E. Donald Elliott

E. Donald Elliott

Senior Of Counsel

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Covington & Burling LLP
One CityCenter
850 Tenth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001-4956
Tel: +1 202 662 5631



  • Yale Law School, J.D., 1974
  • Yale University, B.A., 1970
    • summa cum laude

Judicial Clerkship

  • Hon. David L. Bazelon, U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, 1975-1976
  • Hon. Gerhard A. Gesell, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia, 1974-1975

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Don Elliott, co-chair of the firm’s Environmental Practice, has over 30 years of experience in environmental law, administrative law and product liability and toxic torts, including having served as Assistant Administrator and General Counsel of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and as national coordinating counsel in litigation for several companies.  According to Chambers, Mr. Elliott “brings a vast amount of experience to his broad environmental practice” while Who’s Who Legal notes that he is a “key figure” in the US and provides clients with “concise and practical” advice.

Representative Matters

  • Advised Bloomberg LP concerning construction of solar power project for data center in Skillman, NJ, including preservation of items of historical and cultural significance.
  • Assisted AstraZeneca in developing its worldwide corporate risk management policy.
  • Represents Mueller Industries and other mining and metal companies in legacy mining, manufacturing and smelter site contamination issues involving state and federal governments and private claimants.
  • Lead negotiator on the $1.1 billion, five plant NSR settlement between a Midwestern power company, EPA, and 3 states, which the New York Times called “one of the most significant settlements ever for cleaning the air.”
  • Lead negotiator in the $1.8 billion civil and criminal consent decrees between the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority and the federal government.
  • Represented the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in the clean-up of unexploded ordnance (UXO) at the Vieques bombing range.

Previous Experience

  • Environmental Protection Agency, Assistant Administrator and General Counsel
  • General Electric Company, Special Litigation Counsel, Corporate Environmental Programs

Honors and Rankings

  • Mr. Elliott co-authored the chapter “Greater TTIP Ambition in Chemicals: Why and How” in the book Rule-Makers or Rule Takers? Exploring the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership which was ranked “Best Policy Study Report Produced by a Think Tank” in 2015 in the University of Pennsylvania’s annual global think tank rankings.
  • National Law Journal, “Top 25 Environmental Attorneys in the US”
  • International Corporate Law, “Top 400 Worldwide”
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • Chambers USA
  • Legal 500 US
  • Martindale-Hubbell, AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated
  • Washington DC Super Lawyers
  • Who’s Who in American Law
  • Who's Who of Business Lawyers
  • Who's Who of Environmental Lawyers
  • Who’s Who in the World

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Fellow, American College of Environmental Lawyers
  • Yale Law School, Adjunct Professor of environmental and administrative law, food and drug law, renewable energy policy, civil procedure and complex civil litigation
  • Administrative Conference of the United States, Senior Fellow
  • Member, Board of Directors, Environmental Law Institute
  • Member, Board of Directors, Center for Clean Air Policy
  • Member of the advisory boards for the NYU Institute for Policy Integrity (Chair), the Environment Reporter, the Journal of Industrial Ecology, and the Carnegie Mellon University Center for the Study and Improvement of Regulation.
  • National Academy of Sciences Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology, Former Member
  • Formerly served on the Regulation Committee of the Administrative Conference of the United States, the OTA Committee on Innovative Regulatory Techniques, the Federal Courts Study Committee, the Carnegie Commission on Science, Technology and Government and Yale’s "Next Generation Project.”
  • National Environmental Policy Institute, Former Sector Chair
  • American Bar Association’s Administrative Law & SONREEL Committees, Former Vice Chair
  • Mr. Elliott is a frequent contributor to articles relating to energy policy issues.  He recently was interviewed in the ENDS Europe Daily article, "EU Regulation of Fracking Could Reassure Public" (06/13/2013).

Publications and Speeches

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