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Climate Change

Climate Change

A Leader in Helping Clients Anticipate and Plan for Climate Change Laws and Regulation

We are helping clients in a number of economic sectors to navigate the changing regulatory requirements governing greenhouse gas emissions, including energy producers, manufacturers, forestry companies, utilities, and developers. We help our clients to anticipate and plan for regulatory changes, including the need to incorporate climate impacts into permitting strategies, energy procurement, and environmental reviews.

We advise our clients on:

  • Greenhouse gas reporting requirements
  • Clean Air Act permitting
  • Renewable Portfolio Standards
  • Emissions offset policies tied to sequestration of carbon in forests, agricultural lands, or deep underground
  • Legal implications of climate adaptation issues, such as planning for increased water needs in a drier watershed, the challenges of building new transmission lines to deliver new renewable energy to cities and towns, and revising land use standards to bring about emission reductions.

Brad Marten has been selected to serve as General Editor of the LexisNexis Climate Change Practice Series, comprising over 15 standalone pamphlets that include:

  • Federal Climate Change Law
  • Treatment of Greenhouse Gases Under the Clean Air Act
  • Treatment of Greenhouse Gases Under the National Environmental Policy Act
  • Treatment of Greenhouse Gases Under the Endangered Species Act
  • Regional Carbon Markets
  • State-by-State Greenhouse Gas Regulations
  • International Climate Treaties
  • Cap and Trade: Law and Economics
  • Renewable Portfolio Standards
  • Solar Power: Law and Economics
  • Climate Change and Water Resources
  • SEC and Climate: Disclosure Requirements
  • Insurance Law for Climate Related Claims
  • Carbon Offsets
  • Carbon Capture and Sequestration
  • Greenhouse Gas Tort Litigation
  • California Greenhouse Gas Law and Regulation
  • Biomass: Law and Economics
  • Wind Power: Law and Economics

Experience

  • Analysis of State, Federal, and International Climate Change Law, Regulation, and Policies
  • Carbon Capture and Sequestration
  • Development of Regulations and Statutes
  • Emission Offsets
  • Environmental Review
  • Federal Grants
  • Permitting Renewable and Alternative Energy
  • Project Development

Representative Client Work

Project Development

Counsel to independent power developer building the first ever integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) project in the U.S. to use carbon capture and sequestration. Advice on federal Dept. of Energy grant application and federal tax credit application, Clean Air Act greenhouse gas regulation, federal carbon sequestration policy, and NEPA compliance.
The project, to be built near Odessa, Texas, has been awarded $350 million in federal grants and is planned to start construction in 2010. The plant will integrate proven carbon capture and gasification technologies designed to achieve a 90% carbon capture, the highest ever proposed.
Counsel to a timberland owner on development of California’s protocol for forestry-based emission offsets, and on the emission offsets provisions on pending federal legislation.
Emission offset markets have the potential to offer significant economic opportunities to companies with carbon sequestration resources, and to provide alternatives for companies needing emissions offsets.
Counsel to the largest private composter in the U.S., processing over one million pounds of biomass per day and serving over two million customers.
Company is building commercial methane digesters to capture methane and generate electricity from biomass to sell back to the grid.

Litigation

Represented regional air authority in successful defense of a Title V air operating permit issued to Washington State’s only coal-fired power plant. Permit was challenged by environmental plaintiffs on the grounds that it fails to include limits on carbon dioxide and mercury emissions. They also sought more stringent nitrogen oxide limit for the plant. Appeal was heard by Washington's Pollution Control Hearings Board, which upheld permit on summary judgment.
Appellants sought a ruling that the air authority was obligated to develop emission limits based on a general nuisance standard, in advance of pending regulatory action on both mercury and carbon dioxide emissions at the federal and state level. The Board ruled that an air operating permit is a collection of existing applicable requirements, and that the Air Authority did not have the power to establish new emission limits when issuing an air operating permit. Appellants also argued that new limits should be established under the State RACT standard. The Board ruled that permitting agencies are not required to update its RACT determination for a source when it issues an operating permit, and that the requirements that exist at the time the permit is issued are RACT for purposes of the operating permit program.
Representing a regional cold storage company, in a challenge to the state and federal environmental review of a new warehouse facility currently being permitted and constructed by a port district.
Not only does the environmental analysis fail to account for the introduction of hazardous materials onto the site, the port also ignored the requirement to assess the climate change impacts of the additional vehicle trips generated by the project, as well as the substantial electricity demand that will be required upon build-out, in violation of NEPA and EPA’s recent endangerment finding.

Regulatory Compliance

  • Advising forestry and agricultural clients on formulation of emissions offset policies tied to sequestration of carbon in forests, agricultural lands, or deep underground.
  • Advising manufacturing clients on greenhouse gas reporting rules.
  • Advised a regional trade association on emerging national and local climate change initiatives impacting commercial and residential real estate markets in preparation for 2009 legislative session.

Svend A. Brandt-Erichsen Practice Head

Svend A. Brandt-Erichsen

Svend Brandt-Erichsen has been an environmental lawyer for 25 years, having spent 20 years in private practice. Svend began his career on the legislative staff of Alaska’s Senator Ted Stevens and served as Regional Administrator of the State of Alaska’s Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC). More »

Michael C. Dotten

Michael C. Dotten

Michael Dotten has practiced in the energy, environmental, and administrative law fields for over thirty years, representing utilities, energy project developers, large industrial energy consumers, and governmental agencies. He also serves as an arbitrator and mediator in complex regulatory and commercial disputes. More »

Brian K. Ferrasci-O’Malley

Brian Ferrasci-O’Malley

Brian Ferrasci-O'Malley's practice focuses on environmental and natural resource litigation, permitting, and review. He assists clients in cases arising under CERCLA, MTCA, the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, and the Endangered Species Act. More »

Kevin T. Haroff

Kevin Haroff

Kevin Haroff is the managing partner of the firm’s San Francisco office. He has represented businesses, individuals, and governmental entities in civil litigation and regulatory matters for more than 25 years. More »

Meline G. MacCurdy

Meline G. MacCurdy

Meli MacCurdy represents clients both in environmental litigation and environmental permitting and review. She has particular experience with brownfield redevelopment. She has defended cases under the Clean Water Act and the state and federal Superfund laws, and is assisting clients in fisheries matters and in issues involving climate change and energy. More »

Bradley M. Marten

Bradley M. Marten

Brad Marten is the Managing Partner of Marten Law. He is consistently ranked by his peers as one of the nation’s top environmental lawyers. Brad is the Immediate Past President of the American College of Environmental Lawyers. More »

Russell C. Prugh

Russell C. Prugh

Russell Prugh's practice focuses on environmental and natural resources litigation, and environmental permitting for facilities and projects in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. Russell has particular experience with stormwater compliance issues, and represents clients in litigation arising under the Clean Water Act, CERCLA, MTCA, and other federal and state environmental laws. More »

Terry T. Uhling

Terry T. Uhling

Terry advises the firm and its clients on strategic and complex matters across the spectrum of issues that affect agribusiness, food processing, mining, water and other natural resources rights. More »

Cedar Grove Composting: Permitting and Regulatory Compliance

We have represented Cedar Grove Composting for decades and have helped it grow into one of the largest composters in the United States. We have assisted in the expansion of Cedar Grove’s facilities, handling its regulatory work before State and regional air agencies, and permitting work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Washington State Department of Ecology. More »

Green Diamond Resource Company: Climate Change Protocols and Provisions

We have counseled Green Diamond, one the largest timberland owners in California, on development of California’s protocol for forestry-based emission offsets, and on emission offsets provisions in pending federal legislation. More »

Regional Air Authority: Title V Operating Permit Challenge

We represented a regional air authority in the successful defense of a Title V air operating permit issued to Washington State’s only coal-fired power plant. The permit was challenged by environmental plaintiffs on the grounds that it fails to include limits on carbon dioxide and mercury emissions. They also sought a more stringent nitrogen oxide limit for the plant. More »

Summit Power Group Inc.: Dept. of Energy Grant for First Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle Project in U.S.

We assist this independent power developer, which is building the first integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) project in the U.S. to use carbon capture and sequestration. We have provided advice on a federal Dept. More »