Environmental Law

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Balancing the needs of our clients with continually changing environmental, land and natural resources regulations and changing marketplace conditions requires a thorough knowledge of our clients’ businesses, business trends and commitment to finding cost-effective and creative solutions.

Lindquist & Vennum's attorneys have national experience with federal, state and local government agencies’ permitting and regulatory programs, as well as environmental litigation matters, on behalf of clients located throughout the Midwest and Rocky Mountain regions.

Attorneys in our group represent and advise clients in business transactions and litigation matters, including environmental due diligence in business acquisitions, sales and financings, as well as environmental review and permitting matters for a wide range of commercial, industrial and other enterprises.

Experience

Representative NEPA/MEPA Matters

  • Serving as Special Environmental Counsel to the Jefferson Parkway Public Highway Authority (JPPHA) for environmental compliance issues required for the design and construction of the Jefferson Parkway segment of Metropolitan Denver beltway, including federal NEPA and state-level NEPA-like environmental review, and Clean Water Act Section 404 permitting, as well as Endangered Species Act compliance.
  • Representing the Water Supply and Storage Company (WSSC), a northern Colorado mutual ditch company, as plaintiff in US District Court litigation challenging US Forest Service (i) decision to issue Permit with conditions for major trans-mountain water diversion and water storage facilities pursuant to the Federal Land Policy Management Act (FLPMA) and (ii) selection of Preferred Alternative in Final EIS prepared for FLPMA Permit.
  • Represented Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Inc. (Tri-State) in negotiations with Western Area Power Association regarding NEPA compliance for proposed 1,000-mile Eastern Plains Transmission Project.
  • Advising a client on applicability of MEPA to proposed expansion project, specifically whether the client could demonstrate to the Responsible Government Unit (RGU) that the project did not fall within the mandatory EAW category under the statute, including an analysis of whether the project should be viewed as a “phased” or “connected” action in light of other proposed actions.

Representative Clean Air and Water Matters

  • Representing a sugar beet processing cooperative in settling violation of stormwater and solid waste permits with the State of Minnesota, while negotiating new permits and corrective actions.
  • Representing the WSSC as plaintiff in US District Court litigation challenging US Forest Service (i) decision to issue Permit with conditions for major trans-mountain water diversion and water storage facilities pursuant to FLPMA, and (ii) selection of Preferred Alternative in Final EIS prepared for FLPMA Permit.
  • Representing a client in selling a company that provides oilfield, energy infrastructure and heavy civil construction services in North Dakota, while concurrently negotiating closure with the state of North Dakota of impacted soils and groundwater on property.
  • Representing Tri-State before Kansas Supreme Court in litigation filed by Sierra Club challenging Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s issuance of an air permit for the Holcomb Generating Station, and in defending lawsuit filed by Sierra Club federal citizen suit alleging violation of Clean Air Act visibility and opacity regulations at Craig Station.
  • Representing developers in EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers enforcement cases that involve disputes over the agencies’ Clean Water Act jurisdiction, negotiations of the terms and conditions of Consent Decrees and Administrative Compliance Orders, as well as the amount of civil penalties, including providing legal strategy concerning the development of alternatives analysis in complex Clean Water Act Section 404 permit applications.
  • Representing developers in negotiations with Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources, Department of Natural Resources and local soil and water conservation districts regarding scope of Clean Water Act Section 404 authority and delineation of wetlands.

Representative Underground Storage Tank Matters

  • Representing the City and County of Denver in actions to recover costs and seek corrective actions against owners of leaking USTs on airport property.
  • Navigating developers and site owners through Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s Petroleum Remediation Program, including evaluating potential vapor intrusion issues and obtaining reimbursement through the Minnesota Department of Commerce’s Petroleum Tank Release Cleanup Fund, to address and ultimately receive site closure for leaking USTs.

Representative Municipal, Local, or State Government Matters

  • Representing the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District in land use matters.
  • Representing the City and County of Denver in state and federal court lawsuits seeking recovery of costs for clean up of contamination at the former Stapleton International Airport from responsible parties.
  • Representing a county government client in Colorado challenging the federal government’s decision to allow disposal of radioactive wastes, which the county prohibits, at a hazardous and solid waste landfill. We are advising the client on all aspects of Colorado’s Hazardous Waste Act and Colorado’s radiation control provisions, including the state permitting process and applicable local land use laws.
  • Representing land owners in Western Wisconsin in connection with frac sand mine developments.
  • Representing the Board of Directors of the Jefferson Parkway Public Highway Authority, which Board includes elected representatives from the City of Arvada, Colorado, Jefferson County, Colorado, and the City and County of Broomfield, Colorado, for environmental compliance issues required for the design and construction of the Jefferson Parkway segment of Metropolitan Denver beltway.
  • Representing the Northwest Parkway Public Highway Authority and E-470 Public Highway Authority as Special Environmental Counsel to provide environmental counsel related to NEPA and other federal state statutes for segments of the Metropolitan Denver beltway.
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