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Environmental Review and Permitting

Arnold & Porter helps public and private entities investing in major infrastructure projects to navigate through the thicket of applicable environmental laws and administrative processes in virtually every sector—including energy, power generation, transportation, commercial development, real estate, environmental infrastructure, and brownfields development. Our team draws on decades of experience in leadership positions in key federal and state agencies to plan for, secure and defend environmental permits. We have a well-established reputation for our work under both federal and state environmental review regimes (e.g., NEPA, SEQRA and CEQA), as well as all environmental review and permitting requirements. Knowing what will work, and what won't, allows us to be innovative and efficient in devising comprehensive strategies to see projects through from beginning to end, and to produce results that withstand legal challenge.

» Environmental Impact Review in Real Estate Transactions—A Practical Guidance® Guidance Note by Matthew Douglas

Experience Highlights

  • Kosher Food Manufacturer in negotiation and administrative challenge to State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit and pre-treatment requirements for Significant Indirect User program based upon Water Quality Based Limits.
  • Contract Operator of R&D Center in counseling and regulatory support for its in-house legal and technical team during negotiations with EPA concerning development and implementation of novel Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System permit.
  • Multiple property owners and developers in litigation, counseling and advocacy before local government agencies under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) on projects ranging from solar energy development, wind energy facilities and wind turbine sites, shopping center construction, and large-scale residential development. Obtained decisions after trials (1) invalidating a local ordinance that restricted wind energy development and (2) barring new development that would impede wind access to an existing wind energy site.
  • Multinational mining company regarding permitting of major proposed mining operation in Alaska, including NEPA, Clean Water Act, and ESA issues.
  • Electric utility in providing legal advice regarding permit modifications for wastewater and cooling water intake structures for multiple electric generating stations.
  • Multiple chemical manufacturers in providing legal advice regarding ongoing compliance, revision and renewal of air, water and hazardous waste permits.
  • BNSF in preparing a habitat conservation plan related to a permit allowing the take of grizzly bears incidental to railroad operations along the right of way from Shelby, MT to Whitefish, MT. This work involved negotiating with the US Fish & Wildlife Service, the US Forest Service, the National Park Service, the Montana Department of Fish Wildlife & Parks, and the Wildlife Division of the Blackfeet Nation.
  • Major international pharmaceutical client before New Jersey Office of Administrative Law in challenging agency-initiated changes to terms and conditions in wastewater discharge permit and in all aspects of negotiating settlement involving multimedia compliance/permit modifications for wastewater, stormwater and treated remediation effluent at R&D center.
  • Oil and transportation companies engaged in exploration, production and storage of crude oil in enforcement actions involving oil spills into state and federal jurisdictional waters, and negotiation with EPA over compliance, revisions and penalties relating to Facility Response Plans and Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure Plans.
  • Freight railroad across Alaska in NEPA review and federal permitting process.