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John Martin


975 F Street NW, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20004
25 South Willow Street, Suite 200, P.O. Box 68, Jackson, WY 83001

John Martin litigates complex matters involving natural resources and environmental issues for energy industry clients.

John has represented clients in cutting edge Clean Water Act, wildlife, offshore oil & gas, public lands, and other environmental cases on behalf of extractive industries. He defends clients in actions brought by federal and state agencies cases under various environmental laws involving government enforcement and non-governmental organizations. His extensive litigation experience includes arguing before several U.S. Courts of Appeals, on appeals and regulatory matters. He also represents clients before the Interior Board of Land Appeals and in administrative proceedings at the Environmental Protection Agency.

Clients benefit from John’s early career government enforcement experience, including serving as an attorney in the Solicitor’s Office at the Department of the Interior and, later, as a trial lawyer under the Lands and Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice.


  • Clean Water Act
  • National Environmental Policy Act
  • Endangered Species Act
  • Clean Air Act
  • Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act
  • Superfund and hazardous waste
  • Toxic tort litigation
  • Climate change
  • Hydraulic fracturing
  • Federal lands

Client Results

  • Prior to joining Holland & Hart, John worked on the following cases and matters:

    Representative Cases
    • Montana Env. Info. Ctr. v. Stone-Manning, 766 F.3d 1184 (9th Cir. 2014); Successfully argued to uphold state permitting decisions in an action brought under Surface Mining Control & Reclamation Act.     
    • Alaska Community Action on Toxics v. Aurora Energy Services, LLC, 940 F.Supp.2d 1005 (D. Alaska 2013), rev'd in part, 765 F.3d 1169 (9th Cir. 2014); defense of Clean Water Act case against coal port concerning claims under the Clean Water Act.
    • United States v. Brigham Oil & Gas L.P., 840 F. Supp. 2d 1202 (D.N.D. 2012); argued and won dismissal of criminal action under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act in a far-reaching decision rejecting strict liability enforcement of the MBTA for oil and gas operations.
    • Biodiversity Conservation Alliance v. Clark, 608 F.3d 709 (10th Cir. 2010); lead counsel for group of oil and gas companies in successful defense of NEPA challenge to Resource Management Plan concerning coalbed natural gas development in Wyoming's Powder River Basin.
    • Wyo. Outdoor Council v. Wyo. Dep't of Env. Quality, 225 P.3d 1054 (Wyo. 2010); represented industry intervenors in successful defense of state decision to reject petition.
    • William F. West Ranch, LLC v. Tyrrell, 206 P.3d 722 (Wyo. 2009); represented industry intervenors in defense of case brought against state engineer regarding water use for oil and gas operations.
    • Pennaco Energy, Inc. v. U.S. EPA, 692 F.Supp.2d 1297 (D.Wyo. 2009); lead counsel for a group of oil and gas companies in successful challenge to state water quality standards approved by EPA under the Clean Water Act. 
    • Northern Cheyenne Tribe v. Norton, 503 F.3d 836 (9th Cir. 2007); argued on behalf of oil and gas companies in successful defense of challenge to BLM compliance with NEPA.
    • American Petroleum Inst. v. Johnson, 541 F.Supp.2d 165 (D.D.C. 2008); argued on behalf of industry in successful challenge the extent of EPA's jurisdiction under Clean Water Act.
    • United States ex rel. Costner v. URS Consultants, Inc., 317 F.3d 228 (8th Cir. 2003); lead counsel for contractor in successful defense at trial and appeal of action against contractor at Superfund site.
    • United States v. Cello-Foil Products, Inc., 100 F.3d 1227 (6th Cir. 1996); lead counsel in successful defense of CERCLA action.
    • Marathon Oil Co. v. Lujan, 937 F.2d 498 (10th Cir. 1991); successful litigation over oil shale claims under 1872 Mining Law.
    • City of Waukesha v. EPA, 320 F.3d 228 (D.C. Cir. 2003); argued regulatory appeal of rulemaking under Safe Drinking Water Act.
    • State of Ohio v. EPA, 838 F.2d 1325 (D.C. Cir. 1988); argued CERCLA regulatory matter.
    Representative Matters
    • Represent mining company in Clean Water Act and SMCRA permitting litigation for before federal and state courts as well as state administrative agency. E.g., In re: Appeal of Western Energy Co. Rosebud Mine, No. BER-2012-12-WQ (Mont. Bd. of Env. Rev. 2012);Mont. Env. Info. Ctr. & Sierra Club v. Mont. Dep't Env. Qual., et al., No. 2012-1075 (Mont. First Judical Dist. Lewis and Clark Cty).
    • Represent coalition challenging Fish & Wildlife Service violations of the Endangered Species Act and its regulations. Oklahoma et. al. v. Dep't of the Interior, Case No. 14-CV-123-JHP-PJC (N.D. Okla.).
    • Defend a SMCRA case in which adverse lower court decision was vacated by the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. M.L. Johnson Family Properties, LLC et al. v. Premier Elkhorn Coal Co., No. 14-5867 (Oct. 31, 2014), and in parallel proceedings before the Interior Board of Land Appeals.
    • Represented oil & gas trade associations concerning BLM and EPA efforts to regulate hydraulic fracturing (fracking).
    • Currently defending mining companies in several cases brought by advocacy organizations under the Clean Water Act.
    • Lead confidential investigation of purported environmental violation by Fortune 500 company. 
    • Represented major oil companies before federal agencies concerning environmental regulatory issues arising from BP Macondo Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico for offshore oil and gas operations.
    • Represented Texas municipality in NEPA challenge to locating of federal wildlife refuge where it would preclude source of municipal water.
    • Defended and resolved some of the most significant enforcement actions brought by EPA against mining companies for permit violations alleged under the Clean Water Act (2007-2015).
    • Resolved EPA action against oil and gas concern for spills and asserted violations of spill plan requirements under Clean Water Act (2005-2008).
    • Defended chemical company against major administrative enforcement action under Toxic Substances Control Act; resolved in administrative settlement with EPA (2005).
    • Testified before Congressional task force concerning revisions to NEPA (September 2005).
    • Participated in defense of criminal investigations under federal environmental statutes (2003-present).
    • Represented State of Wyoming in Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act matters (2004-2005).
    • Represent oil and gas concerns in a series of NEPA actions arising from coalbed natural gas operations in Wyoming and Montana; cases venued in Wyoming and Montana (2004-2010).
    • Successful resolution of major Clean Air Act enforcement action against Ohio agricultural concern (2004).
    • Defended and resolved significant Clean Water Act action brought against major municipality (2003).
    • Participated in permitting major offshore Alaska exploration project and successfully defended challenges in 9th Circuit, Federal District Court, and Interior Board of Land Appeals (2002).



Speaking Engagements


Bar Admissions

Court Admissions


  • Department of Justice, Special Achievement Award
  • BTI Client Service All Star, 2016
  • Martindale-Hubbell®, AV Preeminent® Rating
  • Martindale-Hubbell®, Top Rated Lawyer
  • Who's Who Legal, Environment, 2016

Professional and Civic Affiliations

  • Bar Association of the District of Columbia
  • American Bar Association, Natural Resources Law Section
  • Wyoming Bar Association

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