Constructing, expanding, and modifying operations, or changing property use, can trigger complex permitting statutes, regulations, and agency processes that can be confusing to navigate.  During the course of review, issues may arise such as land use compatibility, air and water impacts, species protection, aesthetics, traffic volume, and climate change.  Successfully traversing these issues means maintaining your development schedule and achieving your project objectives.

Our permitting attorneys bring together years of permitting experience and industry knowledge to help you navigate the maze of regulatory reviews to obtain permits in a timely fashion and impose only appropriate, reasonable compliance obligations.  Some of our team members are former agency employees, engineers, or scientists and bring these valuable experiences to your development team. With your development team, we will identify the authorizations required and the agencies or oversight bodies involved, review project schedules, and simplify application materials. Our attorneys negotiate permit conditions, draft permit language to ease implementation, and represent you before agencies, at hearings, and at public approval meetings.

Our Services

  • Permit application, project management, and permit negotiation
  • Permit appeals
  • Implementation and compliance with permit terms
  • Conservation plans and mitigation strategies
  • Natural resource mitigation banks

Our stellar reputation in environmental law combined with community leadership has fostered a respectful relationship with regulators, public officials, and other stakeholders. In some limited situations, local, state, or regional agencies retain our team as special counsel, confirming the respect and reputation we’ve earned through our permitting work. 

Permitting Litigation

Some projects cannot avoid challenge from local or national environmental groups, neighborhood groups, labor unions, or project competitors.  We provide strategic, proactive counsel on how best to develop an administrative record that can withstand challenge and litigation. When an appeal is initiated, our attorneys work to minimize delay and to ensure that the ultimate permit conditions are reasonable. 

California Permitting

Permitting projects in California can be particularly challenging.  Many local governments write their own regulations that layer complexity on top of state and federal reviews.  The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) can present significant obstacles for clients, and a substantial number of projects are challenged by local community groups. Our CEQA attorneys have deep experience handling these issues and strong relationships with agencies throughout California.


  • Provided environmental advice and real estate counsel to oil and gas companies in connection with the Alaska LNG project. These producers of North Slope natural gas collaborated with the State of Alaska in project permitting and environmental assessment, right-of way access, and property acquisition work for an 800-mile natural gas pipeline running from the North Slope to a liquefied natural gas export facility in Cook Inlet, Alaska.
  • Represent Pacific Northwest Waterways Association (PNWA) in litigation concerning the Corps of Engineers’ maintenance dredge of the lower Snake River, home to the lower Snake River hydroelectric power facilities and dams. Earth Justice, on behalf of a number of environmental groups and the Nez Perce Tribe, brought an unsuccessful motion to enjoin the dredging under the Endangered Species Act, CWA and NEPA. The court denied the injunction and allowed completion of the work. 
  • Millennium Bulk Terminals Longview (MBTL) is attempting to convert a former aluminum plant and 400+ acre brownfield site on the Columbia River into the first major coal export facility on the West Coast. We are advising MBTL on permitting, citizen suits, environmental analysis, appeals and site cleanup work related to the redevelopment. Multiple federal and state agencies, community stakeholders and local officials are involved in permitting, compliance and finalizing site cleanup requirements.
  • Representing Northwest Innovation Works in connection with permitting and development of three natural gas to methanol plants proposed for locations in Oregon and Washington. The plants will manufacture methanol from natural gas for export to Asia. We are assisting with state and local permits, including air, land use, stormwater, shoreline and other environmental permits, as well as all other aspects of project development.

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