Susan Stephens practices in the area of natural resources law, whether it involves authorizations to extract valuable resources from the earth, wetlands issues, water resources permits, or listed wildlife. This experience has ranged from helping clients decide which properties to invest in to ensuring that the properties they already own can be fully utilized; from working with agencies to develop workable rules to challenging rules that put an unfair burden on business interests; and from

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  • Represents clients before all levels of environmental agencies in connection with obtaining environmental permits for regulated activities, including resource extraction, wetland, wastewater, air, submerged lands issues and wildlife permitting and regulation, and NEPA compliance.
  • Assists in the development of policy and regulatory initiatives, including development of Florida’s Title V Air Operating Permit Program, National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Wastewater Permitting Program, and Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), Wellfield Protection Rule, and Impaired Waters Rule Programs.
  • Represents clients on interpretation, compliance and enforcement of environmental permits with everything from unanticipated bypasses and emergency authorizations to employee misconduct allegations.
  • Assists clients in conducting environmental due diligence reviews for real estate transactions at state, multi-state, and multi-national levels.
  • Represents commercial interests including phosphate, limerock, and sand mining operations, phosphoric acid, fertilizer and feed manufacturing operations, power generation and transmission operations, paper mill operations, glass manufacturing, chemical blending and manufacturing, developers, and residential subdivisions, among others.

Representative Published Decisions

  • Ctr. for Biological Diversity v. United States Army Corps of Eng’rs, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 205629, 85 ERC (BNA) 2385, 2017 WL 6387977 (M.D. Fla. 2017) (co-counsel)
  • FINR II, Inc. v. CF Industries and Dept. of Envt’l Prot., DOAH Case No. 11-6495 (DEP Final Order 2012), per curiam aff’d, 118 So.3d 809 (Fla. 1st DCA 2013), reh’d denied (2013), cert. denied, 571 U.S. 1175 (U.S. 2014)
  • Lee County & Sarasota County v. Mosaic Fertilizer, LLC and Dept. of Envt’l Prot., DOAH Case No. 08-3886 (DEP Final Order 2009), per curiam aff’d 29 So.3d 301 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2010)
  • Peace River/Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority, et al. v. IMC Phosphates Company and Dep’t of Envt’l Prot., Case No. 03-0791 (DEP Final Order 2006), aff’d, 18 So.3d 1079 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2009), reh’g denied (2009)
  • Association of Florida Community Developers v. Dept. of Envt’l Prot., DOAH Case No. 04-000880RP (DOAH Final Order 2006), aff’d,  943 So.2d 989 (2006).
  • Harvey, et al. v. S.M.G., Inc. and Dep’t. of Envt’l Prot., DOAH Case No. 02-003835 (DEP Final Order 2005).
  • Medina, et al. v. City of Sunny Isles and Dept. of Comm’y Affairs, DOAH Case No. 04-00002GM (DOAH Final Order 2005), per curiam aff’d, 913 So. 2d 604 (Fla. 1st DCA 2005)
  • Manasota-88, Inc., et al. v. IMC Phosphates Co. and Dep’t of Envt’l Prot., DOAH Case No. 01-1080 (DEP Final Order 2002), aff’d, Charlotte County v. IMC-Phosphates, 824 So. 2d 298 (Fla. 1st DCA 2002)

Publications & Presentations

  • Presentation, Florida Chamber of Commerce Environmental Permitting Summer School, Defending Your Permit Against Legal and Other Assaults,  (2014)
  • Webinar, EPA’s Draft Rule on Waters of the United States (WOTUS) (2013)
  • Presentation on “Federal Waters of the U.S. Rulemaking”, 11th Annual Florida Mine Safety, Health & Environmental Conference (2014)
  • Presentation, Florida Chamber of Commerce Environmental Permitting Summer School, Challenges in Administrative Litigation (2013)
  • Numeric Nutrient Criteria, Coming to a Water Body Near You? (co-author with David W. Childs) – ABA Mining and Mineral Extraction Committee Newsletter (2/2013)
  • Effect of Third Party Participation on Phosphate Mine Permitting in Florida (co-authored with Timothy M. Riley) – ABA Energy and Natural Resources Litigation Committee Newsletter (2/2013)
  • Challenges to Phosphate Mine Permitting in Florida – ABA SEER Year in Review 2012, Mining Chapter
  • Feeling Our Way Through the Clean Water Act:  Pre-Enforcement Judicial Review of the EPA Compliance Orders Under Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency, University of Florida Journal of Law and Public Policy – Volume 23 (2012) – Co-author with Miguel Collazo, III
  • Presentation, Environmental & Land Use Law Annual Update Conference (2011)
  • Presentation, Florida Chamber of Commerce Growth Management Conference (2011)
  • Presentation and Panelist, Florida Mine Safety Health & Environment Conference (2010, 2011, 2013, 2014)
  •  Northwest Florida Mining Summit (2009)(conference organizer & speaker)

Contributing co-author to regularly updated treatises:

  • Environmental Law Institute, Law of Environmental Protection Desk Book, Chapter 12, Part I (Air) (1999-present)
  • Florida Bar Association’s Administrative Law Treatise, Chapter 8, Environmental Agencies (2008-present)
  • Florida Bar Association’s Environmental and Land Use Law Treatise, Chapter 9.4, Nationwide Permits (2008-2012)

Awards & Recognition

  • Named in Florida Trend Magazine in 2012 as one of Florida’s “Legal Elite”
  • Recognized by Martindale-Hubbell as “BV-Distinguished”.

Susan's Practice Areas