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, complex permitting, and regulatory counseling. She advises and advocates for clients across multiple industries, including energy generation, natural resource production, mining, and manufacturing.

After graduating first in her law school class, Ariel served as judicial law clerk to the Honorable John V. Acosta of the U.S. District Court, District of Oregon. As a law student, she worked for the Oregon Department of Justice, General Counsel Division, Natural Resources Section, and as judicial extern for the Honorable Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Before her legal career, Ariel worked in communications and as an environmental consultant specializing in due diligence, risk assessment, and compliance. She now draws on that practical experience to help clients proactively solve complex environmental issues.

Ariel is a leader in Stoel Rives’ environmental justice work, positioning clients to navigate emerging requirements and implement environmental justice principles for healthy businesses and communities. She also maintains an active pro bono practice; serves on the Oregon State Bar’s Energy, Telecom, and Utility Law Section Executive Committee; and volunteers as a coach to the Jefferson High School Mock Trial Team.

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Environmental and Natural Resource Permitting

Assists clients in obtaining and defending permits and other government approvals by providing legal and practical guidance from initial scoping to appeals; manages complex permitting timelines; and effectively engages with regulators and other project stakeholders throughout the permitting processes.

Specific experience in Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council (EFSC) and Washington Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council (EFSEC) permitting, CWA Section 401 certification, CZMA consistency certification, NEPA review and ESA consultation, solid and hazardous waste permitting, and local land use authorizations.

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:

  • Defense of project proponent in Washington state court challenge to solar project on agricultural lands.
  • Obtained precedential Oregon Statewide Planning Goal 4 exception and conditional use permit for development of solar project on forestlands.
  • Obtained Washington EFSEC site certificate for solar project utilizing Council’s novel “streamlined” application and permitting process.
  • Representation of fishing trade association in Ninth Circuit appeal involving fishery management plan issued pursuant to the Magnuson-Steven Fishery Conservation and Management Act.
  • Representation of seismic exploration and energy infrastructure clients in multiple Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) consistency certification appeals before the Secretary of Commerce.
  • Defense of public utility and mining company in state court against wrongful death suit stemming from mining accident.
  • Appealed Occupational Safety and Health Administration citation against tribal health provider stemming from crisis management during Covid-19 pandemic.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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), 2022–2024
  • Executive Committee, Energy Telecom, and Utility Law Section, Oregon State Bar, 2023
  • Selected as an “Emerging Leader” by Environmental Law Institute’s Emerging Leaders Initiative, 2021–2022
  • Recipient, Stoel Rives LLP Andrew Guy Pro Bono Award, 2020, 2023
  • 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

  • Presenter, “Outreach, Equity, and Engagement in Stormwater Planning,” Managing Stormwater in Oregon, Northwest Environmental Business Council (NEBC), June 14, 2023
  • Speaker, “Implementing Environmental Justice: Considerations and Strategies,” Business & The Environment CONFERENCE · EXPO, NEBC, December 7, 2022
  • Moderator, “Environmental Justice: How are Agencies Responding?” Business & The Environment CONFERENCE · EXPO, NEBC, December 7, 2022
  • MSHA Announces New Initiative to Enforce Silica Dust Standards,” Mineral Law Blog, Stoel Rives LLP, June 13, 2022
  • Author, “Oregon Joins California in Passing Environmental Justice (EJ) Legislation to Create EJ Mapping Tool,” Stoel Rives Legal Update, April 5, 2022
  • Moderator, “Environmental Justice: Healthy Businesses and Healthy Communities,” Business & The Environment CONFERENCE · EXPO, NEBC, December 1, 2021
  • Co-author, “Charting the Course to Implement Environmental Justice Through Corporate Sustainability,” Corporate Counsel, October 18, 2021
  • Co-author, “Uncharted Waters: Environmental Justice in Federal and State Regulation,” Corporate Counsel, August 16, 2021
  • Co-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?,” Business & The Environment CONFERENCE · EXPO, NEBC, December 8, 2020
  • Presenter, “Preparing for PFAS Regulations in the Pacific NW,” Women in Environment, Summer Tech Talk, August 27, 2020
  • New Executive Order Directs Agencies to Employ Emergency Authority to Expedite Infrastructure and Other Civil Projects,” Stoel Rives Legal Update, 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, November 2019
  • MSHA Announces Reinstatement of 2017 Obama-Era Rule on Workforce Examinations,” Mineral Law Blog, Stoel Rives LLP, October 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, August 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, August 2016

Related News & Publications

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