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Barely one week after leaving her post as Utah's top environmental regulator, Amanda Smith has resurfaced as a member of a top-shelf law firm whose clients include Kennecott Utah Copper, EnergySolutions, Chevron and other large and small industrial players in the West.

Holland & Hart on Monday announced it hired Smith, who served as head of the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) for six years under Gov. Gary Herbert.

"As she joins private practice, she will leverage her extensive knowledge of the laws and policies governing the quality of air, land, and water to help clients as they navigate these increasingly challenging environmental issues," the firm said in a press release.

Holland & Hart's Salt Lake City office, whose ranks include Utah's most influential lawyers in natural resource and environmental law, has doubled its size to 100 lawyers in the past four years.

"I am excited to have the opportunity to work alongside attorneys whose reputation for excellence in every way is a hallmark of their work," said Smith. "Kevin Murray and Jim Holtkamp, both of whom I have known and respected for many years, are recognized nationally not only for their environmental legal acumen, but also for their high ethical standards."

A leading expert in air quality regulations, Holtkamp has appeared before the Utah Air Quality Board to offer comment on behalf of regulated industries. He has argued against recent legislation that authorizes the department to implement air quality regulations tougher than their federal counterparts.

Headquartered in Denver, Hollard & Hart has 15 offices spread around the country and in Washington, D.C. The 500-attorney firm houses one of the nation's largest environmental law practices and its Salt Lake office is among Utah's four largest law firms.

"But more important than size is the quality of the attorneys who choose to practice with us," said Eric Maxfield, the firm's administrative partner. "We are proud to have Amanda Smith join us after her distinguished service as Utah's top environmental quality leader."

The firm also represents Kane, San Juan and other Utah counties in road disputes with the Bureau of Land Management.

Smith left the DEQ on May 22 and was replaced by Herbert's environmental policy adviser, Alan Matheson.