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Scott Fulton

Senior Counsel

Scott Fulton has been recognized as a distinguished environmental lawyer, both in America and around the world, for over thirty years. He has practiced in the public, private and NGO sectors, in Republican and Democratic Administrations, and has held senior positions that have required a deep knowledge of every major federal and many international environmental laws.

Scott served as EPA’s General Counsel from 2009-2013, where he supervised over 500 agency lawyers and all of the Agency’s legal operations. Prior to that, he held other senior leadership positions during his 22 years with the agency, including as the Agency’s COO (Deputy Administrator), head of the Agency’s Enforcement and International Affairs operations, and Environmental Appeals Judge. Scott began his career in the Environmental Division of the Justice Department in 1982, before joining EPA in 1990. At Justice, Scott prosecuted cases under all major statutes, was a key architect of liability theories under the Superfund program, served on the Exxon Valdez prosecution team, and served as Assistant Chief of the Environmental Enforcement Section. Together, these experiences have left him with a virtually unparalleled reputation with government leaders, a deep understanding of the inner workings of government regulatory processes, and an unusual capacity to anticipate and interpret government behavior in the environmental space.

Scott’s international environmental practice initially arose from his role as EPA’s Deputy Administrator for Enforcement in the early 1990s, during which time he worked with the government of Mexico to upgrade environmental enforcement along the US/Mexico border, an effort that helped resolve political obstacles to ratification of the North American Free Trade Agreement. He would go on to play a key role in the design of environmental laws around the world, particularly in countries with developing and transitioning economies, and in working with enforcement officials and judges in the effectuation of those laws. He has had deep engagements in China and has influenced the design of China’s environmental protection system. By virtue of his international engagements, he knows governmental and industry leaders in all major regions of the world.

Following his government service career, Scott practiced in the private sector with an environmental law firm, where he counseled oil and gas, manufacturing, and consumer product clients on compliance and enforcement matters, private governance systems, and government intervention strategies.

In 2015, Scott left his private law practice to serve as the President of the Environmental Law Institute, the oldest and one of the largest environmental public policy institutes for environmental lawyers in the country. At ELI, Scott created and oversaw programs devoted to climate change, private sector ESG, environmental technology, chemical regulation, plastics regulation, environmental justice and judicial training.

Scott has long been recognized as one of America and the world’s premier environmental lawyers, and in his role as Senior Counsel is in a position to assist our clients with their most challenging and complex environmental issues.

  • Fellow American College of Environmental Lawyers
  • President Emeritus and International Envoy Environmental Law Institute (2022 - January 2024)
  • President of Environmental Law Institute (2015-2022)
  • Adjunct Professor at George Washington University Law School (2013-2017)
  • General Counsel at Environmental Protection Agency (2009-2013)
  • Deputy Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (2009-2010)
  • Head of Enforcement at the Environmental Protection Agency
  • Head of International Affairs at Environmental Protection Agency
  • Assistant Chief for Environmental Enforcement at the US Department of Justice
  • Judge on the Environmental Appeals Board 
  • Recipient of Presidential Meritorious Executive Service Award
  • Recipient of Presidential Distinguished Executive Service Award
  • Member of United Nations Advisory Council on Environmental Justice

  • J.D., University of South Carolina School of Law (1982)
  • B.A., University of Massachusetts Amherst (1976)

  • The District of Columbia Bar
  • South Carolina Bar