Skip to main content
headshot of channing martin, williams mullen partner

Channing J. Martin

Richmond, VA
  • T.
  • 804.420.6422
  • F.
  • 804.420.6507

Channing Martin is the founding member and past chair of the Environment and Natural Resources Group. He counsels clients on a wide variety of environmental issues and represents them before regulatory agencies and courts on such matters as the Clean Air and Water Acts, CERCLA, RCRA, Brownfields redevelopment and wetlands. Among other industry sectors, Channing regularly represents developers, manufacturers, utilities, petroleum companies and trade associations.

Channing is listed in The Best Lawyers in America® (2007-present) and was named the Best Lawyers® 2013 Richmond “Environmental Lawyer of the Year." Ranked as a “Band 1” attorney in Environment, Channing has been recognized by Chambers USA since 2004.  Martindale-Hubbell has rated him an AV attorney, its highest rating. In addition, Channing has been named one of Virginia’s “Legal Elite” for environmental law by Virginia Business magazine (2015-present), and he was named to the 2018 class of "Leaders in the Law" by Virginia Lawyers Weekly.

He is a former officer and member of the Governing Council of the American Bar Association's Section of Environment, Energy and Resources (“SEER”). He is a past chair of the Environmental Law Section of the Virginia State Bar and is the founder and a past chair of the Richmond Bar Association’s Environmental Law Section. Among others, he has served on the ASTM Environmental Fiduciary Conduct Task Force, Virginia DEQ’s Air Toxics Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) and DEQ’s Voluntary Remediation Program TAC.

Channing is author of "Virginia's Uniform Environmental Covenants Act:  A Solution in Search of a Problem," 60 Virginia Lawyer 49 (July 2011); “Voluntary Disclosure of Environmental Violations:  Is Mea Culpa a Good Idea or a Bad Move?” 6 ELR News & Analysis 10692 (June 2002); and Regulation of Underground Storage Tanks in Virginia (1993). He is a co-author of Brownfields Law and Practice (LEXIS Publishing 2023) and author of the Virginia chapter of Implementing Institutional Controls at Brownfields and Other Contaminated Sites (ABA Publishing 2012).

He frequently lectures on environmental law. His recent presentations have addressed civil and criminal environmental enforcement, endangered species considerations in commercial development, EPA’s Audit Privilege, Brownfields and environmental crisis management strategies. Other topics have included RMPs, RCRA permitting and corrective action, and Title V permitting strategies. He also has presented national survey courses on environmental law.

Channing is active in community affairs. He is a former chair of the board of United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg and was the campaign chair of the 2004 United Way campaign.

Before joining Williams Mullen, he served as law clerk to Justice A. Christian Compton of the Supreme Court of Virginia. He obtained his law degree and his undergraduate degree from Washington & Lee University.

View More View Less
  • Washington and Lee University School of Law (J.D.), 1979
  • Washington and Lee University (B.S.), 1975
Professional & Community Affiliations

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association, Section of Environment, Energy and Resources – Member of governing Council (2015-17); Membership and Diversity Officer (2013-15); Budget Officer (2011-13); Chair, SEER Fall Meeting (2010) Member, Education and Member Service
  • Virginia State Bar - Former Chair, Environmental Law Section
  • Richmond Bar Association - Founder and Former Chair, Environmental Law Section
  • Virginia Manufacturers Association - Environmental Affairs Committee
  • Virginia Chamber of Commerce - Natural Resources Committee
  • Virginia Petroleum Marketing, Convenience and Grocery Association
  • Greater Richmond Association for Commercial Real Estate

Community Involvements

  • United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg – Chair (2014-2016); Board of Directors (1998 - 2016); Campaign Cabinet (1998 - 2004); United Way Campaign Chair (2004)
  • Leadership Metro Richmond – Class of 1992
  • Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce – Regional Cooperation Task Force, Chair (1991-1992)
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Richmond – Board of Directors (1983-1987)
  • Children's Home Society of Virginia – Board of Directors (1982-1987)
  • Richmond Jaycees – President (1985)
Bar & Court Admissions

Bar Admissions

  • Virginia State Bar

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Virginia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

The Best Lawyers in America® – Environmental Law, Environmental Litigation (2007-present)

The Best Lawyers in America© 2013 Richmond "Environmental Lawyer of the Year"

Chambers USA – Environmental Law (2004-present)

Virginia Business - "Legal Elite," (2015-present)

Virginia Lawyers Weekly – Leaders in the Law (2018)


  • Represented national developer in Brownfields investigation, remediation and redevelopment of 346-acre Potomac Yards (former rail facility) in Alexandria, Virginia.
  • Represented companies in connection with more than 100 voluntary cleanups at sites in Virginia, West Virginia, the District of Columbia, Maryland, South Carolina, North Carolina and Tennessee.
  • Represented Fortune 500 and other companies in connection with the investigation and remediation of CERCLA NPL and RCRA corrective action sites in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Missouri and West Virginia. 
  • Represented Fortune 500 and other companies in Superfund cost recovery litigation in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland, and Alabama.
  • Advised international chemical company on RCRA hazardous waste and Basel Convention issues, including recycling and reclamation of secondary materials and cross-border transportation of hazardous waste.
  • Represented Fortune 500 company in defending claims concerning chlorinated solvent contamination at former electronics manufacturing facility in North Carolina.
  • Represented national independent power producer in negotiating/manuscripting Pollution Legal Liability policies in connection with sales of former coal-fired generating facilities in California, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, New York, Virginia and Maryland.
  • Represented Fortune 500 company in negotiating/manuscripting $100M in coverage under multiple Pollution Legal Liability policies in connection with a multi-billion dollar acquisition. 
  • Represented Brownfields developer in negotiating/manuscripting Pollution Legal Liability policies in connection with the purchase of two former coal-fired generating facilities in Pennsylvania.
  • Represented steel manufacturer in connection with obtaining PSD permit for new facility in Virginia.
  • Represented Fortune 500 companies in defending against EPA multi-media enforcement actions at manufacturing facilities in Virginia and West Virginia. 
  • Defended PSD permit for 800 megawatt coal-fired power plant in Virginia against appeal by coalition of environmental and citizens groups.
  • Represented national developer of warehouses on environmental issues associated with acquisition of properties in Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.
  • Represented petroleum companies and others concerning aboveground and underground storge tanks, including tank closures and cleanups, litigation concerning releases and property damage, SPCC, ODCP, FRP, and claims seeking reimbursement from state storage tank funds. 
  • Represented regional developer in connection with environmental issues associated with acquisition of office buildings and shopping centers in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.
  • Defended corporate and individual client from claims by EPA and DOJ in connection with alleged civil and criminal wetland violations at multiple properties in Virginia.
  • Represented developer in obtaining individual 404 permit and Virginia Water Protection permit in connection with large mixed-use development in Tidewater Virginia and in connection with successfully defending litigation appealing issuance of the Virginia Water Protection permit.
  • Represented Fortune 500 and other manufacturing clients in connection with RCRA post-closure care permits, including asserting and defending indemnity claims among permittees.
  • Represented Fortune 500 and other companies in connection with solid waste landfills in Virginia, including closure, post-closure and corrective action. 
  • Represented Fortune 500 company in RCRA rulemaking, including analysis of how the rule will apply to client’s facilities around the country.
  • Represented petroleum marketer in litigation against petroleum equipment company and petroleum testing company arising out of release of 5,800 gallons of gasoline from underground storage tanks.
  • Represented manufacturer in Tennessee in investigating and remediating state Superfund site and in litigating against insurance companies to recover the costs of the same.  
  • Represented pulp and paper, printing, Portland cement, and chemical companies in enforcement actions by EPA and state agencies for air, water and waste violations.
  • Represented a petroleum terminal in obtaining a state air operating permit to avoid having to comply with Gasoline Distribution NESHAP.
  • Represented national solar developer in environmental issues associated with acquiring and leasing properties in Virginia and Maryland.  
  • Represented a municipality sued under RCRA § 7002 for releases from its landfill.
  • Represented local governments in VPDES enforcement actions by Virginia DEQ concerning alleged discharge violations from publicly-owned treatment works.


View More View Less