Beth S. Ginsberg

Beth S. Ginsberg
Partner
Seattle, WA
P: 206.386.7581
Overview

About Beth

For more than thirty years, Beth has litigated natural resource, wildlife and environmental cases and counseled clients on the complexities of regulatory compliance and permitting issues under all major federal and state environmental statutes.  Beth focuses her practice on complex infrastructure projects, traditional and renewable energy resources, and industrial facilities at the cross roads of an evolving regulatory landscape.

As a former Department of Justice attorney and EPA Senior Policy Advisor, Beth is uniquely postured to assist clients in enforcement matters brought by EPA and state regulators, in defending citizen suits and in litigating federal environmental and natural resource cases of all kinds.  This insiders’ perspective affords her a level of judgment about how to “get the job done” efficiently and effectively. Clients value her pragmatism, intuition and clarity regarding paths to resolution.

Her successful approach is exemplified in engagements involving litigation challenging the construction of the third runway at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, the deepening of the Columbia River Navigation Channel, Snake River Maintenance Dredging, the on-going operation of the Federal Columbia River Power System, and the Deschutes River Irrigation Projects.

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.

Outside of the practice of law, Beth is a classical violinist, and a prior member of various community orchestras. She is also an avid tennis player and prior league competitor.

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Experience

Experience

Infrastructure Litigation and Permitting

  • 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.
  • Idaho Power- permitting and anticipated litigation concerning Boardman-to-Hemingway Electrical Transmission line siting and construction.
  • 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.
  • LS Power Equity Advisors in FERC relicensing proceedings

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 and Court of Appeals
  • British Petroleum- stormwater citizen suit defense 
  • 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.
  • Ivory Homes - Representation of Utah’s largest home builder in EPA-initiated CWA enforcement action.

Pesticides

  • Gowan Company – FIFRA and ESA District Court and Ninth Circuit challenges to EPA’s Interim Re-registration Eligibility Determination for various pesticides.

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 an EPA enforcement matter under the CAA, CERCLA and EPCRA.

Fisheries

  • United Cook Inlet Driftnet Association – Magnuson Act District Court and Ninth Circuit Litigation concerning NMFS’ administration of Cook Inlet salmon fishery and Alaska Board of Fisheries commercial salmon regulations.

Endangered Species Act/NEPA Litigation

  • Northwest River Partners in ESA and NEPA challenges to the on-going operation of the Federal Columbia River Power System
  • Deschutes Basin Irrigation Districts in ESA citizen suit challenging Central Oregon irrigation project effects on the Oregon Spotted Frog
  • Northwest River Partners in NEPA, Migratory Bird Treaty Act litigation concerning Corps’ Cormorant Predation Management Plan.
  • Pacific Northwest Waterways Association – NEPA/ESA/CWA permitting advice and litigation concerning Corps’ Programmatic Sediment Management Plan and EIS for the lower Snake River.
  • Washington State Snowmobile Ass’n in challenges to critical  habitat designation for Canada Lynx
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Honors

Honors & Activities

Professional Honors and Activities
  • Named by Best Lawyers® as Environmental Law "Lawyer of the Year," Seattle, 2017, and Litigation-Environmental "Lawyer of the Year," Seattle, 2014 and 2016
  • Included in The Best Lawyers in America© (currently: Environmental Law, Litigation-Environmental), 2007, 2009‑2017
  • Distinguished Service Award Honoree, Pacific Northwest Waterways Association, 2015
  • Recipient of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound Community Partner of the Year - 2015/2016
  • Named a Mentor of the Year by the King County Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, 2010
  • Selected as one of “America’s Leading Lawyers for Business” (Washington) by Chambers USA (currently: Environment), 2006‑2016
  • Past Chair/Vice Chair for various committees of American Bar Association Section on Energy and Environment and Resources,   including Water Quality and Wetlands, Solid and Hazardous Waste, and Annual Environmental Law Conference, Keystone.
  • Elected to Executive Committee, Land Use & Environmental Section, Washington State Bar Association, 2002‑2005
  • Listed in Washington Super Lawyers® (Environmental Litigation, Environmental), 2003‑2016
  • 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, 2006‑2016
Civic Activities
  • 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
  • Ambassador Board (2016), Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound
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Insights & Presentations

Insights & Presentations

  • 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
  • Contributing Author, “Enforcement: Sections 309 and 505,” The Clean Water Act Handbook, 3rd ed., 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
  • Author, “Civil Judicial Enforcement,” The Clean Water Act Handbook, 2nd ed., 2003 and 1994
  • 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



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