Overview

About Veronica

Veronica Keithley specializes in helping clients wade through the murky waters of environmental regulation for NPDES permitting, water quality, stormwater, wastewater, and wetlands. Having extensive skills in finding practical legal solutions to complex environmental matters, she advises clients on environmental permitting and regulatory compliance, and defends clients in enforcement proceedings and litigation, including citizen suits under the Clean Water Act.

Veronica works extensively with a wide range of clients in Washington and Alaska, including industrial, transportation, commodity, energy, and resource development companies, as well as ports and dam operators. She provides counsel on environmental issues related to operations, construction, and development projects, focusing on water issues.

Clients turn to Veronica for her strong grasp of environmental law influenced by her science and environmental consulting background. With undergraduate and graduate degrees in forestry and environmental science, she brings deep understanding of the environmental issues and legal matters her clients face.

A member of a fifth generation oil and gas family from Oklahoma, she also has extensive knowledge of complex large-scale development projects. Prior to becoming an attorney, she worked for over a decade as an environmental scientist and project management consultant to energy and natural resource companies. In this role, she served as on-site project manager on oil and gas, mining, land development, and timber projects, often living in the communities to work directly with local project teams, municipalities, and stakeholders. She was inspired to become a lawyer after she saw firsthand how legal solutions must be integrated into project development and implementation for the project to succeed.

Veronica is recognized as a legal authority on the Clean Water Act and is a frequent presenter on the topic, including at the Northwest Hydropower Association’s 2021 Hydro Camp Annual Conference and the Seminar Group’s 2021 Mighty Columbia Conference.

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Experience

Experience

  • Defended more than two dozen facilities in federal courts against Clean Water Act citizen suits, including:
    • Food production, processing, and distribution facilities
    • Marine terminals
    • Recycling and manufacturing facilities
    • Fuels distributors
    • Washington public ports 
  • Advised industrial facilities on federal and state wastewater permitting and compliance, including energy development company and food production and processing facilities in Washington and Alaska. 
  • Defended industrial facilities in enforcement actions regarding stormwater and wastewater permitting compliance. 
  • Represented a construction and restoration project in challenging an administrative order regarding construction stormwater permitting and compliance. 
  • Represented a company seeking to obtain federal and state permits to construct a large retail facility and in related litigation. 
  • Represented a company seeking to obtain federal, state, and local permits to develop a coal export terminal and in related litigation.
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Honors

Honors & Activities

  • Included in Best Lawyers®: Ones to Watch in America (Environmental Law, Natural Resources Law), 2023
  • Association of Washington Businesses, Water Quality Committee
  • American Bar Association, Vice Chair of Mining and Mineral Extraction Committee, Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources
  • Alaska Association of Professional Landmen
  • Society of American Foresters
  • Anchorage Association of Women Lawyers
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Insights & Presentations

Insights & Presentations

  • “Introduction to Clean Water Act Permits,” Business & The Environment Conference, NEBC Virtual Event, December 1, 2021
  • “Case Law Update,Mighty Columbia, The Seminar Group, 2021
  • Future of EPA’s Rule on State Water Quality Certification of Federal Permits,” POWER magazine, 2021
  • “Legal and Policy Roundup,” 2021 Hydro Camp Annual Conference, webcast, NWHA, 2021
  • “The Impact of Third-Party Lawsuits” (Featured Plenary Session), Managing Stormwater in Washington, Northwest Environmental Business Council, 2020
  • “Permitting Basics – Overview of Legal Requirements,” Permitting Strategies in the Northwest, The Seminar Group, 2019
  • “Mining and Mineral Extraction” (editor and author), Chapter 18, The Year in Review, ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, 2019
  • “The Mighty Columbia – Case Law Update,” Mighty Columbia Seminar, Portland, OR, 2018



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