Stephen specializes in finding common-sense solutions for his clients in nearly all environmental situations.
As a former Associate Regional Counsel for EPA Region 4’s Office of Regional Counsel (ORC), Stephen brings more than 12 years of government experience to Beveridge & Diamond. At EPA, Stephen led all legal aspects of complex environmental cleanups, enforcement and compliance actions, and emergency responses throughout the Southeast. He served as lead counsel for hundreds of matters related to nearly all major environmental statutes, including the Comprehensive Response, Compensation and Liability Act (Superfund), Clean Water Act (CWA), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), and Oil Pollution Act (OPA), among others. He now uses this experience to effectively and efficiently navigate environmental issues facing his clients.
Highlights of Stephen’s career while at EPA include:
- Serving as legal counsel for nearly every type of Superfund site—often pioneering “outside the box” approaches to resolve complex technical, liability, and community issues.
- Serving as lead regional counsel for all oil spill and spill prevention matters under the CWA and OPA, including extensive enforcement for facility, railroad, and pipeline releases and violations of the Oil Spills Prevention and Preparedness regulations.
- Serving as lead regional counsel for emergency responses and removal actions, including serving on EPA’s National Removal Enforcement Workgroup, ensuring nationally-consistent removal actions across the country.
- Serving as lead counsel for CWA, SDWA, and Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act (MPRSA) enforcement and compliance actions, negotiating numerous settlements and compliance orders for violations of Sections 301, 402, and 404 of the CWA, as well as Sections 1414 and 1421 of the SDWA.
- Serving as lead counsel on all issues related to RCRA against a broad range of industries and entities, including evaluation of enforcement authorities under Sections 3013 and 7003 of RCRA and joint RCRA/CERLA authorities.
- Supporting current and former EPA and White House initiatives promoting brownfields redevelopment, renewable energy projects, and community engagement, including:
- Serving as EPA Regional Brownfields Redevelopment Legal Coordinator, facilitating reutilization at Superfund sites;
- Serving as Regional Counsel Lead for EPA’s RE-Powering America’s Land Initiative, encouraging renewable energy projects on current and formerly contaminated lands; and
- Serving as Regional Representative for the former White House’s Council on Strong Cities, Strong Communities, working with municipalities to build capacity and support their visions for economic growth and community outreach.
Stephen is deeply involved in the Atlanta community. He is a graduate of Leadership DeKalb, LEAD Atlanta, and the Atlanta Federal Executive Board’s Leadership Government. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Morris Brown College, one of the four Historically Black Colleges and Universities in Atlanta, and is the former Chairman of the Board for Trinity Community Ministries, a transitional housing and rehabilitation facility supporting the recovery and successful transition of Atlanta’s homeless and veteran community, as well as the Avondale Elementary School Education Foundation, which seeks to enhance educational opportunities for underserved students at a Title I school in DeKalb County. As a result of his work, Stephen has been recognized by several EPA and private awards, including “40 under 40” recognitions from the Atlanta Business Chronicle, Georgia Trend Magazine, and his alma mater, Auburn University.
- Auburn University (B.A., magna cum laude)
- Political Science
- The University of Mississippi School of Law (J.D., cum laude)
- Mississippi Law Journal, Development Editor
- Ole Miss Moot Court Board, Member
- American Bar Association, Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources
- Vice Chair of Spring Conferences (2020-2021)
- Co-Chair of SEER Region 4 Conference (2013, 2015, 2019)
- Vice Chair of SEER Fall Conference (2014)
- State Bar of Georgia, Environmental Law Section
- Trustee, Morris Brown College
- Former Chairman, Avondale Elementary School Education Foundation
- Former Chairman, Trinity Community Ministries
- Trustee, Hopeful/Honest Initiative on Race and Understanding
- Leadership DeKalb, Class of 2020
- LEAD Atlanta, Leadership Atlanta, Class of 2017
- Leadership Government, Atlanta Federal Executive Board, Class of 2014