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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.


  • 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.


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 regularly advises clients on the environmental aspects of real estate and business transactions, including: due diligence; negotiation of indemnities, prospective purchaser agreements and insurance coverage; and development of strategies for remediation to facilitate cost-effective and protective site redevelopment. 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

Jessica K. Ferrell

Jessica K. Ferrell

Jessica Ferrell is a litigator with 14 years of courtroom and advisory experience. She has an extensive background in energy and environmental law and policy. More

Kevin T. Haroff

Kevin Haroff

Kevin Haroff has represented Fortune 500 corporations, governmental entities, and private citizens in civil litigation, regulatory issues, and alternative dispute resolution matters for more than 30 years. More

Jeff B. Kray

Jeff B. Kray

Jeff Kray is an environmental litigator. His 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 country. More

Bradley M. Marten

Bradley M. Marten

Brad Marten is the Managing Partner of Marten Law LLC, an environmental law firm he founded and has grown to 15 lawyers practicing in four states. He is consistently ranked by his peers as one of the nation’s top environmental lawyers. Brad is a former President of the American College of Environmental Lawyers, and a Board member of the Environmental Law Institute in Washington, DC. 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

Steve Odell


A top-tier litigator who has served in all three branches of the U.S. government, Steve has played a pivotal role in resolving some of the most complex and contentious issues in environmental, natural resources, and energy law in both the public and private sectors for more than 25 years.


Alexa M. 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 J. Wightman

Sarah Wightman

An environmental lawyer focusing on litigation, compliance, and risk management strategies for a wide array of clients—from Fortune 500 technology companies, to state governments, to local water systems—with particular emphasis on emerging contaminants, retail and consumer product issues, and related government and internal investigations.


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

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

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

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