Accomplished, first-chair environment litigator with over 26 years of experience in water quality, water resources, and complex environmental litigation, with particular expertise in Clean Water Act permitting and regulatory compliance, CERCLA (Superfund) site remediation, and emerging contaminants.
Jeff regularly advises businesses and local government in water quality permit compliance and defense matters, responding to emerging contaminants (including PFAS) in water supplies, 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 water suppliers, irrigation districts, municipalities, developers, manufacturers, commercial and timber land owners, interstate transporters, lumber mills, and ports.
Jeff is a frequent speaker and writer on water law and policy, particularly on the intersection between water rights and water quality. 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.
- Lead counsel in advising multiple municipal water suppliers on responding to PFAS contamination to groundwater and providing representation on cost recovery for response costs, water quality treatment, and Safe Drinking Water Act compliance. Provide testimony on clients’ behalf to Washington State Legislative Committee and participate in consultations with the Washington Department of Ecology on proposed PFAS regulations.
- 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 industrial dry cleaners, former landfills, gas stations, salvage and recycling facilities, manufacturing 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 thirty 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.
Education & Clerkship
- J.D., cum laude, Seattle University School of Law (1992)
- B.A., University of Colorado at Boulder (1987)
Admissions & Memberships
- 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
Recognition & Activities
- Member, American Bar Association; Sections of Environment, Energy, and Resources, and Litigation
- Editor, American Bar Association Water Resources Committee newsletter (2009-Present)
- Listed in Chambers USA (2016-Present)
- "Super Lawyer®," Washington Law & Politics magazine
- Martindale Hubbell AV ® Preeminent Rated
- Listed in The Best Lawyers in America © (2011-Present)
- Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation
- “Pro Bono Publico” Service Commendations, Washington State Bar Association
- Listed in the International Who’s Who of Environmental Lawyers 2010
- 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)
Publications & Presentations
- Co-Author, "Stormwater Permitting and Management Requirements: A Practical Guidance® Practice Note by Jeff B. Kray and Jack L. Ross, Marten LLP" (December 2020)
- Co-chair and Speaker, Washington Water Code: Law, Policy, and Planning, The Seminar Group (November 2020)
- Co-chair and Speaker, A Timely Comprehensive Conference on Preparing for the Wave of #PFAS Litigation in the #PacificNorthwest, Law Seminars International (September 2020)
- Moderator and Speaker, ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources, 48th Annual Spring Conference, PFAS: Impacting Site Remediation and Litigation for Years to Come? (March 2019 – Denver, CO)
- Co-chair, 11th Annual Waters Rights Transfers CLE, The Seminar Group (November 2018)
- Speaker, PFAS Contamination: Evolving State and Federal Regulatory Landscape, Litigation, and Due Diligence in Transactions, Strafford Webinar (August 2018)
- Speaker, “What You Need to Know About Buying and Selling Contaminated Property”, Commercial Real Estate Purchases & Sales, Law Seminars International (May 2018)
- Chair, “Clean Water and Stormwater” Law Seminars International (April 2010-2018)
- Speaker, “What You Need to Know About Buying and Selling Contaminated Property”, Commercial Real Estate Purchases & Sales, Law Seminars International (April 2017)
- Speaker, Wetlands in Washington, Law Seminars International (October 2015)
- Speaker, Northwest Environmental Business Council Stormwater Conference, Avoiding and Responding to Third Party Lawsuits (May 2010)
- Speaker, "Advanced Conference Stormwater Management and Permitting," Environmental Law Education Center (November 2009)
- Speaker, "Land Use in Southwestern Washington," Law Seminars International (February 2009)
- 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)
- Co-Author, “Contaminants of Emerging Concern: A New Frontier for Hazardous Waste and Drinking Water Regulation,” American Bar Association’s Natural Resources & Environment (Spring 2018)
- Co-Author, Chapter 8: Underground Storage Tanks, Real Property Deskbook (2017 Supplement)
- Author, "New Industrial Stormwater General Permit in Washington State," The Water Report, Issue No. 75 (May 2010)
- Contributing Author, Water and Water Rights (Third Edition, Michie 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)
- "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)