• Richard T. Tschantz
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Richard T. Tschantz

Richard T. Tschantz

Of Counsel


Rick Tschantz has more than 30 years of experience in environmental and government law issues with a focus on environmental permitting and administrative litigation. He is well-versed in local, state, and federal natural resource protection programs and regulations, including extensive experience in water and air quality, wetlands, waste management, consumptive use permits, and mining.  He is deeply familiar with environmental regulatory agencies at the federal, state, and local level and has built longstanding relationships over three decades of practice. He has worked extensively with local governments, state water management districts, and the Army Corps of Engineers. Through his prior work, he has also developed a strong background in legislative lobbying at the state and local level.

Prior to joining Carlton Fields, Rick served as the general counsel for nearly two decades at the Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough County (EPC), a unique special act environmental agency that had delegated authority from the federal and state government, giving him a distinctive environmental law background. Before that, he was deputy general counsel of the Southwest Florida Water Management District, where he gained extensive knowledge of issues affecting development. In addition to his deep understanding of environmental regulations, Rick has considerable trial experience. He litigated administrative cases on behalf of the EPC, numerous cases on behalf of the water management district and, prior to that, worked as a state prosecutor.

Rick is an active member and past president of the Florida Local Environmental Resource Agencies (FLERA), a consortium of local government environmental programs across the state. He is also a past chair of FLERA’s Legislative Committee. In that role, he met regularly with state legislators regarding proposed environmental legislation. Rick has also presented many times before the Florida Chamber’s Environmental Permitting Summer School at Marco Island, one of Florida’s most prominent environmental permitting and regulation seminars.


  • Environmental Leadership Award, Florida Local Environmental Resource Agencies (2019)
  • Commendation Award, Board of County Commissioners (2019)
  • Florida Governor's Sterling Management Award, Florida Governor's Office (2016)

Professional & Community Involvement

  • The Florida Bar
    • Environmental and Land Use Law Section
  • Florida Local Environmental Resource Agencies
    • Past President
  • Hillsborough County Bar Association 


  • Florida State University College of Law (J.D., 1982)
  • Florida State University (B.S., 1976)
Bar Admissions
  • Florida
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • Florida Supreme Court
  • Florida State Courts


  • General Counsel, Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough County (2000–2019)
  • Deputy General Counsel, Southwest Florida Water Management District (1989–1999)
  • Private Law Practice (1986–1989)
  • Assistant State Attorney, Pinellas County State Attorney's Office (1982–1986)


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