ELIZABETH M. HARRIS

ATTORNEY

206.535.6012
elizabeth@verislawgroup.com

Elizabeth has a broad environmental law practice, with an emphasis on contaminated properties. Elizabeth advises clients under the Washington Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA), the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) and the Clean Water Act (CWA). She works with clients to secure insurance coverage for environmental claims, pursue cost recovery, obtain regulatory closure for contaminated sites, and maintain regulatory compliance. Elizabeth litigates claims for plaintiffs and defendants involving CERCLA, MTCA, state common law claims, and contract law claims.  Elizabeth also negotiates and drafts transactional documents, such as leases, access agreements, and remediation agreements.

Elizabeth developed an interest in urban environmental issues before law school through her work for the New York City Parks Department in the GreenApple Corps. She continued to pursue her joint interests in environmental issues and litigation during law school through internships at the city, state and federal levels of government with the New York City Law Department’s Environmental Law Division, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and the United States Department of Justice’s Civil Litigation Division. After graduating from law school, Elizabeth represented the City of New York as an Assistant Corporation Counsel on land use and environmental matters in city, state and federal courts. Elizabeth prosecuted asbestos and medical waste disposal cases before the City’s Environmental Control Board. She has argued, and won, oral arguments in state court on environmental review and watershed protection cases, working on all aspects of litigation from discovery and motions practice through the appeals process. Elizabeth worked with many city agencies to address a wide range of environmental issues including petroleum bulk storage regulatory compliance, Superfund cleanups, CWA permitting, the environmental review process, and tort claims for oil spills.

Representative Matters

  • Successfully defended a family-owned manufacturing company against a CWA citizen suit alleging stormwater permit violations.  Continues to advise the client on regulatory compliance matters.
  • Represents a Fortune 500 company on environmental matters involving contaminated sites. Advises client in negotiating leases and maintaining compliance with federal environmental regulations.
  • Assists clients with cost recovery actions involving the remediation of dry cleaning sites and manufactured gas plants, and the redevelopment of brownfield sites.
  • Represents a major fuel distributor on regulatory compliance issues, including the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) regulations.
  • Successfully argued motions to dismiss claims challenging the siting of a family shelter and in a watershed protection case.

Admissions & Civic Involvement

Member, Washington State Bar Association (WSBA)
Member, WSBA Environmental and Land Use Section
Member, King County Bar Association (KCBA)
Member, KCBA Environmental and Land Use Law Section
Member, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington
Member, Women in Environment (WIE) (2018 – Present)
Volunteer, Washington First Responder Will Clinic
Litigation Committee Member, Puget Soundkeeper Alliance

Education

J.D., New York University School of Law (2012)
B.A., cum laude, University of Pennsylvania (2006)

Personal

Elizabeth enjoys spending as much time outside as possible with her husband and two children. She likes to hike, bike and camp throughout Washington when she is not in her vegetable and berry garden.