Blair M. Gardner

Phone: (812) 422-9444 | Fax: (812) 421-7459 | Email:
221 NW Fifth Street, Evansville, IN 47708

Blair M. Gardner is a Member of the Firm's Environmental Practice Group in Evansville, Indiana. Mr. Gardner's litigation practice focuses on the defense of environmental enforcement actions brought by citizens groups and government agencies. He counsels clients in the development and extraction of various natural resources, including the common law riparian rights they possess in streams. He also represents clients before administrative agencies and courts in matters involving water, waste and air pollution claims.

The following matters are representative of his practice:

  • Currently represents privately-held resource companies in multiple federal class action suits to determine the ownership of coalbed methane in Virginia
  • Represented privately-held resource companies in a case before the Virginia Supreme Court to determine the scope of property rights in coalbed methane Swords Reek Land Partnership v. Belcher, __Va.__, 762 S.E.2d 570 (2014)
  • Represented a publicly-traded company subsidiary in Clean Water Act citizens' suit in Pennsylvania resulting in dismissal of action over claims of standing and mootness
  • Represented privately-held company in negotiations with U.S. EPA and state to resolve Clean Water Act violations and enter consent decree
  • Represented clients in two cases to establish the ownership of coalbed methane in two states, EDC v. Moss, 591 S.E.2d 135 (W.Va. 2003) and U.S. Steel v. Hoge, 468 A.2d 1380 (Pa. 1983)
  • Represented the coal industry in three major cases interpreting the relationship of the Clean Water Act and the federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act, Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition v. Bulen, 429 F.3d 493 (4th Cir. 2005); Kentuckians for the Commonwealth v. Rivenburgh, 317 F.3d 425 (4th Cir. 2003); and West Virginia Coal Association v. Bragg, 248 F.2d 275 (4th Cir. 2001)
  • Represented manufacturer in first major case interpreting the Toxic Substance Control Act, Environmental Defense Fund v. EPA, 636 F2d 1264 (D.C. Cir. 1980)

Prior to joining the Firm in its Charleston office in 2001, Mr. Gardner served as vice president of external affairs and assistant general counsel for Arch Coal, Inc., in St. Louis, where he counseled the company's operations on environmental matters and legislative affairs for 15 years. He began his legal career in Pittsburgh where he was in private practice and government service. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Energy & Mineral Law Foundation. Mr. Gardner is a graduate of Brown University and the University of Virginia School of Law.

Legal Experience
2001 - PresentJackson Kelly PLLC
1985 - 2001 Arch Coal, Inc.
1983 - 1985 U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of the Solicitor
1981 - 1983 United States Steel Corp
1979 - 1981 Rose, Schmidt, Dixon, Hasley, Whyt
1977 - 1979 Department of Health, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
1977J.D.University of Virginia School of Law
1974B.A.Brown University (American History)
Bar Admissions
2001West Virginia
Court Admissions
2008U.S. Court of Appeals for Sixth Circuit
1995U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
1985U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
1979U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit
1977U.S. District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania

Teaching and Lecturing:
  • Speaker, "Using Info. Discovered during Title Examination and Lease Negotiations: Legal Duties and Ethical Considerations," American Association of Professional Landmen 60th Annual Meeting, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, June 23-28, 2014

Writings and Publications:
  • Author, "Protecting Aquatic Life:  Federal regulation of water continues to grow," Evansville Business Journal, June/July 2016
  • Co-author with Dale H. Harrison, "Evidentiary Privileges Applicable to Title Opinions of Counsel," Energy & Mineral Law Foundation (2013)
  • Publication with Dave Flannery and Jeff Vining, "The Water Resources Act and Its Impact on West Virginia Water Law," § 107 W.Va. L. Rev. 749, (2005)
  • Publication, "Reconciling Surface Mining and the Clean Water Act § 404(b)(1) and Mitigation," ABA Section on Natural Resources, Energy and Environment Vol. 17, No. 3 Winter 2003

Awards and Honors:
  • Named the Best Lawyers' 2014-2015 West Virginia Water Law "Lawyer of the Year"
  • Selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® for Environmental Law, Litigation - Environmental, Mining Law, Natural Resources Law and Water Law, 2009-2018
  • Named in the 2011 edition of West Virginia Super Lawyers®
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