Kevin Beaton represents industrial, municipal, and other clients on all aspects of NPDES wastewater and stormwater discharge permits under the Clean Water Act (CWA), and indirect discharge permits to publicly owned treatment works (POTWs). These matters include negotiating permit terms, defending and challenging agency permit decisions, providing compliance advice, and defending against agency and citizen enforcement actions. Kevin has assisted on the permitting of a number of mines in Idaho under both state and federal permitting requirements. Kevin frequently advises clients on contaminated properties and issues related to sale and cleanup of such properties. Kevin’s philosophy on practicing law is to work closely with clients and their technical consultants in providing strategic advice and resolving issues with agencies and third parties when possible.


National Law Center, George Washington University, J.D., 1983, with honors

Boston College, B.A., 1979, magna cum laude




  • Federal and state mine permitting
  • Negotiating the terms of NPDES discharge permit for industrial facilities, including semiconductor facilities, wood products facilities, pulp and paper mills, mine discharge permits, food processing facilities, metal manufacturing facilities, and publicly owned treatment works
  • Administrative appeals of NPDES permits issued to hard rock mine facilities, municipal discharge permits, pulp and paper facilities, and semiconductor facilities
  • Negotiating settlements of agency administrative and judicial enforcement actions against a variety of facilities, including hard rock mine facilities, municipal water treatment plants, construction sites, metals manufacturing facilities, tanning facilities and food processing facilities
  • Defending or negotiating settlements of CWA citizen suits against dairy facilities, food processing facilities and mining facilities
  • Negotiating cleanup of contaminated properties with federal and state agencies

Development of Water Quality Standards, and Other Regulations

Kevin has represented coalitions and individual industrial and utility clients in developing and negotiating water quality and ground water regulations, and other regulations and guidance in Idaho. In these efforts, Kevin often serves as the industrial representative on agency advisory committees for the development of water quality standards. Recent matters include:

  • Developing and negotiating Idaho’s human health water quality criteria
  • Developing and negotiating Idaho’s antidegradation statute and implementation rule
  • Developing and negotiating Idaho’s ground water statute and rules
  • Developing and negotiating Idaho’s solid waste rule
  • Litigation challenging EPA approval of Idaho’s antidegradation rule
  • Developing and negotiating Idaho IPDES Permit statute and implementing rules
  • Commenting on proposed TMDLs


Insights & Presentations

  • “Clean Water Act Update: Discharges to Groundwater Requiring a Federal Permit,” U.S. Courts Bench Bar Conference, October 23, 2020
  • “Hot Topics in Water Quality,” March 2014


  • American College of Environmental Lawyers, Fellow
  • Named by Best Lawyers® as Litigation—Environmental Law “Lawyer of the Year,” Boise, 2012, 2015, 2018, 2021, and 2024; Water Law “Lawyer of the Year,” Boise, 2016, 2020, and 2022; and Environmental Law “Lawyer of the Year,” Boise, 2011, 2015 and 2020
  • Included in The Best Lawyers in America® (Environmental Law, Litigation—Environmental, Mining Law, Water Law), 2005–2023
  • Selected as one of “America’s Leading Lawyers for Business” (Idaho) by Chambers USA (Natural Resources & Environment), 2006–present
  • Listed in Mountain States Super Lawyers® (Environmental, Energy & Natural Resources, Environmental Litigation), 2007–present
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