Stacy Watson May is Of Counsel in Holland & Knight's Jacksonville office. She counsels a variety of industrial and commercial clients such as manufacturers, facility owners and developers with environmental compliance and enforcement actions across multiple states as well as at the federal and local levels. For these clients, she regularly negotiates reduced penalties with government agencies. Ms. Watson May assists in the design of corrective action plans and environmental management systems to meet the requirements of the Clean Air Act (CAA), the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), and hazardous materials handling and permitting matters.

Ms. Watson May handles civil and administrative litigation involving permit challenges, mining operations, cost recovery, indoor air quality issues, Legionnaires' disease and toxic torts.

For property owners and investors, Ms. Watson May handles litigation and transactions involving the purchase, sale and redevelopment of environmentally impacted properties. She pilots clients through the environmental due diligence of real estate and manufacturing operations in large mergers and acquisitions at the state, multistate and multinational levels. These deals often involve significant residential, commercial and condominium developments as well as condominium conversions. She also counsels lenders and developers regarding environmental concerns of foreclosed properties.

Ms. Watson May has completed the Florida supreme court training for Circuit Civil, Family, and County Mediations. She has taught the Environmental Law course at Florida Coastal School of Law as an adjunct professor, addressing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the CAA, the CWA, the Administrative Procedure Act, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and RCRA.

Representative Experience

  • Advocated on behalf of a transportation industry client in numerous administrative enforcement actions regarding federal hazardous materials transportation requirements
  • Defended an aircraft industry client in hazardous waste and air permit administrative enforcement actions regarding federal and state regulatory requirements
  • Guided numerous developers and property owners through state requirements for remediating petroleum, dry cleaning, solvents, pesticides and other compounds and the effect on property acquisition, continued access requirements and obtaining no further action determination from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP)
  • Guided numerous developers in the residential and commercial redevelopment of properties historically used as golf courses, citrus groves and other agricultural uses involving arsenic and other pesticides
  • Represented property owners in connection with challenges to dock permits and submerged land leases
  • Guided a manufacturer through self-reporting of Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) and National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants/Maximum Achievable Control Technology (NESHAP/MACT) non-compliance discovered in an environmental audit
  • Guided a chemical manufacturer through solid and hazardous waste evaluations of products and waste streams
  • Challenged the terms of a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) permit issued by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) for an industrial facility
  • Guided manufacturers through Clean Air Act (CAA) compliance for operations including sterilization chamber regulations
  • Assisted wood treating facility with comprehensive update of compliance systems and Title V air permit

  • Represented potentially responsible parties in multiple Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) cleanup actions filed by the EPA and third-party cost recovery actions
  • Represented property owners in private cost recovery suits for environmental contamination discovered post-closing
  • Defended a landowner in a private cost recovery action filed by former operators of a landfill
  • Defended an industrial client when a school board developed its property as an elementary school without proper cleanup of known lead and arsenic in soil
  • Represented various property owners, including hospitality, vacation rentals and assisted living facilities, regarding claims of exposure in mold, asbestos and Legionnaires' disease cases, and guided management and maintenance staff through remedial measures
  • Defended numerous industrial tenants in suits brought by landlords alleging contamination of leased premises by tenants
  • Defended a mining company in a breach of contract action by a surface landowner in a mineral rights and permitting dispute
  • Defended various municipalities in class action suits regarding claims of exposure, medical monitoring and property damage from historical disposal activities including arsenic, lead and incinerator ash, often utilizing toxicology experts
  • Defended a developer in a class action regarding property damage and exposure claims
  • Defended industrial clients in third-party claims regarding environmental justice and nuisance associated with dust, noise and vibration in the context of a permit challenge and in actions filed due to landfill operations
  • Handled a citizen complaint of noxious odors from an industrial facility in a minority neighborhood
  • Defended a homeowners’ association regarding property damage and exposure claims at former golf course

  • Managed environmental due diligence for numerous acquisitions of businesses and manufacturing facilities
  • Represented numerous buyers and sellers of properties impacted by dry cleaning solvents
  • Prepared environmental indemnity and remediation agreement for a variety of buyers and sellers
  • Represented numerous property owners in the sale of property with environmental impacts requiring remediation prior to the transfer of title
  • Represented numerous buyers and sellers of businesses and real property with intensive industrial uses, including wood treating facilities, electronics manufacturing and other product manufacturing facilities, addressing due diligence and remedial measures


  • University of Illinois Chicago School of Law, J.D.
  • University of Florida, B.A.
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • Florida
Court Admissions
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • Jacksonville University, Marine Science Research Institute, Advisory Board Member, 2017-2020
  • Jacksonville Bar Association, Practicing with Professionalism Section, Chair, 2013, 2014
  • Jacksonville Bar Association, Environmental and Land Use Committee, 1997 - present; Committee Co-Chair, 2014, 2015
  • Jacksonville Bar Association, Diversity Committee, 2012-2014; 2015 Diversity Awards Chair
  • Jacksonville Bar Association, Young Lawyers Section, Board of Governors, 1999-2000
  • Urban Land Institute North Florida, Program Committee Member, 2014-present 
  • Northeast Chapter of the Florida Association of Environmental Professionals, Board Member, 1999-2001
  • The Florida Bar Environmental and Land Use Law Section, 1997 - Present
  • The Florida Bar Client Security Fund Committee, 2002-2005
  • The Florida Bar Law Office Management Assistance Service (LOMAS) Advisory Board Member, 2012-2015
  • Chester Bedell Inn of Court, Associate 1999-2000, Barrister 2010-2013
Honors & Awards
  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, Litigation – Environmental, 2015-2024; Environmental Law, 2022-2024
  • Florida Legal Elite "Up & Comer," Florida Trend Magazine, 2007
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated


Speaking Engagements