About Merissa

Merissa Moeller advises clients on natural resources, water law, environmental, and land use matters, applying her diverse experience representing businesses and local governments, state natural resources agencies, an interstate land use planning commission, and the courts. With that broad policy perspective, Merissa strives to ground legal challenges in the real world, to deliver practical solutions for clients.

Merissa’s water, land use, and natural resources practice has included regulatory and permitting work on behalf of municipal water utilities, irrigation districts, wineries, the timber industry, and renewable energy facilities. She has advised clients on permitting for major infrastructure projects, water rights, and water quality permitting and certifications. As a litigator, she has represented clients in state and federal disputes over endangered species and water and other natural resources.

During law school, Merissa worked on behalf of Oregon’s natural resource agencies with the Oregon Department of Justice and as a legal extern for the Columbia River Gorge Commission. Merissa also served as a judicial clerk at the Oregon Supreme Court and Oregon Court of Appeals for the Honorable Lynn Nakamoto and Honorable Roger DeHoog.

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  • Represented prospective mine in state and federal permitting to remediate historical contamination and restore mine operations and in related defense of Clean Water Act citizen suit.
  • Represented major hydroelectric facility in two-state water quality certification proceedings under section 401 of the Clean Water Act, required for federal relicensing.
  • Counseled municipal and industrial water users to achieve long-term water supply planning and water quality goals.
  • Advised potential property buyers and lenders regarding water rights associated with winery and other agricultural properties, as part of due diligence review.
  • Represented irrigation district and forestry company in state water rights adjudication.
  • Worked with wind and solar energy developers to obtain siting permits from Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council.
  • Represented rural and urban developers in Oregon land use proceedings, including asserting and defending local appeals and drafting appellate briefs before the Land Use Board of Appeals.
  • Defended industrial clients against state environmental enforcement, successfully negotiating settlements and administrative penalty reductions.
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Honors & Activities

Professional Honors & Activities

  • Member, Women in Environment, Professional Development Committee
  • Member, Owen M. Panner American Inn of Court
  • Member, Environmental and Natural Resources Section and Real Estate and Land Use Section, Oregon State Bar

Civic Activities

  • Volunteer climbing instructor, Mazamas mountaineering club
  • Volunteer appellate moot court judge, Lewis & Clark Law School
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Insights & Presentations

Insights & Presentations

  • “Water Law 101: An Overview of Water Rights in Oregon,” 27th Annual Oregon Water Law Conference, The Seminar Group, Portland, Oregon, Nov. 8, 2018
  • “POTUS Undoes WOTUS, on to SCOTUS” (co-author), E-Outlook, Environmental & Natural Resources Section, Oregon State Bar, May 2017
  • “Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area” (co-author), Wash. State Bar Ass’n, Real Property Deskbook, 2016

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