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Permitting and Environmental Review

Permitting and Environmental Review

We Keep Projects Moving Forward

Our lawyers assist clients in obtaining the environmental permits and approvals they need to operate their business, to construct new facilities, and to make modifications to existing facilities and equipment. We advise on compliance and permit issues relating to wetlands, water, air, hazardous waste, endangered species, and other environmental issues. We have extensive experience advising and assisting utilities and private developers in siting, permitting, and developing electricity generation and transmission facilities. We regularly work with technical consultants and regulatory agencies to develop successful permit strategies to enable projects to move forward without unnecessary delays.

We advise clients on strategies for avoiding litigation, and on environmental impact review requirements, including the need to incorporate climate impacts into environmental reviews under the Clean Air Act, NEPA and equivalent state laws. If required, we defend project approvals and permit decisions and represent our clients in challenges to federal and state environmental review statutes and regulations. We also defend our clients in litigation, regulatory enforcement actions, and citizen suits.

Experience

  • CEQA
  • Clean Water Act Permits
  • Endangered Species Act
  • Growth Management Act
  • Historic Preservation
  • Hydraulics Permits
  • NEPA
  • Resource Development and Regulation Planning
  • SEPA
  • Shoreline Management Act
  • Solid Waste Management Permits

Representative Client Work

New Project Development and Expansion

Assisted a public utility in permitting an electrical transmission and distribution project in one of the most environmentally sensitive areas in Washington State. Assisted in preparing the environmental impact statement (EIS) for the project, including responses to hundreds of public comments.
Successfully defended the EIS and the overall project at the trial court, before the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court, and then helped the client to obtain the necessary permits and acquire the necessary rights of way to get the project built.
Advising on development of the next generation of coal gasification projects involving carbon capture in Oregon and Texas.
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. This innovative project, with its highly effective use of coal, is at the cutting edge of the intersection between climate concerns and domestic energy supply.
Currently working with federal, state, and local permitting agencies to assist nation’s largest private composting company to expand its operations and to implement a system of co-generation of electrical power using captured methane from newly installed anaerobic digesters. This project will require obtaining permits under Sections 404 and 401 of the Clean Water Act, SEPA approvals, review under the Endangered Species Act, and negotiation of an odor mitigation plan and air permits from the local air agency.
The company is building commercial methane digesters to capture methane and generate electricity from biomass to sell back to the grid.

Regulatory Compliance

Assisted a client in obtaining critical revisions to Washington State incinerator rules that allowed our client to comply with regulations that were otherwise intractable.
Successfully persuaded EPA that the revisions were not less stringent than the previous rule, so that the revisions could be incorporated into the federally approved State Implementation Plan and become federally enforceable.
Helped a prominent Washington homebuilder maintain compliance with state and federal stormwater pollution control laws and revised their real estate contracts to appropriately allocate stormwater pollution control risk.
The contracts were successfully revised to address the homebuilder’s concerns.

Appeals

Appealed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ denial of Alaska landowners’ permit application for a Cook Inlet project under the Clean Water Act and Rivers and Harbors Act.
Appeal was successful.
Represented a major fishing and processing company in a challenge to National Marine Fisheries Service allocations for the multi-million dollar Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands Pacific Cod fishery under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. Fishermen’s Finest, Inc. v. Gutierrez, 2008 WL 2782909 (W.D. Wash.),
Appeal pending, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals No. 08-36024.

Richard H. Allan

Richard H. Allan

Richard Allan is the managing partner of the firm’s Portland office. Richard represents developers in the acquisition, siting, expansion and operation of major projects, with an emphasis on energy facilities, but also including industrial facilities, ski areas, and destination resorts. More

Andrew C. Bell

Andrew C. Bell

Andrew Bell advises clients on the permitting of large-scale energy and real estate development projects on private lands in California and on federal public lands across the western United States. He represents some of America’s largest private and publicly traded corporations before local, state and federal regulatory agencies on a daily basis. More

Marina Cassio

Marina Cassio

Marina Cassio’s practice focuses on environmental and natural resources litigation, land use permitting, and environmental and product compliance counseling. More

Myles A. Conway

Myles Conway

Myles Conway has 24 years of practice experience working in the areas of real estate law, land use, public lands, environmental law and mining. Mr. Conway assists clients with real estate and development projects throughout the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. 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

Jessica K. Ferrell

Jessica K. Ferrell

Jessica Ferrell's practice focuses on environmental and natural resource litigation. She represents public and private clients in cases arising under the Endangered Species Act, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, NEPA, CERCLA, MTCA, the Clean Water Act, and other federal, state, and local environmental laws. More

Kevin T. Haroff

Kevin Haroff

Kevin Haroff is the managing partner of the firm’s San Francisco office. He has represented Fortune 100 corporations, governmental entities, and private citizens in civil litigation and regulatory matters for more than 25 years. More

Zachary A. Kearns

Zachary A. Kearns

Zak Kearns’ practice focuses on environmental and natural resources litigation, energy, and environmental permitting and compliance. He works on cases arising under the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, CERCLA, and other federal and state environmental laws. More

Jeff B. Kray

Jeff B. Kray

Jeff Kray's practice focuses on water quality, water resources, and complex environmental litigation, including Clean Water Act permitting and regulatory compliance, and CERCLA (Superfund) site remediation. He has represented public and private clients throughout the west. More

Meline G. MacCurdy

Meline G. MacCurdy

Meli represents clients in environmental litigation, compliance, and permitting.  She has particular experience with environmental cleanups, cost recovery, and allocation of environmental liabilities under state and federal cleanup laws, water quality issues including stormwater and NPDES permits, environmental review statutes, and hazardous waste management.   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

Douglas W. MacDougal

Douglas W. MacDougal

Doug MacDougal has over 30 years of experience in water rights, natural resources, and real estate law. More

Thomas C. Perry

Thomas C. Perry

Tom advises the firm and its clients in a range of strategic environmental legal matters. He has a proven track record in the areas of environmental litigation; the development of creative regulatory compliance strategies; and environmental mediation. His clients do business in a range of industries, including mining, agribusiness and energy. More

Alexa Shasteen

Alexa Shasteen

Alexa Shasteen’s practice focuses on environmental, natural resources, and land use litigation, as well as environmental and product compliance and permitting. 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. He shares his time among each of the firm’s offices and is located in Sun Valley, Idaho. More

Sarah Wightman

Sarah Wightman

Sarah Wightman’s practice focuses on environmental, natural resources, and land use litigation and compliance, as well as product and environmental counseling. 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

EDF Renewable Energy, Inc.: 150 MW Desert Harvest Solar

We have counseled EDF Renewable Energy, Inc. on the permitting of the Desert Harvest Solar project in Riverside County, California. The 150 megawatt solar photovoltaic project was one of seven nationally significant solar and wind energy projects expedited as part of President Obama’s 2012 "We Can't Wait" initiative. More

Energy Facility Developer: California Utility-Scale Solar Projects

We provide utility-scale solar due diligence and permitting advice to one of the nation’s largest privately held companies. Projects have ranged from 20 to 350 megawatts. Our work has focused primarily on environmental impact reviews, endangered species, and land use entitlements from local governments and the Bureau of Land Management. More

Fortune 500 Retailer: Entitlement of 20-Acre Retail Site

We have acted as land use counsel to a Fortune 500 retail sales company for the permitting and environmental impact review of a 20-acre retail site in Pleasanton, California. More

Hawaii Forest Products: Permitting and Litigation

We represented a client who had provided a $30 million loan to finance the permitting, planning, and operation of a sustainable Koa harvesting operation on the Big Island in Hawaii. After the borrower failed in its first attempt to obtain environmental permits, the project was placed in jeopardy and, without the permits to allow harvesting, default on the loans was likely. More

Ogin, Inc.: Wind Repower Permitting and Land Use Due Diligence

We have provided California land use and natural resource counsel to Ogin, Inc. for the acquisition and repowering of multiple wind project sites with a new, shrouded turbine technology. 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

Ski Area Master Plan

Richard Allan represented a Pacific Northwest ski area, located on U.S. Forest Service land, in the approval and defense of a new Master Plan. The Forest Service Record of Decision approving the Master Plan was challenged by environmental groups in administrative proceedings and in U.S. District Court. Plaintiffs raised numerous challenges under NEPA, NFMA and the Ski Area Permitting Act. More

Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA): BLM Competitive Leasing Rule

On behalf of SEIA, Marten Law prepared comments on a proposed rule of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) that would radically alter the permitting process for wind and solar projects on BLM-administered lands by allowing BLM to establish a competitive process for wind and solar development across all public lands it administers. More

Utility Generating Facilities

Richard Allan represents an investor-owned utility in obtaining state authorizations for multiple phases of  two natural gas-fired power plants. His representation has involved preparation of numerous applications, defense of an administrative contested case, and negotiation of agreements for public facility improvements. More