Jennifer L. Hughes

Phone: (304) 340-1393 | Fax: (304) 340-1130 | Email:
500 Lee Street East, Suite 1600, Charleston, WV 25301-3202

Jennifer L. Hughes is an associate in the Environmental Practice Group in the Firm’s Charleston, West Virginia, office. Her practice focuses on environmental litigation and client counseling on environmental and energy matters in a wide variety of areas, including permitting, enforcement and regulatory requirements related to water pollution control, water quality standards, monitoring and reporting requirements, storm water control, solid and hazardous waste management, air quality, carbon sequestration, mining law, oil and gas law, underground injection control and spill reporting. She has represented and advised mining companies, oil and gas companies, manufacturers, construction companies, real estate developers, landowners, utilities, municipalities and trade associations.

Ms. Hughes also has extensive government experience. Prior to working at Jackson Kelly, Ms. Hughes was in-house counsel at the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, where she represented the agency in administrative and judicial proceedings and advised them on water, air, waste, mining, oil and gas and other regulatory issues. In addition, she assisted in developing regulations and agency guidance documents. Ms. Hughes also has experience in public utilities regulation as a staff attorney for the Consumer Advocate Division of the Public Service Commission of West Virginia, where she worked on general rate cases and purchased gas adjustment filings and assisted in developing regulations for wind power generation facilities. As a law student, she clerked for the Oregon Department of Justice, where she worked on civil litigation, and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Oregon, where she worked on criminal matters.

Ms. Hughes received her Juris Doctor from Lewis & Clark Law School in 2004 where she served as Associate Editor of the Environmental Law Review. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in geology and environmental studies from Oberlin College in 1999.

Ms. Hughes has been admitted to practice in the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, the U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of West Virginia and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

Representative Experience:

  • Appeared numerous times before the Environmental Quality Board and Surface Mine Board in West Virginia in appeals of agency action related to numerous environmental statutes
  • Negotiated administrative consent orders with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection on behalf of clients in various industries for alleged violations of environmental regulations and permits
  • Advised companies in variety of industries on water quality monitoring and reporting requirements and other National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting issues
  • Defended coal companies and landowners in Clean Water Act and Surface Mining Control & Reclamation Act (SMCRA) citizen suits in federal court
  • Filed annulment reviews of notices of violation issued to oil and gas operators by WVDEP's Office of Oil & Gas for alleged violations of state Water Pollution Control Act and Oil & Gas Act
  • Drafted comments on proposed air pollution regulations and aboveground storage tank regulations on behalf of trade associations and petroleum suppliers
  • Defended appeals of permits issued by WVDEP for clients in various industries
  • Negotiated multi-million dollar settlements of enforcement actions brought by state and federal authorities under various environmental issues
Legal Experience
2012 - PresentJackson Kelly PLLC
2007 - 2012West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection
2005 - 2007Public Service Commission of West Virginia, Consumer Advocate Division
2004J.D.Lewis & Clark Law School
1999B.A.Oberlin College (Environmental Studies and Geology)
Bar Admissions
2004West Virginia
Court Admissions
2009U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
2008U.S. District Court, Southern District of West Virginia
2007U.S. District Court, Northern District of West Virginia
2004West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals

Professional Involvement:
  • Energy & Mineral Law Foundation, Member
  • West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, Environment Committee
  • West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association (WVONGA), Environmental Committee

Teaching and Lecturing:
  • Speaker, “Lessons Learned from the Use of Correlative Health Studies Against the Coal Industry:  Is the Oil and Gas Industry Next?,” Kentucky Mineral Law Conference, Energy & Mineral Law Foundation, Lexington, Kentucky, Oct. 23, 2014
  • Speaker, "Current Issues in Stormwater Regulation in West Virginia," Lorman, Charleston, West Virginia, Oct. 2, 2014

Writings and Publications:
  • EPA Region 3 Editor for Air Quality Committee Newsletter for Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, American Bar Association (2014-2015)
  • Co-author, with B. Simonson and J. Smoot, "Authigenic Minerals in Macropores and Veins in Late Triassic Mudstones of the Newark Basin:  Implications for Fluid Migration through Mudstone," New Jersey Geological Survey Bulletin 77, pp. B1-B26 (2010)
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