Attorney Profiles

George F. Gramling, III   Principal Attorney/Owner

george@gramlinglaw.com  |  Ph: (813) 259-1060  |  Cell: (813) 205-1500

Mr. Gramling is an environmental and energy law attorney, whose practice focuses exclusively on the business, government and institutional applications of environmental, energy, and land use law and regulation. He is also certified by the Supreme Court of Florida as a Circuit Mediator in all judicial circuits of Florida.

His practice spans over 35 years and involves compliance and pollution issues, complex regulatory dispute resolution, legislative and lobbying representation and environmental agency enforcement and negotiation. He maintains a selective litigation practice in federal and state courts and before administrative agencies, limited to high profile or strenuously contested cases.

 

Mr. Gramling has developed long-standing, positive relationships with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Florida Water Management Districts, the United States Army Corps of Engineers and other governmental agencies throughout Florida. Over the years, his relationships with governmental agency heads and staff have facilitated better, more efficient and less costly interaction between his clients and these agencies. 

Mr. Gramling is rated “AV” by Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory: the highest rating conferred by this respected organization. He has served as Chairman of the Florida Bar Environmental and Land Use Law Section and Chairman of the Hillsborough County Bar Environmental and Land Use Law Section. He was recognized as 2016 Lawyer of the Year in Environmental Law by Best Lawyers and Top Lawyer in Environmental Law in 2016 by Tampa Bay Magazine.

Mr. Gramling has experience with the Florida legislative and executive branches of government. Representing a coalition of clients, he worked in legislative sessions between 1994 and 2001 to create Florida's Dry-Cleaning Solvent Cleanup Program (DSCP), focusing the state’s resources on the investigation and cleanup of contaminated dry-cleaning properties and resulting in the entry of all of these sites into a unified, priority for cleanup. Florida’s DSCP has been used as a model for other state legislation and is widely perceived as an environmental solution that worked for all interests.

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Education:    

Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, B.A., 1980

  • English (Major)

  • Philosophy (Major)

University of Florida, College of Law, J.D., 1983

Court Admissions:

  • State of Florida

  • United States District Court for the Middle District
    of Florida

  • United States District Court for the Southern Districts
    of Florida

  • United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit

  • Supreme Court of the
    United States

Bar Membership:    

  • The Florida Bar

  • Hillsborough County Bar Association

  • American Bar Association

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Professional and Bar-Related Committees

Florida Bar

Chairman, Environmental and Land Use Law Section (2003-2004)
Chairman, Grievance Committee (13E) Hillsborough County (1995-1996)

Florida Bar “Bar Stars” Award (1991)

Member of the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Section of the Florida Bar
 

Hillsborough County Bar Association

Chairman of the Environmental Law Section 1992-1993
Chairman 1990-1992; 2003-2006
Chairman, Migrant Farm Worker Volunteer Lawyer Project
Outstanding Young Lawyer Award (1991)

 

American Bar Association

Vice Chair, 1999-2002, Ethics Committee of Section of Environment, Energy and Resources
 
City of Tampa
Code Enforcement Board, Member (1998-2001)
Flood Control Board, Member (2003- 2006)

 
Bay Area Legal Services
Chairman; Board of Directors (2004 - 2005)
Chairman, Planned Giving Campaign (2001)

 
Florida Brownfields Association
Member

Mr. Gramling lectures and writes on a regular basis on environmental, business and other issues and regularly makes presentations in Florida Bar and Hillsborough County Bar sponsored CLE seminars. His extensive legal writings have been published in many scholarly references, including The Harvard Environmental Law Review and the Florida Treatise on Environmental and Land Use Law. He is a member of The Florida Bar, the Hillsborough County Bar and the bars of the U.S. Supreme Court, Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. District Courts for the Middle District of Florida, Southern District of Florida. He received his undergraduate degree from Emory University in 1980 and his law degree from the University of Florida in 1983 where, after graduating, he taught in the Legal Research and Writing Program.

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Professional Distinctions and Awards

The Best Lawyers in America 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

 

The Best Lawyers in America – Tampa Environmental Law “Lawyer of the Year” 2016

 

The Best Lawyers in America – Tampa Environmental Litigation “Lawyer of the Year” 2017

 

U.S. News Best Law Firms Regional Tier 1 Best Law Firm ranking for Land Use and Zoning Law in Tampa 2015 – 2019

 

U.S. News Best Law Firms Regional Tier 2 Best Law Firm ranking Environmental Law 2015 – 2019

 

U.S. News Best Law Firms National Tier 3 Best Law Firm ranking for Land Use and Zoning Law 2015 – 2019

 

Martindale-Hubbell "AV" Preeminent 1993 - 2019

 

Martindale-Hubbell Top Rated Lawyer – Energy, Environmental & Natural Resources 2015

 

Martindale-Hubbell Top Rated Lawyer – Litigation 2015

 

Martindale-Hubbell Tampa’s Top Rated Lawyer 2013, 2014, 2015

 

Florida Super Lawyers 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

 

International Who's Who of Environmental Lawyers 2009

 

Florida Legal Elite – Florida Trend 2013, 2014, 2015

 

Florida’s Top Attorneys – The Wall Street Journal 2013

 

America’s Most Honored Professionals – Top 1% 2015

 

America’s Most Honored Professionals – Top 5% 2013, 2014

 

America’s Most Honored Professionals – Top 10% 2011, 2012

 

Best Attorneys in Florida 2012

 

Top Lawyers – Tampa Bay Business Journal 2010, 2012

 

Top Attorneys in Florida – Environmental 2011, 2013, 2013, 2014, 2015

 

Top Attorneys In Tampa Bay – Tampa Bay Magazine 2010, 2014

 

Tampa’s Top Attorneys – The National Law Journal & Legal Times 2011

 

Circle of Excellence – Merchant Circle 2011, 2012

 

Acquisition International Top 50 Legal Elite – Gramling Environmental Law, P.A. 2016

 

AVVO Superb rated 10.0 out of 10.0

 

 

Legislative Lobbyist and Subject Matter Expert.  Active since 1995 with work on major statutory environmental programs for dry cleaning solvent cleanup, Brownfields and sport shooting range cleanup.

 

Florida Bar

Florida Bar "Bar Stars" Award (1991)

Chairman, Grievance Committee (13 E) Hillsborough County (1995-1996)

Chairman, Environmental and Land Use Law Section (2003-2004)

 

Hillsborough County Bar Association 

Chairman (1992-1993), Co-Chairman (1990-1992); (2003-2004); (2004-2005) - Environmental Law Section

Chairman, Migrant Farm Worker Volunteer Lawyer Project (1988-1992)

Outstanding Young Lawyer Award (1991)

           

American Bar Association

Vice Chair, 1999-2002, Ethics Committee of Section of Environment, Energy and Resources

 

Hillsborough County

Phosphate Mining Hearing Master under Hillsborough County’s Phosphate Mining Ordinance, 2002 – present.

                                   

Wellhead Hearing Master under Hillsborough County Wellfield Ordinance, 2013 – present.

 

City of Tampa

Code Enforcement Board, Member (1998-2001)

Flood Control Board, Member (2003)

 

Legal Advisory Board, University of Florida

Center for Training Research & Education for Environmental Occupations (TREEO)

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Publications

1984 - "Florida Local Governments and Oil and Gas Leasing of State Territorial Waters," Volume I, Oil and Gas Leasing in Florida Offshore Waters, Florida Institute of Oceanography.

 

1984 - "Wetland Regulation and Wildlife Habitat Protection - Proposals for Florida," 8:2 Harvard Environmental Law Review 365 (1984).

 

1987 - "Local Government Regulation of Hazardous Waste," Burdens of Environmental Regulation on Private Property Ownership and Business Transactions:  Reasonable or Unreasonable? 16th Annual Arlie Conference on the Environment (ABA Standing Committee on Environmental Law, May 1987). 

 

1987 -1991, 1993 - Federal Case Law Update - 1987-1991, 1993 author of column of Florida Bar Environmental and Land Use Section Reporter.

 

1988 - "Basic Permitting Considerations and Coordinated Environmental and Land Use Permitting," Volume I, Florida Environmental and Land Use Law Treatise, The Florida Bar (co-author with W. Earl).

 

1988 - "Cleaning Up After Federal and State Pollution Programs: Local Government Hazardous Waste Regulation," 17:3 Stetson Law Review 639.

 

1992 - "Environmental Newspeak" in Hillsborough County Bar Association Lawyer, Vol. 2 No. 4, January 1992.

 

1993 - "Recent Developments in Environmental Law" in the Hillsborough County Bar Association Lawyer, Vol. 3 No. 8, May 1993.

 

1997 - “Environmental Implications of Real Estate Transactions” (Southeastern Electric Exchange - E&O Conference Proceedings, August 1997).

 

2003 - “Ethical Considerations in Representing Clients Before Administrative Agencies and Local Governments” (Florida Environmental and Land Use Law Treatise, August 2003).

 

2003 - “Federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act” (Florida Environmental and Land Use Law Treatise, August 2003, updated June 2015).

 

2003 - “Liability and Defenses Under CERCLA” (Florida Environmental and Land Use Law Treatise, August 2003, updated June 2015)

 

2003 - “Pollution Issues Related to the Drycleaning Industry” (Florida Environmental and Land Use Law Treatise, August 2003)

 

2003 - "Pollution Litigation: A Decade of CERCLA," Volume I, Florida Environmental and Land Use Law Treatise, The Florida Bar (2003).

 

2003 - “Environmental Enforcement: Parallel Criminal and Civil Proceedings” in Hillsborough County Bar Association Lawyer, Vol. 14 No 3, November 2003.

 

CLE Publications

 

1987 - "Florida Hazardous Substances Statutes and Ordinances Affecting the Transfer of Real Property," in Environmental Liabilities and Real Property Transactions:  Ignorance is not Bliss (Fla. Bar CLE, Environmental and Land Use Law Section, June 1987).

 

1987 - "1987 Federal Hazardous Wastes and Substances Update," Annual Environmental and Land Use Law Update (Fla. Bar CLE, Environmental and Land Use Law Section, August 1987).1993 - "Environmental Contractual Provisions in Real Estate Transactions" (Fla. Bar CLE, Environmental and Land Use Law Section, October 1993).

 

1997 - “Environmental Enforcement: Managing Parallel Civil and Criminal Proceedings” (Fla. Bar CLE, Environmental & Land Use Law Section, August 1997).

 

1999 - “Your business client is hit with a criminal search warrant; what to expect and how to represent your client” (Fla. Bar CLE, Environmental and Land Use Law Section, January 1999).

 

1999 - “Defense Perspectives on Environmental Crime Investigations, Prosecutions and Parallel Proceedings” (Fla. Bar CLE, Environmental and Land Use Law Section, August 1999).

 

2001 - “Federal & State Reporting Requirements: When are you ethically obligated to report?” (Fla. Bar CLE, Environmental & Land Use Law Section, August 2001).

 

2005 - “New Notification Requirements for the Discovery of Contamination” (Hillsborough County Bar Association, Environmental Law Section, February 2005).

 

2005 - “Sport Shooting and Training Range Protection Act,” Chapter 790.333, Florida Statutes – Understanding the Law” (Florida Lead Compliance Seminar, July 16, 2005, Tampa, on behalf of National Rifle Association).

 

2009 - “Institutional and Engineering Controls: Subordination and Joinder Real Estate Issues and Problems” (Florida Brownfields Conference - November 2009).

 

2011 - “Recent Developments in Institutional Controls – Subordination of liens, mortgages and encumbrances” (Hillsborough County Bar Association, Environmental Land Use Section, February 2011).

 

2016 - “Taking the Fear (and Roadblocks) Out of Redevelopment in Florida: Using the New RBCA Tools to Your Advantage” (Florida Bar CLE, Environmental and Land Use Law Section, May 2016).

 

2018 – “The Essentials of Pollution and Contamination law: A Look at the Various Federal, State and Local Laws and Regulations” (Florida Bar CLE, Environmental and Land Use Law Section, November 2018).

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Notable Cases

Hillsborough County, et al. v. A&E Road Oiling Service, Inc., 853 F.Supp. 1402 (U.S. District Court Middle District of Florida,1994)

 

United States v. David L. Rieker, Civil 8:03-CV-647-T-26MAP.  Represented client in cost recovery lawsuit by Environmental Protection Agency.

 

Thomson v. Florida Power Corporation, Case number 6:04-CV-1514-ORL-18DAV (U.S. District Court Middle District of Florida). Represented defendant in CERCLA cost recovery action arising out of PCB contamination.

 

Florida Wildlife Federation Inc. and Sierra Club vs. Progress Energy Florida and State of Florida Department of Environmental Protection, OGC Case No. 11-1407, DOAH Case No. 11-5442. Petition filed by the Sierra Club and Florida Wildlife Federation seeking to re-formulate NPDES Permit.

 

Florida Power Corporation d/b/a Progress Energy Florida, Inc.; Atlanta Gas Light Company; Peoples Gas System, a Division of Tampa Electric Company; and City of Orlando, Florida v. Continental Holdings, Inc., Case No. 6:12CV1066ORL-36GJK (U.S. District Court Middle District of Florida, 2012). Represented client in Superfund cost recovery action.

 

Seminole Tribe of Florida v. Florida Power & Light Company, Case No. 262011CA000540CA (Twentieth Judicial Circuit in and for Hendry County, Florida, 2013). Represented client in rezoning application challenge.

 

The City of Jacksonville v. Shoppes of Lakeside, Inc.; Jacksonville Holdings L.P.; Continental Holdings, Inc., Case No. 3:12-CV-850-J-25MCR (U.S. District Court Middle District of Florida, 2012). Represented client in environmental liability litigation under CERCLA.

 

United States of America v. BKF Capital Group, Inc., Case No. 8:18-cv-01863-VMC-TGW (United States District Court Middle District of Florida, 2018). Represented client in environmental liability litigation concerning cattle dip vats under CERCLA.

 

United States Environmental Protection Agency Before the Administrator in the Matter of: Freedom Performance, LLC, Case No. CAA-HQ-2019-8362 (United States Environmental Protection Agency - Administrative, 2019). Represented client in environmental enforcement litigation under the Clean Air Act.

 

Florida Drycleaning Solvent Cleanup Program: Drafted legislation and lobbied for passage (1995, 1996, 1998, 2002).

 

Florida Sport Shooting and Training Range Environmental Liability Protection: Drafted legislation and lobbied for passage (2003, 2004).

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Community and Civic Involvement

Mr. Gramling is a life-long resident of the Tampa Bay area and is committed to serving the community. Some of his service includes: 

Bay Area Legal Services, Inc.
A non-profit legal assistance law firm. The firm that provides pro-bono legal representation to underprivileged and indigent clients.

Chairman, Board of Directors (2004 - 2005) 

Chairman, Planned Giving Campaign (2001)

Development Council 

 

Berkeley Preparatory School, Tampa, Florida

Chairman, Board of Trustees (July 2013 – July 2015)

Vice Chair – Board of Trustees (2011 – 2013)

Secretary, Board of Trustees (2009-2010)

Chairman, Capital Campaign Phase I (raised over $20 million dollars) (2009-2013)

Board of Trustees (2007-present)

Chairman, Annual Giving Committee (2007-2008)

Land Development Sub-Committee (2005)

 

University of Tampa

Member of Board of Trustees (2007-2013)

 

Florida Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra, Tampa, FL
A professional chamber chorus and orchestra.

Chairman 1998-2004 

 

Friends of The Urban Debate League
A national education reform movement. UDL empowers urban high school children to use the power of words and the skill of debating to express themselves and advance their education. 

Tampa, FL, UDL - Founding Board Member, 2009 – 2012

 

Mr. Gramling volunteers his time and his firm’s resources to appropriate educational, cultural and legal projects in the community. If you would like to discuss such a project with Mr. Gramling, please feel free to contact him.