Beth S. Ginsberg
Beth Ginsberg's practice focuses on environmental, wildlife and natural resource litigation, permitting, and counseling for both public and private interests. Her clients include renewable and non-renewable energy producers, users, and exporters, industrial, manufacturing, and navigational interests, port authorities, cities and counties, and private landowners. Beth has nearly thirty years of experience in handling matters under all major federal and Washington state environmental and natural resources statutes. Beth was the former Senior Advisor to the Assistant Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and in that capacity she provided counsel on legislative initiatives, rulemakings, administrative reforms and other issues under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act. As an honors graduate at the Department of Justice, she represented EPA in rulemaking challenges and other actions under federal pollution control statutes. She also represented the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in wetlands prosecutions and defensive matters and defended federal facilities in environmental lawsuits.
Prior to joining Stoel Rives, Beth served as Senior Advisor to the Assistant Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1993-1995); and was with the U.S. Department of Justice, Honors Program, Lands and Natural Resources Division, Environmental Defense Section (1985-1988). She is a recipient of the Assistant Attorney General's Special Commendation for Outstanding Service.
- Millennium Bulk Terminals-Longview - Represent bulk storage and handling facility in efforts to permit construction of coal export facility on the Columbia River and obtain and defend associated infrastructure permits from federal, state and local agencies, including dredging, filling, and dock construction approvals from Corps of Engineers and associated NOAA Fisheries ESA consultation.
- Tesoro-Savage - Represent joint venture in permitting crude-by-rail infrastructure development at Port of Vancouver.
- Pacific Northwest Waterways Ass’n- NEPA and CWA litigation concerning Snake River maintenance dredging.
- Port of Portland - Ninth Circuit NEPA challenge to construction of third runway at Hillsboro Airport.
- A group of Pacific Northwest sponsor ports – District Court and Ninth Circuit challenges to the Army Corps of Engineers' plans to deepen and maintain the Columbia River under NEPA and ESA.
- Port of Seattle - District Court and Ninth Circuit challenges under the ESA, CWA and NEPA concerning construction of a third runway at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
Alternative Energy - Wind
- Columbia Energy Partners – NEPA, ESA and general environmental and natural resource permitting and litigation for eastern Oregon wind power project.
- Horizon Energy- NEPA, FLPMA litigation before the Interior Board of Permitting Appeals.
Alternative Energy - Hydro
- Northwest River Partners – Ongoing District Court and Ninth Circuit challenges to the ESA section 7 Biological Opinions issued for the Federal Columbia River Power System.
- Nevada Irrigation District in challenges to ESA section 7 consultation concerning hydropower and irrigation infrastructure on the Yuba River watershed.
- Nevada Irrigation District in FERC re-licensing proceedings concerning the Yuba-Bear hydroelectric project on the Yuba and Bear Rivers in northern California.
- PacifiCorp – Material fact challenges to FPA Section 18 prescriptions and proposed alternatives under the new Energy Policy Act hydro rules.
- PacifiCorp – FERC licensing proceedings, rehearing petitions and related Ninth Circuit appeal.
- A uranium mill - Title VI environmental justice lawsuit brought by the Spokane Tribe of Indians.
- A hydroelectric power company – Matter seeking damages and natural resources compensation resulting from dam failure that caused fish mortality.
Clean Air Act
- Ash Grove Cement Company - Challenge to promulgation of CAA MACT rules for Portland cement industry in D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Longview Fibre Paper and Packaging Company - Defend challenge to Ecology-issued Clean Air Act Permit.
- A ferroalloy smelter - Clean Air Act parallel proceedings enforcement action.
- A treatment, storage and disposal facility - Clean Air Act citizen suit.
Clean Water Act
- A group of trade associations in a challenge to EPA’s approvals of water quality standards for Washington State under the CWA and the ESA.
- A group of trade associations in a challenge to EPA’s approvals of Total Maximum Daily Loads for Oregon under the CWA and the ESA.
- British Petroleum - Challenge to NPDES permit issued to Cherry Point facility before Pollution Control Hearings Board. Appeal now pending in Washington State Court of Appeals, Div. II.
- Copper Development Association - Challenge to Washington Department of Ecology's industrial stormwater general permit.
- Northwest River Partners - Superior Court and appellate litigation involving Washington Department of Ecology's decision not to initiate rulemaking to amend water quality standard for total dissolved gas.
- Northwest Pulp and Paper Association – CWA and ESA challenges to EPA's approval of Oregon's compliance schedule rule.
- Blue Heron Paper Company – Oregon Court of Appeals challenge to CWA compliance schedule rule.
- International Paper Company – CWA challenge to Willamette River temperature TMDL.
- Ivory Homes - Representation of Utah's largest home builder in EPA-initiated CWA enforcement action.
- The Port of Bellingham – Defense of CWA stormwater citizen suit.
- SNS Silver Corp. – CERCLA contribution action involving the Bunker Hill site.
- King County - Defense of citizen suit alleging ESA, CWA, RCRA violations arising out of ownership and operation of Coal Creek Park.
- King County - Defense of citizen suit involving stormwater issues associated with Boeing Field.
- Northwest Pulp and Paper Association - District Court and Ninth Circuit CWA challenge brought by national environmental groups to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' operation of four lower Snake River dams.
- The Port of Portland - Clean Water Act wetlands citizens suit.
- The Northwest Pulp and Paper Association – District Court and Ninth Circuit ESA and CWA challenges to EPA's Columbia River Total Maximum Daily Load for dioxin.
- Longview Fibre Co. and Scott Paper Co. - Challenges to dioxin limits in Clean Water Act discharge permits.
- Gowan Company – FIFRA and ESA District Court and Ninth Circuit challenges to EPA's Interim Re-registration Eligibility Determination for various pesticides.
Hazardous and Solid Waste/Natural Resources Damages
- City Waterways Investments, Inc. – NRDA allocation regarding the Thea Foss Waterway.
- Chevron Corporation – MTCA cases involving former gas stations.
- Data I/O Corporation – MTCA case regarding a circuit board manufacturing operation.
- CalPortland Company (fka Glacier Northwest, Inc.) – MTCA suit involving contaminated Duwamish sediments.
- Ecology and Environment, Inc. - MTCA/CERCLA contribution action in Eastern Washington.
- CalPortland Company (fka Glacier Northwest, Inc.) - MTCA cost-recovery action brought by the City of Tacoma involving Thea-Foss waterway properties.
- King County, Washington - Class action tort lawsuit seeking damages resulting from operation of a municipal solid waste landfill.
- A uranium mill - Title VI environmental justice lawsuit brought by the Spokane Tribe of Indians.
- A Hawaiian hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal facility - Obtaining the requisite permits for a technologically innovative vitrification demonstration project.
- Benenson Corporation - Multi-party MTCA contribution action involving perchloroethylene releases.
- The Port of Tacoma - Four-month jury trial and subsequent Ninth Circuit appeal in a Superfund contribution action.
- The Port of Seattle - King County Superior Court condemnation jury trial involving contaminated property.
Civil and Criminal Enforcement Defense
- A pulp and paper company in a CAA MACT enforcement action brought by EPA.
- A Native corporation in a CWA oil spill enforcement action brought by EPA.
- A fertilizer manufacturer in a RCRA enforcement action brought by EPA.
- A sand and gravel company in a stormwater enforcement action brought by EPA.
- A regional homebuilder in enforcement proceedings brought by EPA for alleged stormwater violations.
- A cement manufacturer in enforcement proceedings brought by EPA for alleged stormwater violations.
- A carbon fibre manufacturer in EPA enforcement investigation under the CAA, CERCLA and EPCRA.
- Northwest EnviroService, Inc. - EPA Resource Conservation and Recovery Act administrative enforcement action.
- United Cook Inlet Driftnet Association - Challenge to NMFS' administration of Cook Inlet salmon fishery and Alaska Board of Fisheries commercial salmon regulations.
- The Coastal Conservation Association - Challenges to fishery management plans under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.
- Oceantrawl Inc. - Challenge to a limited entry plan established under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.
- Oregon TriMet – NEPA/ESA counseling regarding Willamette River Bridge crossing.
- CalPortland Company (fka Glacier Northwest, Inc.) - NEPA, ESA and related litigation advice for Maury Island sand and gravel mining project.
- Microsoft Corp. – Challenge to a state waste permit before the Pollution Control Hearings Board.
- ARCO Alaska, Inc. - Permitting action regarding oil and gas development on the North Slope.
- Northwest River Partners in NEPA litigation concerning Corps’ Cormorant Predation Management Plan.
- Pacific Northwest Waterways Association - NEPA/ESA permitting advice and litigation concerning Corps' Programmatic Sediment Management Plan and EIS for the lower Snake River.
- Washington State and Wyoming Snowmobile Associations - ESA and NEPA litigation involving challenge to Fish and Wildlife Services' designation of lynx critical habitat.
- Potlatch Corporation - Endangered Species Act section 7 challenge and related consultation to EPA's issuance of Potlatch's NPDES permit.
- Alaska Oil & Gas Association - ESA section 4 challenge to decision not to list Cook Inlet beluga whale.
- The Washington State Snowmobile Association - NEPA challenge involving a Forest Service decision allowing commercial leasing on federal lands.
- Longview Fibre Company - Challenge to the Oregon State Forester's administration of the Oregon Forest Practices Act.
- The Washington Forest Protection Association - Comprehensive challenge to the Forest Practices Act regulations.
- An Oregon landowner - A Fifth Amendment takings case involving public lands issues in the Court of Federal Claims.
Professional Honors & Activities
- Selected by Best Lawyers® as Litigation-Environmental Lawyer of the Year, Seattle, 2014 and 2016
- Listed in Best Lawyers in America© (currently: Environmental Law, Litigation-Environmental), 2007, 2009-2016
- Distinguished Service Award Honoree, Pacific Northwest Waterways Association, 2015
- Listed in Washington Super Lawyers® (Environmental Litigation, Environmental), 2003-2015
- Selected as one of the Top 50 Washington Women Lawyers, Super Lawyers®, 2009-2011
- Selected for inclusion in the International Who's Who of Environment Lawyers, 2004-2014
- Selected for inclusion in Who's Who Legal: USA – Environment, 2006-2013
- Selected as one of "America's Leading Lawyers for Business" (Washington) by Chambers USA (currently: Environment), 2006-2015
- Named a Mentor of the Year by the King County Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, 2010
- Vice Chair, Energy and Natural Resources Committee, 2007-2008; Chair, Awards Committee, 2006-2007; Section on Energy, Environment and Resources, American Bar Association
- Elected to Executive Committee, Land Use & Environmental Section, Washington State Bar Association, 2002-2005
- Co-Chair, Water Quality and Wetlands Committee, American Bar Association, 2001-2003
- Co-Chair, Annual Environmental Law Conference, American Bar Association, 1999-2001
- Vice Chair, Solid and Hazardous Waste Committee, 1996-1997
- Vice Chair, Annual Environmental Law Conference, American Bar Association, Keystone, Colorado, 1995
- Vice Chair, Water Quality Committee, 1991-1993
- Member, Washington State Bar Association
- Member, Seattle-King County Bar Association
- Member, District of Columbia Bar Association
- Program Co-Chair, Moderator and Speaker, Permitting Strategies for Large Controversial Projects, The Seminar Group, Oct. 2015
- Moderator, "Environmental Review of Large Infrastructure Projects," Environmental Law Institute Skills Seminar, Oct. 27, 2014
- Speaker, "Coal Train and Oil Terminal Cases: A Study in the Creative Pursuit of Environmental Goals," Law Seminars International: Clean Water and Stormwater, May 2014
- Speaker, "Scope of Impacts to be Studied Under NEPA vs. SEPA: Case Study of Environmental Impact Analysis and Issues for the Proposed Coal Export Terminals," Law Seminars International, SEPA & NEPA, Jan. 2014
- Speaker, "The Role of NEPA and State Environmental Review Laws," Law Seminars International, Energy Exports in the Northwest, Oct. 2013
- Speaker, "SEPA's Brave New World - What the Gateway Scoping Document Means to Ports," Washington Public Ports Association - Environmental Seminar, Sept. 2013
- Program Co-Chair, Fisheries and Hatcheries Conference, The Seminar Group, Sept. 2013
- Speaker, "Coal Export," 2013 Environmental and Land Use Law Section Midyear Meeting and Seminar, Washington State Bar Association Environmental and Land Use Law Section, May 2013
- Columbia River Update, 10th Annual Comprehensive Review of Hydropower in the Northwest, The Seminar Group, Oct. 2012
- Program Co-Chair, Fisheries and Hatcheries Conference, The Seminar Group, May 2012
- "Columbia River Update," Hydropower in the Northwest, The Seminar Group, Nov. 2011
- Program Co-Chair and Speaker, "Legal and Regulatory Framework/New Developments"; "Case Study: Federal Columbia River Power System," Fisheries and Hatcheries - Legal and Regulatory Frameworks, The Seminar Group, May 2011
- "Columbia River Update: The FCRPS Litigation," Hydropower in the Northwest, The Seminar Group, Nov. 2010
- Program Co-Chair and Speaker, "Legal and Regulatory Framework: New Developments," Fisheries and Hatcheries - Legal and Regulatory Frameworks, The Seminar Group, June 2010
- Program Co-Chair and Speaker, "Recent Environmental Regulatory Changes and their Impact on Navigation and River Commerce," The Mighty Columbia Conference, The Seminar Group, Oct. 2009
- Program Chair and Speaker, "Recent ESA Decisions and Implications," Fisheries and Hatcheries Conference, The Seminar Group, May 2009
- "Defending Stormwater Permit Enforcement Actions," Conference on Clean Water and Stormwater, Law Seminars International, June 2008
- "Federal Columbia River Power System 'ESA' Litigation: Where Are We And Where Are We Going?" 15th Annual Endangered Species Act Conference, The Seminar Group, Jan. 2008
- "Federal Columbia River Power System 'ESA' Litigation: Where Are We and Where Are We Going?" Pacific Northwest Waterways Association Annual Meeting, Oct. 2007
- "Federal Project Permitting: How to Build Defensible Records and Win Permit Appeals," Washington Public Ports Association Annual Environmental Seminar, Sept. 2007
- Speaker, "Recent Developments under the Endangered Species Act," Northwest Pulp and Paper Association, June 2007
- Speaker, "Intersection of Pesticides in NPDES Arena," Law Seminars International, Mar. 2007
- "The FCRPS Salmon Wars: Judge Redden's Decisions in NWF v. NMS and Their Regional Implications," Washington Society of Municipal and PUD Attorneys, Dec. 2006
- "Working through Enforcement Issues," The Seminar Group, Oct. 2006
- "Litigating Strategy Considerations for Federal Permitting Decisions," The Seminar Group, May 2006
- "Permitting and Litigation Hot Topics in Navigation Projects," American Association of Port Authorities, July 2005
- "Litigating Permit Appeals," Permitting Strategies, The Seminar Group, Mar. 2005
- "Consultation on EPA-Issued NPDES Permits," 12th Annual Endangered Species Act Conference, The Seminar Group, Jan. 2005
- "NEPA Litigation Update," NEPA/SEPA Compliance, Law Seminars, Inc., Jan. 2004
- "Enforcement Issues: Citizens Suits," Wetlands in Washington, Law Seminars, Inc., Sept. 2000
- "Beyond the ESA Inter-Agency MOA: Taking the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Water Act Over the Spillway," ABA Annual Conference on Environmental Law, Keystone, Colorado, Mar. 2000
- "Wetlands in Washington," Law Seminars, Inc., Nov. 1999
- "The Administration's Clean Water Act Initiative: Political Packaging or a Paradigm Shift?" ABA Annual Conference on Environmental Law, Keystone, Colorado, 1999
- "Citizen Suit Litigation," ABA Section of Natural Resources, Energy and Environmental Law Fall Meeting, Hilton Head, South Carolina, 1998
- "EPA's Recent Solid And Hazardous Waste Administrative Reforms: The Continuing Need For Legislative Fixes," Washington State Bar Association Conference on the Prognosis for Urban Growth Boundaries and Related Land Use/Environmental Issues, May 1997
- "What Every Practitioner Should Know About EPA's Recent RCRA and Other Regulatory Reforms," Law Education Institute and the Bureau of National Affairs, Environmental Law Conference, Vail, Colorado, Jan. 1997
- "Recent Experiences in Regulatory Reform," ABA Section of Natural Resources, Energy, and Environmental Law, 25th Annual Conference on Environmental Law, Keystone, Colorado, Mar. 1996
- "Regulatory Reform and Taking Legislative Proposals," American Law Institute-American Bar Association Environmental Law Institute, Washington, D.C., Feb. 1996
- Chair (2014), Board of Directors, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound
- Immediate Past Chair, Executive Committee Member (2015), Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound
- Former cooperating attorney, Northwest Women's Law Center
- Violinist, Seattle Philharmonic, 1993-1997
- League competitor, United States Tennis Association
- Contributing Author, "Enforcement: Sections 309 and 505," The Clean Water Act Handbook, 3rd ed., 2011
- Author, "Civil Judicial Enforcement," The Clean Water Act Handbook, 2nd ed., 2003
- Author, "Regulation of Recycling," Wiley's Environmental Law Update, 1997
- Author, "EPA's Project XL: A Paradigm for Promising Regulatory Reform," The Environmental Law Reporter, 1996
- Author, "The Supreme Court's Decision in Babbitt v. Sweet Home Chapter of Communities for a Great Oregon: A Clarion Call for Property Rights Advocates," The Environmental Law Reporter, Sept. 1995
- Contributing Author, The Clean Water Act Handbook, 1994
- State University of New York at Buffalo, J.D., 1985
Baldy Center for Law and Public Policy Fellowship
New York State Sea Grant Association Fellowship
- Northwestern University, B.A., 1982
Phi Beta Kappa
Print to Word
- District of Columbia
- New York
- U.S. District Courts for the District of Oregon, the Eastern and Western Districts of Washington, and the District of Columbia
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh and Federal Circuits
- Federal Court of Claims