Jill Elise Grant


Jill Elise Grant, Yale College (B.A. 1976, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa); Harvard Law School (J.D. 1981).

Admitted to the Bar: District of Columbia (1981); New Mexico (1993). Court admissions: U.S. Supreme Court (1996); U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (1982); Tenth Circuit (1997); Ninth Circuit (2001); First Circuit (2005); U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (1982); U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico (1998); U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado (2002); U.S. Court of Federal Claims (1994).

Jill Grant, the principal member of Jill Grant & Associates, LLC, has extensive background in environmental, administrative, and federal Indian law. Before starting her own law firm, Ms. Grant was a partner in private practice, representing Indian tribes on environmental and federal Indian law issues. Previously Ms. Grant wasan attorney at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of General Counsel, where she was on the team that drafted the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 and worked on various regulations implementing that legislation, including the acid rain marketable allowance program. She litigated issues under the Clean Air Act and also worked on radiation protection and indoor air programs.

While at EPA, Ms. Grant also participated in the development of EPA’s “treatment as a state” policy, and she continues to work vigorously on behalf of tribes in the environmental arena. Ms. Grant assists tribes with developing their own environmental programs and authorities and receiving “treatment as a state” and “primacy” approvals from EPA. She also assists tribes with implementing and enforcing their environmental laws, and has successfully litigated many tribal environmental cases.

Ms. Grant has drafted tribal laws and regulations addressing air quality, water quality, wetlands protection, solid waste management, Superfund (including Brownfields), safe drinking water, petroleum storage tanks, pesticides, and hazardous materials, and also has represented tribes on nuclear waste issues and hazardous materials transportation.

She obtained EPA approval for the only tribal public water systems supervision program in the country and EPA delegation of the first tribal operating permit program under the Clean Air Act. The latter brings in revenue in the form of permit fees, which supports tribal program administration costs. Ms. Grant also helped a tribe obtain primacy for one of the first two tribal underground injection control programs in the country, and has assisted with many EPA approvals of tribal water quality standards.

In addition, Ms. Grant advises both tribal environmental program staff and tribal leadership on environmental program development and assists them in implementing and enforcing the tribal environmental programs that she helped them develop. For example, she provides continuing advice to a tribal air quality program regarding permit issuance and successfully represented the tribal program before EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board in Peabody Western Coal Co., CAA Appeal No. 11-01, 15 E.A.D. 524 (March 13, 2012), reconsideration denied April 17, 2012; see also Peabody Western Coal Co., CAA, Appeal No. 10-01, 14 E.A.D. 712 (Aug. 13, 2010). She also provides continuing advice and enforcement assistance to a tribal storage tank program and successfully defended the tribe against underground storage tank liability in federal court, Felix v. Pic-N-Run, No. CV 09-8015 (D. Ariz. May 5, 2010).

The federal environmental laws and the “treatment as a state” process often raise issues as to tribal jurisdiction, which Ms. Grant has negotiated and litigated. For example, she successfully represented tribal intervenors in a case upholding tribal jurisdiction over air quality within reservations, including tribal trust lands. Arizona Public Service Co. v. EPA, 211 F.3d 1280 (D.C. Cir. 2000), cert. denied sub nom. Michigan v. EPA, 530 U.S. 970 (2001). Ms. Grant also was co-counsel representing the Navajo Nation in a case involving jurisdiction over an in situ uranium leach mine, HRI, Inc. v. EPA, 198 F.3d 1224 (10th Cir. 2000), rev’d on rehearing en banc, 608 F.3d 1131 (10th Cir. 2010). She was successful in having EPA recognize that tribal jurisdiction under the Safe Drinking Water Act extends to tribal trust and allotted lands (including split estates) outside formal reservation boundaries, 73 Fed. Reg. 65,556 (Nov. 4, 2008), a decision which went unchallenged. Ms. Grant also has filed several tribal amicus briefs before the U.S. Supreme Court, including in BP America Production Co. v. Burton, 549 U.S. 84 (2006) (a mineral royalties case in which the Court upheld the tribal amicus position).

Ms. Grant recently published a chapter in the Fourth Edition of the ABA Clean Air Handbook titled “Implementation of Clean Air Act Programs by American Indian Tribes.” She also published an article in the Winter 2016 volume of the ABA Natural Resources & Environment Journal, “Enforcing Tribal Environmental Laws without “Treatment as a State.” The article can be found at http://www.americanbar.org/publications/natural_resources_environment/2015-16/winter/enforcing_tribal_environmental_laws_without_treatment_a_state.html.

In 2018, Jill Grant was recognized by Best Lawyers in America for her work in Native American Law. https://www.bestlawyers.com/lawyers/jill-grant/194281


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