lands,” and “Clean Water Act Developments and EPA Enforcement Initiatives on the Gulf of Mexico,” Liskow & Lewis 2009 Environmental Law Seminar, Houston, TX, May 7, 2009
  • “New Source Review and Recent Judicial Developments,” AIChE 2008 Spring Meeting, New Orleans, LA, April 8, 2008
  • “Overview of the Brownfields and LDEQ’s Voluntary Remediation Program,” Liskow & Lewis and U.S. Risk Management LLC, New Orleans, LA, January, 2008
  • “External Floating Roof Landing Issues,” Independent Liquids Terminals Association Conference, Houston, TX, June 2007
  • “Defending State or Federal Enforcement Actions,” Liskow & Lewis Environmental Compliance: Hot Issues and Recent Developments, New Orleans, LA, April 2007
  • “Career Tutorial,” Air and Waste Management Association’s 99th Annual Conference and Exhibition, New Orleans, Louisiana, June 2006
  • "Air Commissions: Roof Landings and Permit Compliance," Independent Liquid Terminals Association Conference, Houston, Texas, June 2006
  • "Hurricane Katrina: It's an Ill Wind that Blows No Good," Panel ABA 35th Annual Conference on Environmental Law, Keystone, Colorado, March 2006
  • "EPA Enforcement and OCS Environmental Permitting," Liskow and Lewis Seminar, 2006 Environmental Seminar, Environmental and Safety Developments Affecting the Energy Industry: OCS and Onshore, Houston, Texas, January 2006
  • “Title V Compliance,” 2005 Air and Waste Management Association luncheon seminar, Lake Charles, Louisiana, February 2005
  • “Legal Perspective – How does compliance factor into your EHS MS?” ENVIRON Corporation, Environmental, Health and Safety Management Systems: Ideas, Perspectives and Experiences, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, January 2005
  • “Civil Enforcement and Penalty Trends,” “Remediation Issues - RECAP,VRP and Bona Fide Prospective Purchasers Panel," and “'Hot Air’ Panel Discussion on Clean Air Act Compliance Panel," Liskow & Lewis, Environmental Compliance at the Operational Level, New Orleans, Louisiana, January 2005
  • “Title V Compliance Seminar Panel," Trinity Consultants, Inc., Lunch with Trinity, Kenner, Louisiana, August 2004
  • “Air and Water Issues on the OCS Panel," Liskow & Lewis Current Environmental and Other Regulatory Issues Affecting the Offshore E&P Industry, Houston, Texas, May 2004
  • “Responding to a Civil Enforcement Action,” Louisiana State University School of Law, Environmental Law Seminar, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, May 2004
  • “Responding to DEQ Enforcement Actions,” LMOGA Environmental Annual Meeting, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, March 2004
  • “Complying with Environmental Regulations and Permits: An Overview Panel," Trinity Consultants, Inc., Kenner, Louisiana, October 2003
  • “Incident Investigation, Discovery and Information Management” panel, Louisiana State Bar Association, Nuts and Bolts of Environmental Litigation, New Orleans, Louisiana, September 2003
  • “The Legal Challenges of Environmental Compliance,” Omega Protein Environmental Workshop, New Orleans, Louisiana, February 2003
  • “Clean Air Act” and “RCRA Update,” Fundamentals of Louisiana Environmental Law Compliance, Government Institutes, Inc., New Orleans, Louisiana, December 2002
  • “Air and Water Issues on the OCS,” Current Environmental and Other Regulatory Issues Affecting the Offshore E&P Industry, Liskow & Lewis and The Independent Petroleum Association of America, Houston, Texas, November 2002
  • “Clean Air Act Judicial Developments” and “Water Quality Update - TMDL Litigation,” Government Institutes, New Orleans, Louisiana, December 2000


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Practice Areas:

Bar Admissions:
  • Louisiana, 1978
  • Florida, 1979
  • Texas, 1993

    University of Florida, J.D., cum laude, 1978
  • Order of the Coif
  • University of Florida Law Review, Member
    Florida State University, B.S., Engineering Science, 1972

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