Amy leads the Environmental practice with a focus on the environmental aspects of real estate and business transactions, including coastal development. She has built trust with her clients by providing practical business advice and strategies for regulatory compliance; conducting due diligence; remediating contaminated properties; meeting the requirements of coastal development and stormwater permitting standards; and, redeveloping contaminated properties through Brownfields and green building practices. Amy's philosophy of communication and teamwork allows her to establish, maintain, and leverage positive relationships with environmental technical experts and government regulators. Her representative experience includes:
- Defending stormwater and CAMA permits against administrative and judicial challenges
- Assisting corporate and banking clients with projects facing environmental assessment, permitting, and enforcement issues
- Advising industrial and municipal clients on compliance with NPDES wastewater and stormwater requirements
- Assisting developers and commercial and residential community associations with stormwater permits
Amy chairs Ward and Smith's Green Initiative to build and promote environmentally sustainable professional practices within the firm.
- J.D., Wake Forest School of Law, 1996
- B.A., University of Virginia, 1992
- Advising industrial and municipal clients on compliance issues arising out of NPDES Wastewater and Stormwater Permit requirements
- Negotiating Brownfields Agreements for private, municipal, and banking clients to redevelop contaminated properties
- Representing municipality enforcing NPDES discharge limits against industry to control pollutant-laden wastewater discharges to Publicly Owned Treatment Works
- Defending agricultural operations against citizen suit claims under the Clean Water Act and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
- Representing community associations and developers negotiate transfers of State stormwater permits
- Defending Stormwater and CAMA permits for residential development in Outer Banks against third-party challenges
Honors and Distinctions*
- "Legal Elite," Business North Carolina, Environmental, Hall of Fame, since 2020
- "Legal Elite," Business North Carolina, Environmental, 2015-2016, 2018-2020
- The Best Lawyers in America, 2019-2021
Professional and Community Affiliations
- Craven Community College Foundation, board member
- CREW Network, Cape Fear Chapter
- Eastern North Carolina Inn of Court
- New Bern Area Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Craven Alumnus, Class of 2008
- New Bern Heart Society, chair 2015 Heart Ball for the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association,
- North Carolina Bar Association — Section: Environment, Energy & Natural Resources Law, Section Chair, 2021, Council Secretary 2019-2020
- U.S. Green Building Council, North Carolina Chapter
Admitted to Practice
- North Carolina, 1996
- All state courts in North Carolina
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina
What I admire most about my clients is their spirit – they generally are energetic, creative, and optimistic, even in the face of legal risks.
The best thing about Ward and Smith is that it exemplifies 1+1=3…the whole is truly greater than the sum of its parts.
Surprising things people don't know about me:
- I lived in Alaska as a child.
- I'd most like to live in Peter Mayle's Provence because there is fresh air, adventure, and plenty of chilled local rosé.
- My favorite character in fiction is Jason Bourne because he is focused, resourceful, and never stops.
"Don't be afraid of fear … Throw caution to the winds. Look fear straightaway in its ugly face and barge forward. And when you get past it, turn around and give it a good, swift kick in the ass."
~ Dame Helen Mirren
* Please see the following websites for an explanation of the membership standards for the following recognitions: www.bestlawyers.com; businessnc.com/special-sections/legal-elite/; and www.superlawyers.com/north-carolina.
Highlights + Insights
Replacing the Clean Water Rule – Is the Dance Really Over?
Environmental Enforcement Discretion Guidance from U.S. EPA for COVID-19 Disruptions
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