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Jeff B. Kray

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Click to Email: jkray@martenlaw.com

Jeff Kray's practice focuses on water quality, water resources, and complex environmental litigation, including Clean Water Act permitting and regulatory compliance, and CERCLA (Superfund) site remediation. He has represented public and private clients throughout the country. Over a 25 year career, Jeff has litigated administrative hearings, conducted numerous trials, and appeared in federal and state appeals.

Jeff regularly advises businesses and local government in water quality permit compliance and defense matters, stormwater pollution prevention, hazardous waste spill prevention and cleanup, and cost recovery litigation. He also frequently consults with water right owners and purchasers on preserving, acquiring, and transferring water rights. He has assisted a broad range of clients, including manufacturers, commercial and timber land owners, interstate transporters, lumber mills, ports, water suppliers, irrigation districts, and municipalities.

Jeff is a frequent speaker and writer on water law and policy. He has lectured extensively on the Clean Water Act, state water quality laws, and state and federal water rights. He has held leadership positions in the Water Resources and Water Quality and Wetlands Committees of the American Bar Association's Section on Environment, Energy, and Resources.

Representative Experience

  • Lead counsel in multiple cases successfully prosecuting and defending claims to recover environmental cleanup costs under the federal Comprehensive Environmental, Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and Washington's Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) or similar state laws in Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and California. Representative cases have involved former landfills, gas stations, industrial and neighborhood dry cleaners, salvage and recycling facilities, and lumber mills.
  • Lead defense counsel before the U.S. District Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit on behalf of the owner of an agricultural chemical company in consolidated actions by EPA and private parties and involving cleanup cost recovery claims and contribution. This complex case involved five separate lawsuits, including several environmental and cost recovery claims, insurance coverage litigation, and probate.
  • Lead defense counsel in over twenty Clean Water Act citizen actions, including five inter-related federal lawsuits involving regulatory compliance with industrial stormwater permits. All five suits were successfully settled via a consent decree approved by the Department of Justice and U.S. District Court.
  • Assisted a lender with its foreclosure and litigation of loans involving timber properties in Hawaii having Endangered Species Act (ESA) issues.
  • Assisted a development company in evaluating water rights and other environmental issues relating to the potential purchase of bankrupt former brewery property that included water rights and well-fields.
  • Advised a prominent Washington homebuilder on compliance with state and federal stormwater pollution control laws and on revising their real estate contracts to appropriately allocate stormwater pollution control risks.


  • Marten Law PLLC, Seattle, WA (2003 - Present)
  • Washington State Attorney General's Office, Olympia, WA (1990 - 2003)


  • J.D., cum laude, Seattle University School of Law (1992)
  • B.A. University of Colorado at Boulder (1987)

Admitted to Practice

  • State Bars of Washington and Oregon
  • U.S. Supreme Court; Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals; Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • U.S. District Courts, Eastern and Western Districts of Washington
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan

Professional Activities and Honors

  • Listed in Chambers USA (2016-2017)
  • "Super Lawyer®," Washington Law & Politics magazine
  • Martindale Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ Rated
  • 2011 - 2017 The Best Lawyers in America© listed
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • Member, American Bar Association; Sections of Environment, Energy, and Resources, and Litigation
  • "Pro Bono Publico" Service Commendations, Washington State Bar Association
  • Listed in The International Who’s Who of Environmental Lawyers 2010
  • Environmental Law and Litigation - Environmental

Select Publications and Speeches

  • Chair, “Clean Water and Stormwater” Law Seminars International (April 2010-2017)
  • Speaker, Northwest Environmental Business Council Stormwater Conference, Avoiding and Responding to Third Party Lawsuits (May 2010)
  • Author, "New Industrial Stormwater General Permit in Washington State," The Water Report, Issue No. 75 (May 2010)
  • Moderator, “EPA Construction Stormwater” Law Seminars International Telebriefing (February 2010)
  • Editor, American Bar Association Water Resources Committee newsletter (2009 to present)
  • Contributing Author, Water and Water Rights (Third Edition, Michie 2009)
  • Speaker, "Advanced Conference Stormwater Management and Permitting," Environmental Law Education Center (November 2009)
  • Author, "Planned Water Desalination Plant in California Approved Over Opposition Regarding Marine Impacts, Energy and Climate Costs," LexisNexis Environmental Law & Climate Change Center (October 15, 2009)
  • Speaker, "Land Use in Southwestern Washington," Law Seminars International (February 2009)
  • Author, "Proposed Washington State Stormwater Rule Imposes New Requirements for Industrial Dischargers," Marten Law Group Environmental News (August 2009)
  • "New York Becomes First State to Require Landlords to Disclose Environmental Test Results to Tenants," The Environmental Counselor, Issue 244 (December 2008)
  • Author, "EPA Rule Exempts Water Transfers from NPDES Permit Requirements," The Environmental Counselor, Issue No. 240 (August 2008)
  • Author, "Box of Rain - States Take a Closer Look at Rainwater Harvesting," GreenerBuildings (August 2008)
  • Author, "Washington State's Municipal Water Law: Landmark Law Partially Invalidated in Trial Court," The Water Report, Issue No. 53 (July 2008)
  • Co Chair, ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources, 26th Annual Water Law Conference (2008); Vice Chair and Speaker, ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources, 25th Annual Water Law Conference (2007)

Civic Activities

  • Vice President, Pacific Northwest Ski Association (2015-Present)
  • President, Crystal Mountain Alpine Club (CMAC) (2010 - 2014)
  • Alpine Race Official, United States Ski & Snowboard Association (2008 - Present)
  • Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, Pro Bono Attorney (2003 - 2009)
  • Pierce County Conservation District "Stream Team" Volunteer (1998 - 2002)

Cedar Grove Composting: Permitting and Regulatory Compliance

We have represented Cedar Grove Composting for decades and have helped it grow into one of the largest composters in the United States. We have assisted in the expansion of Cedar Grove’s facilities, handling its regulatory work before State and regional air agencies, and permitting work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Washington State Department of Ecology. More

International Transportation Company: Stormwater Citizen Suit Defense

Marten Law represented an international transportation corporation in five inter-related federal citizen suits under the Clean Water Act (CWA). More

Missouri Superfund Site: CERCLA Defense

We served as lead defense counsel in federal district court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit for this former operator of a Missouri Superfund Site in actions against the U.S. EPA and other private parties for costs recovery and contribution under CERCLA. More

OII Landfill Cleanup

At this $1 billion landfill cleanup near Los Angeles, we initially represented 54 “de minimis” parties in negotiations with EPA and with a group of “work” defendants.

Through formation of a well-functioning Steering Committee, coupled with cash-out negotiations, we have succeeded in resolving the government’s CERCLA claims against all but eight of the parties we represent. More

Seattle Brownfield: Cost Recovery and Insurance

Marten Law represented the former owner of property in Seattle, Washington contaminated by multiple commercial and residential underground oil storage tanks. The former property owner partially remediated the site and then sold it for urban redevelopment. More

Timber Company: Water Rights

We advised a northwest timber company on the availability of water rights for a potential 3,000 acre land purchase for logging and possible future development. More