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Carlton Fields Congratulates Matt Leopold on his Confirmation to Serve as U.S. EPA General Counsel

Tallahassee, Fla. – The U.S. Senate confirmed Matthew Z. Leopold to be General Counsel of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on December 14. Mr. Leopold was nominated for the position by President Trump on September 2. He will serve as the highest ranking lawyer and chief legal advisor to the EPA, the federal agency with primary responsibility for implementing the nation’s environmental laws. 

Mr. Leopold has practiced in Carlton Fields' Tallahassee office since 2015, focusing on environmental, energy, and water law. During that time, he served on the trial team for Florida v. Georgia, an original action in the U.S. Supreme Court seeking to address water use and natural resource protection in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river basin.

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Leopold served as General Counsel of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Agency (DEP), and before that he was an attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Environmental and Natural Resources Division. During his time at the DEP, Mr. Leopold advised on a wide range of matters including regulatory requirements and state policy for air, water, waste, and public lands, as well as on legal matters related to federal-state partnership to restore the Everglades and energy siting projects. 

“Matt Leopold is superbly qualified to serve as General Counsel for the EPA,” said Carlton Fields President and CEO Gary L. Sasso. “He is an intelligent, thoughtful, and talented attorney with deep expertise from his service to the State of Florida and the Department of Justice. He has been an incredible asset to our clients, and we are sorry to give him up, but we are gratified that he will return to public service in this distinguished capacity. We wish him the very best.”

At the DOJ Environment and Natural Resources Division, Mr. Leopold handled a broad range of environmental and natural resource issues. Notably, he represented the U.S. Government in the civil enforcement action against BP, Transocean, and other defendants in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Mr. Leopold also counseled federal agencies on oil spill matters and legal issues raised by high-profile policy initiatives such as the National Oceans Policy. 

“Matt has a masterful understanding of environmental law,” added Nancy Linnan, head of Carlton Fields’ Government Law and Consulting practice group. “Throughout his time with the firm, he has been an invaluable resource for our clients. I’m sad to see him go but look forward to what he will accomplish at the EPA.”

Carlton Fields congratulates Mr. Leopold on his confirmation and wishes him success in working to protect America’s air, waters, and lands should he be confirmed. Notice of Mr. Leopold’s confirmation is available at


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