Kelly Blackwood is a member of the firm’s Environmental Practice Group and the firm’s Litigation Practice Group. Her practice involves regulatory and litigation work with a wide range of experience in environmental permitting and enforcement matters. Kelly has a strong working relationship with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality and works regularly with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Kelly has represented clients before Mississippi state courts, the Mississippi Commission on Environmental Quality, and the Mississippi Environmental Quality Permit Board. She has served as lead counsel in negotiating numerous enforcement settlements, and has routinely assisted with obtaining construction and operating permits and advising clients on associated compliance matters. Kelly’s environmental practice also has included property acquisitions, due diligence matters, contaminated properties, brownfield redevelopment, natural resource damages, remediation and restoration, and wetlands assessments.
Kelly is listed in Chambers USA in the category of Environment. She has taught Environmental Law as an Adjunct Professor at the Mississippi College School of Law.
Listed in Chambers USA, Environment, 2008-2019, 2022-2023 Young Lawyer of the Year, Mississippi College School of Law, 2007 Pro Bono Award, Hinds County Bar Association, 2006-2007 Metro Jackson’s Top 40 Under 45, 2007 Leadership Jackson, 2003-2004 Listed in Mid-South Super Lawyers, "Rising Star," General Litigation, 2013 Listed in Portico Jackson magazine, "Portico 10," 2015 Titan Tire of Natchez, Inc. v. Mississippi Comm’n on Environmental Quality, 891 So.2d 195 (Miss. 2004) Addressed penalties associated with water discharge violations from a tire manufacturing plant U.S. Dept. of Justice, U.S. Env’l Protection Agency and MS Dept. of Env’l Quality v. Genesis Crude Oil, L.P. and Genesis Pipeline USA, L.P. (S.D. Miss. 2004) Negotiated multi-million dollar settlement for release of inland oil spill and assisted in negotiating and drafting restoration plan First Specialty Ins. Corp. v. U.S. Aquaculture Licensing, 2008 WL 5382287 (N.D. Miss. 2008) Insurance coverage issue associated with a licensing agreement and the purchase and marketing of catfish; underlying action involving claims associated with loss of fish at a catfish farm U.S. ex rel. Rigsby v. State Farm Fire Ins. Co., 2008 WL 3874590 (S.D. Miss. 2008) Consideration of allegations brought under the False Claims Act Carpenter v. Rocky Mountain Radar, Inc., 2007 WL 551762 (N.D. Miss. 2007) Class action claim involving allegations of fraud and negligence associated with radar detector's accuracy and effectiveness Solid Waste Enforcement Action Negotiated settlement of enforcement matter brought by the Miss. Dep’t of Environmental Quality against a solid waste permit holder Wetlands Assessment and Evaluation Successfully defended commercial developer of multi-million dollar project against allegations of improper wetlands assessment filed with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Brownfield Redevelopment and Mississippi Economic Incentive Programs Assisted companies seeking to obtain approval to participate in Mississippi Brownfields and economic incentive programs, evaluating program benefits and coordinating activities with state agencies and local economic development organizations to identify available opportunities for new and/or expanding businesses in Mississippi Environmental Matters Involved in Acquisitions Advised on environmental issues associated with multiple acquisitions including representations and warranties, purchase agreements, indemnification agreements, and related matters Environmental Justice Study Served as Environmental Justice Counsel in a matter involving a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers flood control project State Environmental Permitting Matters Assisted developers and manufacturers in obtaining construction and operating permits, and advised on compliance issues associated with permits Due Diligence Reviews and Assessments Completed due diligence and related All Appropriate Inquiry reviews for innocent landowners and prospective purchasers for liability protection purposes Advised Client in Acquisition of Business Assisted client in the agricultural industry with multiple acquisitions of businesses valued at between $1 million and $80 million where such acquisitions involved significant environmental risks (chemicals). Participated in environmental portion of due diligence exercise, and prepared provisions concerning environmental issues for inclusion in the definitive purchase agreement Potential Acquisition of Natchez Property Provided opinion letter on potential environmental liability associated with property acquisition.