Howard Kenison


Howard Kenison’s experience litigating environmental cases before state and federal courts and administrative agencies provides invaluable knowledge and insight for business clients dealing with the complex array of environmental laws that can impact commercial transactions.

His current practice includes environmental due diligence in corporate acquisitions and real estate transactions, air quality litigation and permitting, NEPA litigation for utility, water and transportation projects, environmental audits for corporate risk prevention, wetlands permitting and defense of enforcement actions, hazardous and radioactive waste facility litigation, water quality permitting and enforcement actions, superfund and natural resource damage litigation and environmental insurance litigation.

Howard is the former Colorado Deputy Attorney General in charge of Colorado's Superfund Litigation and he maintains key contacts with environmental agencies.

Significant Representations

Environmental Liabilities and Due Diligence 

Howard regularly advises clients involved in complex asset, stock purchase transactions, real estate development projects and other business transactions concerning the allocation of environmental risks and liabilities, including environmental representations and warranties, indemnities and due diligence efforts. His experience litigating environmental cases provides a practical aspect to his advice not commonly found in more traditional environmental practitioners.

  • Representative cases: Howard has provided counsel to an electric generating utility concerning the potential environmental liabilities and the allocation of environmental risk arising from the acquisition, development and construction of a new generating facility.
  • Provide advice and counsel regarding potential environmental liability for real estate development project to be developed on a closed landfill on former federal facility.
  • Advise client regarding environmental representations and warranties and disclosures in stock purchase transactions.
  • Work with client to prepare request for proposals and expert studies to develop environmental baseline in purchase agreement.

Clean Air Act Litigation and Permitting

Howard represents utility clients in litigation involving air permits and counsel’s clients concerning permitting and compliance with state and federal clean air act laws.

  • Representative Cases: Howard currently represents a major electric utility seeking an air permit for a generating facility and is litigation counsel for this utility in several lawsuits related to the air permit. In the past he defended utilities involved in a visibility impact case brought under the federal Clean Air Act.

NEPA Litigation

Howard provides strategic advice and counsel to clients involved in preparation and litigation of Environmental Impact Statements for utility transmission, highway transportation and water projects, including litigation-sensitive advice regarding comments for the administrative record involving purpose and need, environmental impacts, noise, air quality, wetlands, air toxics, traffic demand and Section 4(f) parks and historic properties.

  • Representative Cases: He recently settled a case involving a Colorado mutual ditch company in litigation challenging the adequacy of an EIS, and he represents the Jefferson Parkway Public Highway Authority as environmental and litigation counsel involving the completion of the transportation beltway around Metro Denver. In the past, Howard has represented the E-470 Public Highway Authority and the Northwest Parkway Public Highway Authority as Special Environmental Counsel.

Hazardous Waste Facility Litigation and Permitting

Howard successfully represented a county government client before the Colorado Supreme Court regarding disposal of radioactive wastes. He advised the client on all aspects of Colorado's Hazardous Waste Act and Colorado's radiation control provisions, including the state permitting process and applicable local land use laws.

Wetlands Permitting and Enforcement 

Howard defends clients caught in federal wetland enforcement actions and represents developers and others seeking to obtain permits from the United States Army Corps of Engineers under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act.                

  • Representative Cases: He has represented developers in EPA and Corps enforcement cases that involve disputes over the agencies’ Clean Water Act jurisdiction, negotiations of the terms and conditions of Consent Decrees and Administrative Compliance Orders as well as the amount of civil penalties. Howard has also provided legal strategy concerning the development of alternatives analysis in complex 404 permit applications.

Superfund Litigation

Howard has extensive experience in Superfund litigation including cost recovery cases and natural resource damage matters. He has worked as counsel for clients involved in PRP committees and has negotiated resolution of superfund claims with environmental agencies. 

  • Representative CasesAs Deputy Attorney General, Howard's principal responsibility was to provide strategic litigation planning for seven major Superfund lawsuits in Colorado federal courts; these cases included one of the largest contaminated sites in the nation - the Rocky Mountain Arsenal Superfund Site. He was directly involved in all aspects of cost recovery claims under CERCLA Section 107 as well as claims for natural resource damages. Howard also represented the City of Lakewood, Colorado as a PRP at the Lowry Landfill Superfund Site and has argued Superfund issues before the U. S. Court of Appeals.
  • Howard recently settled EPA Superfund claims against a client at an historic mining site in South Dakota.
  • He is currently representing a client in a case related to the de-listing of a landfill.

Water Quality Permitting and Enforcement 

In addition to his wetlands practice, Howard provides advice and counsel to utility and other clients concerning NPDES permitting and represents clients where the government has initiated enforcement actions under state and federal water quality laws.

Environmental Audits for Corporate Risk Prevention 

To assist clients in avoiding government enforcement actions, Howard routinely advises clients undertaking environmental compliance and environmental management system audits. His counsel involves advice concerning the application of federal and state environmental audit and privilege laws designed to protect clients from environmental liabilities and penalties.

Environmental Insurance Litigation 

Howard served as environmental counsel for a large multi-state utility in a three-week jury trial seeking insurance recovery for releases of contaminates at three Superfund sites. The trial resulted in a $7.1 million verdict for his client.  He continues to work with our firm's insurance coverage team on environmental coverage matters. 

Media & Presentations

News Releases

08.15.2017        42 Lindquist & Vennum Attorneys Named Best Lawyers for 2018

05.26.2017        Lindquist & Vennum Receives Top Rankings in Chambers USA 2017 

03.23.2017        Nine Lindquist & Vennum Attorneys Named to 2017 Colorado Super Lawyers and Rising Stars Lists

08.15.2016        Thirty-Nine Lindquist & Vennum Lawyers Named to The Best Lawyers in America 2017 List

05.27.2016        Lindquist & Vennum Receives Top Rankings in Chambers USA 2016

02.09.2016        Howard Kenison Named Senior Fellow of Litigation Counsel of America

08.17.2015        Thirty-Nine Lindquist & Vennum Lawyers on The Best Lawyers in America ® 2016 List

05.19.2015        Lindquist & Vennum Receives Top Rankings in Chambers USA 2015

03.13.2015        Lindquist & Vennum Lawyers Named to 2015 Colorado Super Lawyers List

08.19.2014        Thirty-Seven Lindquist & Vennum Lawyers Listed in The Best Lawyers in America 2015 List

05.23.2014        Lindquist & Vennum Receives Top Rankings in Chambers USA 2014

03.19.2014        Lindquist & Vennum Lawyers Named to Super Lawyers in Colorado

08.15.2013        Thirty-Two Lindquist & Vennum Lawyers Named to Best Lawyers in America List

03.21.2013        Lindquist & Vennum Lawyers Named to Colorado Super Lawyers

08.23.2012        Environmental Attorney Howard Kenison Working to Advance Rocky Mountain Greenway

02.10.2011        Howard Kenison Named a 2011 Law Star by University of Denver Sturm College of Law

01.07.2010        Denver Partner Howard Kenison Named Attorney of the Year

Media Mentions

09.16.2013        Cover Photo, Law Week Colorado

08.18.2012        Howard Kenison Quoted in Denver Post Story Low-level radioactive waste a hot issue near Last Chance

01.19.2012        Howard Kenison Quoted in Denver Post Story

06.15.2009        Howard Kenison Featured in Cover Story Green Envy in Law Week Colorado


                        EPAs Evolving Regulation of Greenhouse Gases, Colorado Lawyer


Practice Areas


University of Denver College of Law

(J.D., 1972)

University of Washington

(B.A., 1968)

Licensed In