Member

William T. Gorton III

Bill Gorton is Chair of the Environmental, Natural Resources & Energy Service Group for the firm. He is national counsel to numerous clients on environmental regulatory and land and water resources matters. He advises healthcare clients in permitting, acquisitions and environmental compliance matters. Bill has represented clients in the waste management sector including acquisitions, due diligence, compliance and contracting. He has been counsel in the development of numerous independent gas, solar and waste-coal power plants. He has been Lead Counsel to numerous surety companies regarding over $4 billion in financial guarantees on bankrupt and/or defaulting mining operations, hazardous waste facilities and solid waste disposal facilities throughout the United States. He has been primary environmental counsel in the development of interstate pipeline associated with major natural gas resource development. He also counsels on large natural resource and energy, waste industry, business or corporate transactions, and project development assessing and addressing environmental regulatory issues and accomplishing clients' goals. Bill is also an Adjunct Professor of Environmental Law at the University of Kentucky's Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation program.

Before embarking on a law career, Mr. Gorton managed many projects as an environmental consultant on projects throughout the U.S.

Recent News, Articles & Speaking Engagements

'Waters of the United States' What Next? Proposed Trump Administration WOTUS Rule....2019 Addendum

Kentucky Wetlands Law and Compliance, presented by HalfMoon Seminars, Lexington, KY, March 6, 2019

Continued Turbulence in 'Waters of the United States'

presented at the Kentucky Journal of Equine, Agriculture, and Natural Resources Law 4th Annual Innovation and Advancement Symposium, February 28, 2018

Projects push growth in legal expertise

by Susan Gosselin, The Lane Report Northern Kentucky Market Review, February 14, 2018

What Are Waters of the United States? Why It Matters

Coal Bankruptcies: Current Issues

presented at the EMLF 37th Annual Institute, Charlestown, S.C., June 14, 2016

Current Issues and Perspectives on SMCRA Reclamation Bonding

presented before U.S. Dept. of Interior, Office of Surface Mining, Washington, DC, February 11, 2016

Financial Assurances, Suretyship and Bonding

2015 Kentucky Mineral Law Conference, Energy & Mineral Law Foundation, October 22, 2015

State and Federal Reclamation Bonding Programs: Lessons Learned and Current Challenges

Interstate Mining Compact Commission, St. Louis, Mo., 2013

"First, Do No Harm" Should Extend to the Environment

A new era in the coal industry under Clean Water Act Section 404

Reclamation Bonds, The Law of Commercial Surety and Miscellaneous Bonds

Second Edition, American Bar Association Fidelity & Surety Law Committee (with George Thompson), May 2012

Current and Emerging Legal Issues on Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining

Waters of the United States: Federal Jurisdiction Over Activities on My Land?

Kentucky Bar Association's Bench and Bar, November 2011

Understanding Waters of the United States and Federal Jurisdiction on Private Property

presented at University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, November 2011

The Law of Commercial Surety and Miscellaneous Bonds (Second Edition)

Chapter: Reclamation Bonds, American Bar Association, Tort, Trial and Insurance Practice Section, 2011

Waters of the United States: Following Clean Water Act § 404 Jurisdiction Upstream

Kentucky Water Laws and Regulations, HalfMoon Seminars, Lexington, Ky., March 2011

"Green" marketing under FTC scrutiny

Environmental/Reclamation Financial Assurances: Back to the Future

56th Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Annual Institute, Banff, Alberta, Canada, July 22-24, 2010

Coal Industry Land Law

HalfMoon Seminars, Lexington, Ky., January 22, 2010

Understanding the reclamation surety relationship before and after operator default

The Suretys Perspective: Deja Vu All Over Again?

U.S. Department of Interior Office of Surface Mining Appalachian States Annual Meeting, June 2009

EPA Issues Final CAFO Rule

University of Kentucky Economic and Policy Update, June 2009

Construction Stormwater Permit Proposed Rule

Primer for Engineering and Technical Professionals regarding Reclamation and Environmental Surety Bonds

published Nov. 2004, Mining Engineering, and presented to the Society of Mining, Metallurgy and Exporation Annual Meeting, Cincinnati, Oh., 2003

Surety's Rights and Obligations Under SMCRA

Surety Bonds and Trouble in the Mining Industry

Conference of Government Mining Attorneys, Knoxville, Tenn., 2003

Optimizing Land Reclamation and Environmental Protection: Making the Most Out of Surety Agreements

Interstate Mining Compact Commission 2002 Annual Meeting

Regulation of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations and the Horse Industry: EPA is Mucking About!

16th Annual National Conference on Equine Law, Lexington, Ky., 2001

Legal Considerations Pertaining to Use and Disposal of Coal Combustion By-Products

20 Energy & Mineral Law Institute, Chapter 11, Energy and Mineral Law Foundation, 2000

Legal Considerations Pertaining to Use and Disposal of Coal Combustion By-Products

presented to the Energy & Mineral Law Foundation, 1999

Replacing Nationwide Permit 26 - The Next Battle Over Wetland Development

The Construction Lawyer, Journal of the American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry, Vol. 18, No. 1, 1998

In Front of the Curve: A Call for Awareness of Environmental Liability for CCBs in the United States

presented at Air and Waste Management Association Annual Meeting in Toronto, Ontario, 1997, and presented at the International Ash Utilization Symposium, Lexington, Ky., 1995
Recent Assignments
Bar Admissions
Kentucky
Pennsylvania
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
Memberships
American Bar Association
Kentucky Bar Association
Pennsylvania Bar Association
Energy and Mineral Law Foundation
Assistant Professor, Environmental Law and Regulation-University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Science program
Community Involvement

Kentucky Bicycle and Bikeway Commission, Chair

Kentucky Rails to Trails Council, Inc., Pro-Bono Legal Counsel

Energy and Mineral Law Foundation, Trustee

Education
More Than Stites & Harbison

Prior to attending law school, Bill was the manager of the Kentucky office of Skelly & Loy Engineers-Consultants and had managed natural resource development and environmental remediation projects throughout the United States. At Skelly & Loy, he developed the mine land reclamation programs under the Title IV of the Surface Mine, Control and Reclamation Act for Alaska and Virginia. He also managed technical projects for the U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Bureau of Mines, U.S. EPA, Appalachian Regional Commission and numerous state agency and private sector clients. He is Chair of The Kentucky Bicycle and Bikeways Commission and has also advised the Kentucky Rails to Trails Council, Inc. on a pro bono basis, formed as part of the nationwide movement to develop abandoned rail beds into trails for recreation use. Bill is Assistant Professor/Adjunct at the University of Kentucky in the Natural Resource and Environmental Science Program teaching Environmental Law and Regulation. He is also a Trustee to the Energy and Mineral Law Foundation. An avid cyclist, Bill is a spin instructor at the Lexington YMCA. In 2010, Bill joined a group of amateur cyclists who participated in six stages of the Tour de France.

Accolades

Martindale-Hubbell® AV-Preeminent® Peer Review Rated

Best Lawyers in America®, Energy Law, Environmental Law, Mining Law and Natural Resources Law for 2013 (2007-20)

ChambersUSA, "America's Leading Lawyers for Business," Environment, Natural Resources & Utilities (2012-19)

Benchmark Litigation magazine, Litigation Star (2015-19)

International Law Office and Lexology, Client Choice Award for Excellence in Client Service (2015)

Testimonials

. . . noted for his work in land and water resources issues, and is also regularly called upon to advise on coal industry matters.

- Chambers Commentary (USA), 2016

. . . thorough knowledge of the regulatory and administrative landscape.

- Best Lawyers, 2011

. . . knowledge and experience . . . irreplaceable assets to our company.

- Best Lawyers, 2007

. . . busy technical lawyer . . .

- Chambers USA, 2005
Mhicon
Gorton Best Law2020
Chambers USA2019 Gorton
Benchmark Litigation Star 2019
2015Usacanadalogos 1
See more related to William T. Gorton III
Press Releases

Best Lawyers in America Honors 75 Stites & Harbison attorneys for 2020

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The Best Lawyers in America© 2020 has recognized 75 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys as selected by their peers in 49 areas of practice. Forty-three of those attorneys selected have been honored for 10 consecutive years or more.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC August 22, 2019
Client Alerts

Coming Soon: Revised and (Mostly) Relaxed Hazardous Waste Pharmaceutical Regs!

The regulation of hazardous waste in our nation is one of the most important and complicated programs.

by William T. Gorton III July 02, 2019
Press Releases

Chambers USA 2019 Honors Stites & Harbison

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Chambers USA selected 16 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys in Kentucky and Tennessee for inclusion in their 2019 guide.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC May 08, 2019
Client Alerts

'Waters of the United States' What Next? Proposed 2019 Trump Administration WOTUS Rule

The latest iteration to replace the 2008 Rapanos Guidance and 2015 WOTUS Rule with a satisfactory definition of Waters of the United States was formally presented to the country on February 14, 2019 when the agencies published the Trump Administration’s Proposed Rule: “Revised Definition of Water of the United States” (“Proposed Rule”).

by William T. Gorton III March 07, 2019
Press Releases

Benchmark Litigation 2019 Honors 15 Stites & Harbison Attorneys

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The 2019 edition of Benchmark Litigation names 11 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys as “Litigation Stars” and four as “Future Stars” in Kentucky. The guide honors the firms and attorneys who have demonstrated the...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC November 07, 2018
Press Releases

Best Lawyers in America honors 72 Stites & Harbison attorneys for 2019

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The Best Lawyers in America© 2019 has recognized 72 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys as selected by their peers in 49 areas of practice. Forty-two of those attorneys selected have been honored for 1...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC August 16, 2018
Press Releases

Chambers USA 2018 Honors Stites & Harbison

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Chambers USA selected 18 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys in Kentucky and Tennessee for inclusion in their 2018 guide. The Chambers USA guide ranks the top law firms and leading attorneys in the United...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC May 08, 2018
Client Alerts

Waters of the United States Forecast: Continued Cloudiness, No End in Sight

In previous alerts we addressed the continued national confusion about the nature and extent of federal jurisdiction over properties exhibiting “waters of the United States” asking, “What Are Waters of the United States” and “Why It Matters.”

by William T. Gorton III March 19, 2018
Press Releases

Benchmark Litigation honors 16 Stites & Harbison attorneys for 2018

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The 2018 edition of Benchmark Litigation names 11 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys as “Litigation Stars” and five as “Future Stars” in Kentucky.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC January 26, 2018
Press Releases

Best Lawyers in America honors 79 Stites & Harbison attorneys for 2018

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The Best Lawyers in America© 2018 has recognized 79 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys as selected by their peers in 51 areas of practice. The number of honorees increased since last year, 74 to...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC August 17, 2017
Client Alerts

What Are Waters of the United States? Why It Matters

On Thursday, July 27, 2017, the United States Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") and the Army Corps of Engineers ("Corps") published the latest iteration in trying to define what are "Waters of the United States." What...
by William T. Gorton III July 28, 2017
Press Releases

Chambers USA 2017 honors Stites & Harbison

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Chambers USA selected 22 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys in Kentucky and Tennessee for inclusion in their 2017 guide. The Chambers USA guide ranks the top law firms and leading attorneys in the United States.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC June 02, 2017
Press Releases

Benchmark Litigation honors 14 Stites & Harbison attorneys for 2017

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The 2017 edition of Benchmark Litigation names 12 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys as “Litigation Stars” and two as a “Future Star” in Kentucky. The guide honors the firms and attorneys who have demonstrated...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC November 16, 2016
Press Releases

Best Lawyers in America honors 74 Stites & Harbison attorneys for 2017

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The Best Lawyers in America© 2017 has recognized 74 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys as selected by their peers in 51 areas of practice. The Best Lawyers in America© is a nationally recognized referral...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC August 29, 2016
Press Releases

Chambers USA 2016 Honors Stites & Harbison

(image) LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Chambers USA selected 21 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys in Kentucky and Tennessee for inclusion in their 2016 guide. The Chambers USA guide ranks the top law firms and leading attorneys in the...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC June 08, 2016
Press Releases

Benchmark Litigation names 14 Stites & Harbison Litigation Stars and Two Future Stars for 2016

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The 2016 edition of Benchmark Litigation names 14 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys as “Litigation Stars” and two as “Future Stars” in Kentucky. The guide honors the firms and attorneys who have demonstrated the...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC November 03, 2015
Press Releases

Best Lawyers honors 72 Stites & Harbison attorneys for 2016

(image) LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The Best Lawyers in America® 2016 has recognized 72 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys as selected by their peers in 50 areas of practice. The Best Lawyers in America® is a nationally recognized...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC August 20, 2015
Press Releases

Chambers USA 2015 honors Stites & Harbison

LOUISVILLE, Ky.— The Chambers USA guide ranks the top law firms and leading attorneys in the United States. The list is developed based on client and peer interviews discussing the skills of individual attorneys...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC May 22, 2015
Press Releases

Stites & Harbison Attorneys Earn 2015 Client Choice Awards for Superior Client Service

(image) LEXINGTON, Ky.—Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys Bill Gorton and Blaine Early have each earned Client Choice Awards for 2015 for outstanding client service. Gorton earned the sole Kentucky award for the practice of...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC March 06, 2015
Press Releases

Benchmark Litigation names 15 Stites & Harbison Litigation Stars and two Future Stars

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The 2015 edition of Benchmark Litigation names 15 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys as “Litigation Stars” and two as “Future Stars” in Kentucky. The guide honors the firms and attorneys who have demonstrated...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC November 13, 2014
Press Releases

Best Lawyers honors 89 Stites & Harbison attorneys for 2015

(image) LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The Best Lawyers in America® 2015 has recognized 89 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys as selected by their peers in 57 areas of practice. The Best Lawyers in America® is a nationally...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC August 22, 2014
Press Releases

Chambers USA honors Stites & Harbison attorneys for 2014

LOUISVILLE, Ky.Chambers USA selected 34 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys in Kentucky and Tennessee for inclusion in their 2014 guide. The Chambers USA guide ranks the top law firms and leading attorneys in the...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC May 30, 2014
Press Releases

Eighty-nine Stites & Harbison attorneys honored by Best Lawyers in America for 2014

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Stites & Harbison, PLLC, is pleased to announce that 89 of our attorneys were recently selected by their peers for their work in 57 areas of practice in The Best Lawyers in America®...
by Stites & Harbison PLLC August 27, 2013
Articles

"First, Do No Harm" Should Extend to the Environment

A long-standing adage in the healthcare industry is "first, do no harm." When it comes to protecting the environment, this industry must take this challenge to heart. As a group, the healthcare industry generates...
by William T. Gorton III January 16, 2013
Press Releases

William T. Gorton III named Chair of Stites & Harbison's Environmental Group

LEXINGTON, Ky.—Stites & Harbison, PLLC, has named William (Bill) T. Gorton III as Chair of the firm’s Environmental, Natural Resources & Energy Service Group. Gorton succeeds W. Patrick Stallard, who has served as the...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC September 10, 2012
Articles

A new era in the coal industry under Clean Water Act Section 404

Preface Forty years after passage of the Clean Water Act, interpretation of the act's applicability to the surface coal mining industry continues to evolve. Due to the very nature of surface mining, where enormous...
by William T. Gorton III May 24, 2012
Presentations

Current and Emerging Legal Issues on Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining

Blaine Early and Bill Gorton discuss the legal issues of mountaintop removal coal mining.

by W. Blaine Early III and William T. Gorton III February 28, 2012
Press Releases

Kentucky Bicycle and Bikeway Commission announces grant recipients

LEXINGTON, Ky.—The Kentucky Bicycle and Bikeway Commission (KBBC), chaired by Bill Gorton, a Member of Stites & Harbison, PLLC, is pleased to announce seven recipients of the Paula Nye Memorial Education Grant made possible...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC January 25, 2012
Press Releases

Seventy-five Stites & Harbison attorneys honored in Best Lawyers in America

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Stites & Harbison announced today that 75 of its attorneys were recently selected by their peers for their work in 55 areas of practice in The Best Lawyers in America® 2012. Twenty-five of...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC September 12, 2011
Press Releases

Chambers USA honors 31 Stites & Harbison attorneys with inclusion in the 2011 guide

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Chambers USA selected 31 Stites & Harbison attorneys firmwide for inclusion in the 2011 guide. The Chambers USA guide ranks the top law firms and leading attorneys in the United States. Researchers interview...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC June 17, 2011
Press Releases

Kentucky Bicycle and Bikeway Commission re-elects Bill Gorton as chairman

LEXINGTON, Ky.—The Kentucky Bicycle and Bikeway Commission (KBBC) recently re-elected Stites & Harbison attorney Bill Gorton of Lexington, Ky., as chairman. He will serve a four-year term. KBBC, composed of seven members, was established...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC December 15, 2010
Client Alerts

"Green" marketing under FTC scrutiny

It has been more than ten years since the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) revised its guidance to American industry regarding what are appropriate claims of “eco-friendly” products. Since then, substantial marketing efforts by manufacturers...
by William T. Gorton III November 24, 2010
Press Releases

Seventy-three Stites & Harbison attorneys honored in "Best Lawyers in America"

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Stites & Harbison announced today that 73 of its attorneys were recently selected by their peers for their work in 35 areas of practice in The Best Lawyers in America®2011. Sixteen of the...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC August 11, 2010
Press Releases

Chambers USA honors 32 Stites & Harbison attorneys with inclusion in the 2010 guide

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Chambers USA selected 32 Stites & Harbison attorneys firmwide for inclusion in the 2010 guide. The Chambers USA guide ranks the top law firms and leading attorneys in the United States. Researchers interview...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC July 02, 2010
Presentations

Understanding the reclamation surety relationship before and after operator default

This is an article written by Bill Gorton and presented to the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation's Special Institute on Mine Closure, Financial Assurance and Final Reclamation in Westminster, Colorado, on November 6, 2009...
by William T. Gorton III November 05, 2009
Press Releases

Seventy-two Stites & Harbison attorneys honored in "Best Lawyers in America"

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Stites & Harbison announced today that 72 of its attorneys were recently selected by their peers for their work in 33 areas of practice in The Best Lawyers in America® 2010. Those attorneys...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC September 10, 2009
Client Alerts

Construction Stormwater Permit Proposed Rule

As a result of a California case against the EPA by the Natural Resources Defense Council, EPA published its proposed changes to the construction stormwater permitting rules on November 28, 2008. The rule, when...
by William T. Gorton III January 14, 2009
Presentations

Surety's Rights and Obligations Under SMCRA

This outline is intended to accompany and supplement the panel discussion on coal company bankruptcies. It describes the nature of reclamation surety bonds, a debtor’s ongoing obligation to comply with law, and issues related...
by W. Blaine Early III and William T. Gorton III October 14, 2004