About Ariel

Ariel Stavitsky is an associate in Stoel Rives’ Environment, Land Use and Natural Resources group, with focuses in environmental and natural resource-related litigation, project permitting, and regulatory compliance counseling. She advises and advocates for clients across multiple industries, including energy generation, natural resource production, and manufacturing.

Prior to joining Stoel Rives, Ariel was a summer associate at the firm (2016) and a law clerk for the Oregon Department of Justice, General Counsel Division, Natural Resources Section (2015). She served as law clerk (2017–2018) and judicial extern (2016) to the Honorable Magistrate Judge John V. Acosta of the U. S. District Court, District of Oregon; and as judicial extern for the Honorable Circuit Judge Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (2016).

Before attending law school, Ariel worked in communications and as an environmental consultant specializing in due diligence, risk assessment, and compliance. She now draws on that experience to help clients thoughtfully and proactively solve complex environmental issues.

Ariel is also dedicated to improving equity and access to justice. She maintains an active pro bono practice; is a member of the Women in Environment, Portland Mentoring Committee; and serves as a coach to the Jefferson High School Mock Trial Team.

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Environmental and Natural Resource Litigation

Represents diverse client base in environmental, natural resource, and related subject matter in all stages of administrative, state, and federal litigation.

Representative matters include:

  • Represented fishing trade association in Ninth Circuit appeal involving fishery management plan issued pursuant to the Magnuson-Steven Fishery Conservation and Management Act.
  • Represented seismic exploration and energy infrastructure clients in multiple Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) consistency certification appeals before the Secretary of Commerce.
  • Defended public utility and mining company in state court against wrongful death suit stemming from mining accident.
  • Defended project proponent in Washington state court challenge to solar project on agricultural lands.
  • Assisted in defending various clients (including a public port, a landfill facility, and commercial shellfish hatchery) against citizen suits brought under the Clean Water Act (CWA).  
  • Assisted in representing mining client in challenge to its mineral prospecting on national forest lands, involving National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and federal lands issues.  
  • Assisted in multiple environmental insurance disputes in federal district court.  
  • Pro bono representation of asylum seekers in federal immigration proceedings and of Native American tribal members in case involving native artifact repatriation case before the Alaska Supreme Court.  

Environmental and Natural Resource Permitting

Assists clients in obtaining and defending permits, licenses, and other government approvals; managing complex permitting timelines; and effectively engaging with regulators and other project stakeholders throughout the permitting processes.

Specific experience in CWA Section 401 certification and Section 404 and state removal-fill authorizations; CZMA consistency certification, NEPA review and ESA consultation, solid and hazardous waste permitting, and local land use authorizations.

State and Federal Regulatory Counseling, Due Diligence, and Enforcement Defense

Provides regulatory compliance counseling, risk assessment, and enforcement defense under various federal environmental laws including the CWA, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), and analogous state laws.

Performs environmental due diligence in connection with real estate, corporate, and natural resource transactions and advises clients on environmental provisions in transaction agreements and insurance provisions.

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Honors & Activities

Professional Honors & Activities

  • Included in Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America (Litigation – Environmental), 2022
  • Selected as an “Emerging Leader” by Environmental Law Institute’s Emerging Leaders Initiative, 2021
  • Recipient, Stoel Rives LLP Andrew Guy Pro Bono Award, 2020
  • Order of the Coif, University of Oregon School of Law, Class of 2017
  • Bowerman Fellow, University of Oregon School of Law, Environmental and Natural Resources Law Center, Energy Law and Policy Project, 2015–2017
  • Executive Editor, Oregon Law Review, 2016–2017; Staff Editor, 2015–2016
  • Laird Kirkpatrick Book Prize Recipient, Top Student in Evidence, 2015
  • Excellence in Written Advocacy Award Recipient, Top Appellate Brief, 2015
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Insights & Presentations

Insights & Presentations

  • Author, “Uncharted Waters: Environmental Justice in Federal and State Regulation,” Corporate Counsel, Aug. 16, 2021
  • Author, “The Rising Tide of Environmental Justice and Preparing for the Next Wave,” Corporate Counsel, June 23, 2021
  • Moderator, “Oregon’s Cap and Reduce Program:  what’s on the GHG Horizon?,” Northwest Environmental Business Council (NEBC), Business & The Environment CONFERENCE · EXPO, Dec. 8, 2020
  • Presenter, “Preparing for PFAS Regulations in the Pacific NW,” Women in Environment, Summer Tech Talk, Aug. 27, 2020
  • New Executive Order Directs Agencies to Employ Emergency Authority to Expedite Infrastructure and Other Civil Projects,” Stoel Rives legal alert, June 8, 2020
  • Presenter and Co-Author, “Bald and Golden Eagle Act Prohibitions and Permits,” Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation: Endangered Species and Other Wildlife; Denver, CO; Nov. 2019
  • MSHA Announces Reinstatement of 2017 Obama-Era Rule on Workforce Examinations,” Mineral Law Blog, Stoel Rives LLP, Oct. 3, 2019
  • SCOTUS Rejects National Park Service’s Attempt to Regulate River in Alaskan Preserve,” Oregon Real Estate and Land Use Digest, Oregon State Bar, May 2019
  • “Lessons and Strategies from Oregon’s Would-be Voluntary Renewable Energy Tariff,” Environmental and Natural Resources Law Center, University of Oregon School of Law, Aug. 2017
  • “When Less is More: An Energy Efficiency Set-Aside as a Leakage Mitigation Strategy Under the Clean Power Plan,” Environmental and Natural Resources Law Center, University of Oregon School of Law, Aug. 2016

Related News & Publications

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