Image: Greg Johnson
Greg
Greg L. Johnson
Shareholder, New Orleans
Co-Chair, Environmental Regulatory Practice Group
Hancock Whitney Center
701 Poydras Street
Suite 5000
New Orleans, Louisiana 70139

Overview

Greg Johnson is an experienced business lawyer with a long record of helping Louisiana companies with the environmental aspects of complex, large-impact transactions, litigation, and regulatory compliance issues throughout the surrounding Gulf Coast region.  A significant focus of Greg's practice is representing domestic and international corporations with environmental permitting for major, high-profile industrial facility projects – such as a proposed, $20 billion gas-to-liquid facility – and with the resolution of often-controversial, high-exposure, oil and gas or energy-related disputes, such as claims in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Greg draws heavily on his real-world experience and training as a chemical engineer when he counsels clients with transactions involving technical issues, most commonly in spotting latent environmental issues with sales or purchases of industrial or manufacturing sites in the chemical, petrochemical, inorganic, and industrial sectors.  During law school and prior to starting his law practice, Greg was a consulting environmental engineer concentrating on permitting, emissions estimation, reporting, modeling, and compliance issues in the oil and gas, chemical, and energy sectors. 

For example, as part of his representation in a large acquisition of a Louisiana industrial facility, Greg obtained the first-ever confirmation of Bona Fide Prospective Purchaser status in favor of the client, offering it as a statutory defense to federal and state cleanup liability.  In addition, Greg helps companies with environmental audits, the pursuit of various environmental permits, and disclosure of enforcement issues to federal and state governmental agencies.

He is the long-serving General Counsel to the International Carbon Black Association, an industry trade group comprising all of the manufacturers of carbon black in North America and Western Europe.  Greg has helped the association with regulatory matters, including the negotiation of Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) standards for the industry and the procurement of key Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) interpretations. In addition, Greg provides antitrust surveillance and negotiates sponsored-research contracts for the group.

Greg leads the environmental regulatory practice group at Liskow & Lewis and is a past chair of the Louisiana State Bar Association’s Environmental Law Section.  He is a frequent speaker, sought-after as a thought leader on energy and environmental topics.

Experience

Greg helps major corporations with the evaluation of release-reporting issues, Louisiana public trust issues, environmental-agency rulemaking, and other aspects of environmental and energy law.  These include permitting, compliance, enforcement, and transactional issues, such as the following:

  • South Louisiana Methanol LP (“SLM”) in the appeal of air quality permit modifications by a group of environmental petitioners. Greg and a team of Liskow lawyers helped obtain a ruling in favor of SLM, affirming the decision of the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality to tailor its public trust analysis for the proposed modification and to issue the modified permits. The permits authorize construction of what would be the largest methanol plant in the world.

  • Gramercy Alumina LLC in its acquisition of the former Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Corporation facility in Gramercy, La. As part of his representation, Greg obtained the first-ever confirmation of Bona Fide Prospective Purchaser status in favor of the company, offering it as a statutory defense to federal and state cleanup liability.

  • Shintech and GTX, Inc., and other companies in their efforts to locate and permit industrial facilities in Louisiana. In these types of cases, Greg prepares permit documents, attends public hearings, represents clients in cases seeking judicial review of the permit decisions, and negotiates with environmental groups on behalf of the companies.

  • A major specialty chemical company, then named Witco Corporation, in the investigation and disclosure of emissions and reporting violations, as well as the handling of subsequent related agency negotiations. Greg's efforts helped obtain a waiver by the U.S. EPA of all fines and penalties under the applicable federal regulatory programs.

  • General Counsel to the International Carbon Black Association, an industry trade group whose members include all of the manufacturers of carbon black in North America and Western Europe. Greg's representation covers a wide range of regulatory matters, including the negotiation of Maximum Achievable Control Technology standards for the industry and the procurement of key Occupational Safety and Health Administration interpretations. In addition, he provides antitrust surveillance and negotiates sponsored research contracts for the group.

  • Internal investigations and environmental compliance counsel for companies facing whistle-blower allegations, potential fraud, and white-collar criminal conduct charges. 

A wide variety of corporations value Greg's practical, business-oriented perspective with complex air, water, and hazardous waste regulatory issues, Louisiana constitutional environmental law issues and other public-policy and environmental justice issues.

Involvement

Professional

  • New Orleans, Louisiana State and American Bar Associations - Member

  • Louisiana State Bar Association - Environmental Law Section - Chair, 2008-2009; Vice Chair, 2007-2008; Secretary, 2006 - 2007; Treasurer, 2005-2006; Council Member, 2001-2005

  • New Orleans Bar Association - Board of Directors 2003 - 2006; Young Lawyers Section -Chair, 2002; Environmental Committee - Chair, 2000 - 2001;  Briefly Speaking - Editor, 2000 - 2001

  • Air & Waste Management Association – Sections and Chapters Council, Vice Chair, 2013-2015; Chair, 2016-2018

  • Air & Waste Management Association - Louisiana Section - Director, 2010-2013; Chair, 2002-2004; Treasurer, 2000-2002; Speaker Chair 2008-2010; Education Chair, 1996-2000

  • Environmental Engineer, Waldemar S. Nelson & Co., Inc., 1992 - 1995

Recognition

  • Chambers USA – America's Leading Lawyers for Business – Environment, 2010–2018

  • The Best Lawyers in America, 2012–2019

  • Louisiana Super Lawyers, 2014-2018

  • Named a “Top Lawyer” in New Orleans Magazine in the area of Environmental Law, 2013, 2015-2018

  • New Orleans CityBusiness Leadership in Law Award, 2010

Best Lawyers Award Badge

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                               Greg L. Johnson
Selected in 2018
Thomson Reuters 

Presentations

  • "There and Back Again: EPA's Boiler MACT Rule," Air & Waste Management Association Louisiana Section Meeting, March 17, 2011
  • “Clean Air Act Recent Developments,” Liskow & Lewis 2009 Environmental Law Seminar, Houston, TX, May 7, 2009
  • “The Contractual Issues of Turning Brownfields into Greenfields,” ABA Forum on the Construction Industry, 2009 Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA, April 16-18, 2009
  • “Preparing for Greenhouse Gas Regulations,” AIChE 2008 Spring Meeting, New Orleans, LA, April 8, 2008
  • “Overview of the Brownfields and LDEQ’s Voluntary Remediation Programs,” Liskow & Lewis and U.S. Risk Management, New Orleans, LA, January 16, 2008
  • “Louisiana Environmental Regulations,” Louisiana Land Law for Civil Engineers and Land Surveyors, New Orleans, LA, July 19, 2007
  • “Hot Air – Recent Developments on Clear Air Act Issues,” Liskow & Lewis, Environmental Compliance: Hot Issues and Recent Developments, New Orleans, LA, April 26, 2007
  • "Louisiana and Texas, Issues Up in the Air:  News for Non-Attainment Areas," Liskow & Lewis, Environmental and Safety Developments Affecting the Energy Industry:  OCS and Offshore, Houston, Texas, January 2006
  • “The Purchaser’s Due Diligence Process,” Liskow & Lewis, Buying and Selling Oil and Gas Properties Seminar, Houston, Texas, May 2005
  • “Environmental Liability Issues for Energy Companies,” International Energy Credit Association, 2005 Spring Education Conference, Dana Point, California, March 2005
  • “Due Diligence in Louisiana – Legal and Technical Issues: Buying Contaminated Property Free From Superfund Liability,” Louisiana State Bar Association, Environmental Law in Louisiana 2004, New Orleans, Louisiana, December 2004
  • “Bona Fide Prospective Purchaser (BFPP) Protection,” Air and Waste Management Association, Louisiana Section, Environmental Focus 2004, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, October 26, 2004
  • “Title V Compliance Certifications,” NPRA 2004 Environmental Conference, San Antonio, Texas, September 2004
  • “The Intersection of Criminal Environmental Enforcement and Toxic Torts,” Liskow & Lewis, New Orleans, Louisiana, April 2004
  • “Title V Operating Permits,” Enterprise Products Company, March 2003
  • “RECAP and Brownfields in Louisiana” and “Managing Uncertainty with Louisiana Permit Procedures,” Government Institutes, Inc., December 2002
  • “RCRA and CERCLA 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
  • “Environmental Concerns for Developers,” National Business Institute, Louisiana Land Use: Current Issues in Subdivision Annexation and Zoning Laws, New Orleans, Louisiana, January 2002
  • “Brownfields Redevelopment,” New Orleans Bar Association, Real Property Seminar, New Orleans, Louisiana, November 2001
  • “Brownfields Redevelopment,” Procrastinators' Program, New Orleans Bar Association, New Orleans, Louisiana, December 2000
  • “Facility Remediation Policy” and “Managing Uncertainty with Louisiana Permit Procedures,” Government Institutes, New Orleans, Louisiana, December 2000
  • Liskow & Lewis Brownfields Seminar, New Orleans, Louisiana, August 2000
  • “Coping with Environmentally Distressed Properties,” 15th Institute on Real Estate Law, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 1999
  • “Pollution Prevention Pays: Economic Benefits Beyond Compliance,” Louisiana Environmental '99, Tulane Law School, New Orleans, Louisiana, 1999
  • “Environmental Exposures in the Oilfield” and “Allocating and Insuring Environmental Risks,” (with Mary S. Johnson and Mark D. Latham), Liskow & Lewis Admiralty Seminar, New Orleans, Louisiana, 1998

Publications

After Hours

Greg is the father of triplets, who account for "110% of my free time."  Nevertheless, he has found a way to blend his interest in youth sports and photography into parenthood.  Greg also gets a lot of personal satisfaction out of his civic and professional involvement and community leadership.

News/Insights