D. Lee Decker


D. Lee Decker

Lee practices environmental law relating to water quality, water rights, environmental compliance auditing, solid and hazardous waste, mining and mined land reclamation and remediation, toxic substances and Superfund matters.  With over 25 years experience, Lee has a nationally-recognized water quality practice and works closely with his clients on the federal, state and local levels to develop workable strategies to promote development and expansion of both industrial and mining operations. In working with major industrial, mining, construction and development clients, Lee has honed his keen expertise in the field of environmental law and an unwavering commitment to professionalism.

Lee is one of the lead mining and industrial experts in Arizona with respect to various state and federal-based water quality and mine reclamation and closure programs, including the aquifer protection permit program, Arizona’s pollutant discharge elimination system permit program, impaired water determinations and listings, development and implementation of total maximum daily load requirements, mined  land reclamation and closure, development of surface and aquifer water quality standards, and state certification of federal water quality permits/approvals.  He participates actively as a member of the Arizona Mining Association and lobbies federal and state governmental agencies on water quality statutory, regulatory, and policy-based issues to the benefit of the mining industry in Arizona.  He also serves as the co-chair of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry Water Quality Subcommittee (formerly the Arizona Association of Industries Water Quality Subcommittee), a position he has filled since 2001.

Representative Experience

  • Representing major industrial clients in obtaining water quality, water rights, and other environmental and natural resources-related permits and approvals on both a federal and state level.
  • Representing major mining clients in Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico in obtaining resources related to permits and approvals for continuing operations, mine expansions, new mines, and mine closures.
  • Conducting environmental compliance audits at domestic and international industrial facilities, including facilities located in Canada, Chile, and Venezuela.
  • Representing industrial and mining clients in the preparation of comments and lobbying on federal and state environmental statutes and rules. Most recently, Lee participated in the development of federal and state stormwater permitting rules, solid waste management rules, surface water and groundwater quality standards, and state safe drinking water regulations.
  • Representing major construction, mining, and development clients in determining and preserving the legal status of federal and state mining claims.

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Arizona, 1990
  • U.S. District Court, District of Arizona, 1990

Associations & Memberships

  • State Bar of Arizona, Member
  • State Bar of Arizona, Environmental and Natural Resources Law Section, Member
  • Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Water Quality Subcommittee, Co-Chair
  • Arizona Mining Association, Water Quality Subcommittee, Vice-Chair
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Member
  • J. Reuben Clark Law Society, Member

Honors & Awards

  • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Best Lawyers in America®, Environmental Law, 2013-2022; Natural Resources Law, 2016-2022; Litigation - Environmental, 2018-2022
  • Chambers USA®, 2014-2021
  • Arizona Mining Association, Champion for the Mining Industry, 2021