John Fortuna is a counsel in King & Spalding’s Tort & Environmental Litigation Practice Group. He has a general environmental practice with a focus on water law and water resources. He also has substantial experience with the Endangered Species Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and in complex litigation and enforcement matters under the federal Clean Air Act.
Mr. Fortuna has played a leading role in many of the group’s high-profile environmental matters. Examples include his representation of metropolitan Atlanta water supply providers in the “Tri-State Water Wars” litigation, which involves challenges by Florida, Alabama, and others to metropolitan Atlanta’s water supply withdrawals from two contested river basins, as well as the successful challenge to EPA’s landmark Mercury Air Toxics Rule for new power plants.
Mr. Fortuna speaks and writes frequently on water resources and other issues. He has been recognized as a Super Lawyers “Rising Star” for his work in environmental and natural resources litigation.
In addition to his practice with King & Spalding, Mr. Fortuna completed clerkships on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit (Judge Beverly B. Martin) and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia (Judge Richard W. Story).
Before becoming an attorney, Mr. Fortuna was a research biologist focusing on marine fisheries management, biophysical oceanography, and coral reef ecology. He has co-authored a number of peer-reviewed scientific articles, technical papers and a book chapter, and his research has been presented at numerous scientific meetings.
Memberships and Honors
- Super Lawyers Rising Star. Environmental and Natural Resources Litigation. 2014.
- American Bar Association, Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Section.
- Editor, Water Resources Section, Year-in-Review. 2014.
- State Bar of Georgia, Environmental Law Section.
- Editor, Georgia Environmental Law Section Newsletter. 2012-present.
- King & Spalding Pro Bono Service Award. 2011-2013.
- University of Georgia Law School, Environmental Law Association Award for Excellence in Environmental Advocacy. 2005.
Selected Publications & Presentations
- Updating Twentieth Century Water Projects to Meet Twenty-First Century Needs: Lessons Learned from the Tri-State Water Wars Litigation. Georgia State Law Review. 2013.
- Co-Chair – Endangered Species Act Conference. Atlanta, GA. 2013.
- Georgia Water Law and Regulation: Understanding Surface Water Rights in Georgia. 2012.
- The Hidden Costs of New Federal Air Quality Regulations: Information Collection Requests and What You Can Do About Them. The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel. 2011.
- State of Florida and Others Sue to Block EPA Rule Setting Numeric Nutrient Limits under the Clean Water Act. Eastern Water Law & Policy Reporter. 2011.
- The Litigation Alternative: Allocation of Water Resources in the Courts, North Carolina Water Conference. Raleigh, NC. 2009.
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Issues Legal Analysis Concluding It Has Authority to Meet the Water Supply Needs of Metropolitan Atlanta. Eastern Water Law & Policy Reporter. 2009.
- Coastal Permitting in Georgia, Southeast Water and Wetlands Conference. Atlanta, GA. 2009.
- Eleventh Circuit Rules State Penalty Action Does Not Bar Citizen Suit Under Clean Water Act. Eastern Water Law & Policy Reporter. 2009.
- Obama's EPA: Changing The Regulatory Environment. Law360. 2009.
- Eleventh Circuit Affirms U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Biological Opinion on Corps’ Everglades Operations—Rejects Habitat-Based Incidental Take Statement. Eastern Water Law & Policy Reporter. 2009.
- Internal US EPA Memo details Clean Water Act Enforcement Problems: Congress Asks Questions. Eastern Water Law & Policy Reporter. 2008.
- Water Resources in Georgia in a Time of Drought: Availability, Management, Storage and Conservation, King & Spalding Seminar Series. 2008.
- Army Corps of Engineers Proposes Changes to Interim Operating Plans for the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint Reservoirs. Eastern Water Law & Policy Reporter. 2008.
- EPA Exercises Veto Authority Under the Clean Water Act: Kills Controversial “Yazoo Pumps Project” in the Mississippi Delta. Eastern Water Law & Policy Reporter. 2008.
- Water Rights, Public Resources, and Private Commodities: Examining the Current and Future Law Governing the Allocation of Georgia Water. Georgia Law Review. 2004.