About Aleava

Aleava Sayre is a partner in Stoel Rives’ Environment, Land Use & Natural Resources group who focuses her practice on environmental law, mining law and litigation arising in the regulatory and real estate context. She counsels clients in environmental issues arising under federal, state and local laws that relate to project development, administrative challenges or proceedings, and litigation. Aleava assists mining clients in all stages of mineral exploration, development, operations and closure, as well as in the areas of environmental compliance, environmental permitting and environmental review.

Before joining Stoel Rives, Aleava was an attorney at Stinson Leonard Street LLP. After law school, she was a law clerk for the Honorable Harriet Lansing of the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

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  • Environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Minnesota Environmental Policy Act (MEPA).
  • Coordination with environmental, engineering and other technical consultants to develop and integrate robust technical analyses and reports into environmental review, environmental permitting, and litigation.
  • Compliance and permitting under the Clean Water Act, Minnesota’s Water Pollution Control Act, Minnesota’s Water Law, and other applicable laws relating to water quality, water discharge, wetlands, stormwater and water appropriation.
  • Compliance and permitting for air emissions, hazardous waste, and other permitting associated with project development and operations.
  • Evaluation and resolution of potential liability under Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) or Minnesota Environmental Response and Liability Act (MERLA).
  • Aligning project development activities, environmental review, and permitting for regulated industries such as mining, railroads and landfills.


  • Acquiring mineral tenure for federal, state and private mineral interests.
  • Assembling federal, state and private lands necessary for the successful permitting and operation of a mineral development project.
  • Preparing federal mineral lease applications for filing with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
  • Navigating federal and state permitting and leasing requirements for mineral exploration and mining operations.
  • Representing clients in negotiations with the U.S. Forest Service, BLM, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and other federal and state agencies with jurisdiction over mining.
  • Advising clients with respect to federal and state land exchanges associated with mineral exploration and mineral development.
  • Obtaining access to federal, state and private lands for purposes of mineral exploration, mineral development, and environmental baseline studies.
  • Assisting clients with legal issues and risk analyses associated with conceptual studies, prefeasibility studies, and other technical studies and reports.
  • Conducting due diligence related to mining transactions or investments, including evaluation of mineral tenure, surface interests, and regulatory compliance.
  • Protecting outstanding and reserved mineral rights.
  • Resolving legal disputes related to mineral rights arising under leases or other contractual agreements.
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Honors & Activities

Professional Honors & Activities

  • Selected as a Minnesota Lawyer Up & Coming Attorney, 2014
  • American Bar Association, Section of Environment, Energy and Resources - Mining and Mineral Extraction Committee, former Vice-Chair of Membership, Co-Chair, 2018
  • Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation (RMMLF)
    • Mineral Law Newsletter, Reporter
  • Minnesota State Bar Association, Environmental, Natural Resources, and Energy Law Section, former President
  • Minnesota Women Lawyers

Civic Activities

  • Women’s Debate Institute, Board of Directors, 2007-present
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Insights & Presentations

Insights & Presentations

  • Presenter, “Land and Legal Issues for Miners: Securing Mineral Rights on Federal Acquired Lands,” American Exploration & Mining Association’s 124th Annual Meeting, 2018
  • Co-Presenter, “New Mining in Old Districts - Is it as easy as it sounds? Lessons Learned from the Great Lakes Iron Ranges,” American Exploration & Mining Association’s 124th Annual Meeting, 2018
  • Co-Author, “Minnesota Court of Appeals Holds that Silica Sand Mining Operations is not a ‘New Project’ Subject to Setback Permitting Requirements,” Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation (RMMLF), Mineral Law Newsletter, Number 4, 2015
  • Co-Presenter, “Great Lakes Copper-Nickel Mining: Projects, Opportunities and Obstacles,” American Exploration & Mining Association, 2015
  • Co-Author, “Minnesota Court of Appeals Concludes EIS Is Not Required for Expansion of Taconite Mine,” “Minnesota Court of Appeals Holds that State’s Sale of a State Mining Lease Does Not Constitute a Project Triggering Environmental Review,” and “Minnesota District Court Refuses to Dismiss Claims that Water Appropriation Permitting Violates the Minnesota Environmental Rights Act and the Public Trust Doctrine,” Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation (RMMLF), Mineral Law Newsletter, 2014
  • Co-Author, “United States Forest Service Issues Draft EIS for Federal Hardrock Mineral Prospecting in the Superior National Forest,” and “Minnesota Enacts New Legislation Streamlining State Environmental Review and Permitting for Projects,” Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation (RMMLF), Mineral Law Newsletter, 2011
  • Co-Presenter, “Stormwater and Environmental Enforcement,” Minnesota Trucking Association, 2010
  • Presenter, “A Clean Shot: Complying with MPCA’s New Industrial Stormwater Permit,” Minnesota Trucking Association, 2010
  • Co-Author, “Minnesota Legislature Declines to Pass New Mining Legislation” and “The Perfect Storm: A New Permitting Requirement and Increased Enforcement for Industrial Stormwater Run-Off,” Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation (RMMLF), Mineral Law Newsletter, Number 3, 2009
  • Co-Author, “Minnesota Court of Appeals Hears Oral Argument in Minnesota Steel Case,” Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation (RMMLF), Mineral Law Newsletter, Number 3, 2009
  • Co-Author, “New Interest in Non-Ferrous Mining Triggers State and Federal Environmental Reviews,” Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation (RMMLF), Mineral Law Newsletter, Number 1, 2009
  • Presenter, “What’s Next? MPCA’s New Multi-Sector Stormwater Permit Program,” Minnesota Regional Railroads Conference, 2008
  • Co-Author, “Notes & Trends: Environmental Law – Clean Water Act; TMDLs,” Bench & Bar of Minnesota, May/June 2007

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