Karen S. Gaylord

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Karen S. Gaylord

Karen Gaylord’s practice focuses on environmental and natural resources matter. She counsels members of municipalities, water providers, businesses and individuals. She has extensive experience in representing responsible parties in state and federal Superfund sites throughout Arizona. Karen has negotiated and obtained a variety of permits required for remediation of soils and groundwater, assisted with development of Brownfield properties, advised clients with cleanup of soils and groundwater, advised clients on the purchase or condemnation of potentially contaminated property, and handled wastewater treatment and reuse matters.

Bar Admissions



Arizona State University College of Law, J.D. (1984)

Arizona State University, B.S. (1980)

State Bar of Arizona, Member

  • Environmental and Natural Resources Law Section (ENRLS)
  • Public Lawyers Section American Bar Association, Member

Arizona Women Lawyers Association, Member


Arizona Women’s Envirolink, Member


International Municipal Lawyers Association, Local Government Fellow (1999 – 2004)

  • Co-Author, Environmental Law, The Surety Underwriter’s Desk Book, Chapter 6 (2013 edition)
  • Co-Author, “What is the Water Quality Assurance Revolving Fund?” The Most Commonly Asked Questions in Environmental Law, Chapter 7 (2006)
  • Co-Author, “What is the Water Quality Assurance Revolving Fund?” The Most Commonly Asked Questions in Environmental Law, Chapter 11 (Updated Winter 2002)
  • Co-Author, The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, Arizona Environmental Law Manual, Chapter 3.7 (Nicholas J. Wallwork eds.) (1999)
  • Listed as a leading lawyer in Chambers USA®, Arizona Environmental Lawyers (2007–2023)
  • Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® in the following areas:
    • Energy Law (2018–2024)
    • Energy Regulatory Law (2016–2024)
    • Environmental Law (2009–2024)
    • Environmental Litigation (2018–2024)
    • Natural Resources Law (2019–2024)
    • Water Law (2024)
  • Annually honored by Southwest Super Lawyers® since 2011 for her work in the area of Environmental Law
  • Recipient of the 2018 Michael J. Brophy Distinguished Service Award by the State Bar of Arizona Environmental & Natural Resources Law Section
  • Listed in the Top 100 Lawyers in Arizona by Arizona Business Magazine (2018–2019)
  • Listed in Lawdragon 500 (500 leading lawyers in America) (2017–2018)
  • Listed in “The World’s Leading Environmental Lawyers” by The International Who’s Who of Environmental Lawyers (2010–2014)
  • Designated by AZRE Magazine’s People to Know as a Top Attorney in Commercial Real Estate (2013)
  • Designated Lawdragon Top 3000 (country’s top 3000 lawyers in all specialties) (2010–2012)
  • Included in Arizona Business Magazine’s “Top Attorneys in Arizona,” Environmental (2012–2016)
  • Listed in “Top Lawyers,” Corporate Counsel® Guide to Energy, Environmental, and Natural Resources Law (2009)
  • Arizona Forward, Board of Directors
  • Arizona Water Quality Assurance Revolving Fund (WQARF), Advisory Board (1998 – Present)
  • Arizona Underground Storage Tank Program, Policy Commission (2004 – Present)
  • Audubon Southwest (formerly Audubon Arizona), Board of Directors (2014 – 2019)
  • Center for Creative Land Recycling, Technical Advisory Group (2005)
  • Governor’s Budget Oversight Committee for ADEQ (2009)
  • ADEQ Director’s UST Reform Roundtable (2003)
  • Represents an international aerospace company regarding its environmental compliance and state and federal Superfund issues.
  • Negotiated a complex settlement agreement to govern cleanup of a jet fuel spill at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport.
  • Advised Brownfield developer of the Tempe Marketplace Project, securing the delisting of the properties from the federal Superfund list and providing legal support for remediation.
  • Negotiated voluntary compliance agreements for western electric utility to allow the Navajo Nation to take over regulation of a power plant located on the Nation’s reservations.
  • Leads environmental compliance audit teams.
  • Represents clients in state and federal Superfund sites throughout Arizona.
  • Represents a small southern Arizona water company in water quality issues, including negotiation of a settlement agreement that provided the water company with new wells to replace wells contaminated by a sulfate plume from a nearby copper mine.
  • Successfully negotiated Arizona’s first ever Mitigation Order under WQARF to require a mining company to clean up a plume of sulfate contamination.
  • Advised a beverage bottling company in ensuring compliance with changing state and federal permit requirements.
  • Represented a western electric utility in negotiating a Consent Decree resolving Superfund liability associated with the utility’s acquisition of a parcel of land for a utility pole.
  • Advised laundry services contractor in asbestos compliance issues.
  • Handled WQARF and CERCLA liability issues, including issues related to the SIBW and NIBW federal Superfund sites, the Northwest Tempe WQARF site, and the Sanders Aviation cleanup site on behalf of a municipality.
  • Resolved multiple water and environmental issues related to the Rio Salado Project for a local government.
  • Secured a comfort letter from USEPA for a City purchasing a source property within the NIBW federal Superfund site.
  • Represented the League of Arizona cities and Towns on a Cleanup Standards Policy Task Force, which established Arizona’s Soil Remediation Standards.
  • Served on the Joint Select Legislative Committee on the Water Quality Assurance Revolving Fund and the Groundwater Cleanup Task Force, which reformed the Arizona Superfund Program to establish proportionate share liability and dedicated orphan share funding.

Jennings Haug Keleher McLeod expands by adding the talented lawyers of Waterfall, Economidis, Caldwell, Hanshaw & Villamana. Now with offices in Albuquerque, New Mexico as well as Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona, the Firm will continue to serve its clients across the Southwest under the name Jennings Haug Keleher McLeod Waterfall LLP.