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Nossaman's Environment and Land Use Practice Group Once Again Named Practice Group Of The Year By Law360

02/01/2018 Law360

Nossaman's Environment and Land Use Practice Group was profiled in Law360 as a result of being named as an  “Environmental Practice Group of the Year” for 2017 - the Group was also honored in 2016.  The article noted that over the past year the Group has “helped its clients move forward with major developments and protected them during litigation” and represented “Arizona in its efforts to build a $1.8 billion highway [and] Kern County Water Agency on an $18 billion water project in California.”

The article highlighted  the Group’s collaborative style as well as its deep subject matter expertise on matters ranging from “securing environmental permits and defending the merits of projects, [and] handling regulatory matters including work on the Endangered Species Act and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act.” 

Practice Chair Paul Weiland commented that the group is “well equipped to handle a company’s dual litigation and project development needs.”  He added that the Firm does “a lot of project development, but a lot of project development involves litigation…so whether we are working for public agencies…or we are working for private developers, being able to offer the set of capabilities that will take them from an idea on the drawing board to getting it built involves the need to have both of those.”

Seattle partner Linda Larson discussed her win in the Ninth Circuit on an important CERCLA appeal for Asarco, where the “appeals court overturned a lower court and agreed with the mining company that the three-year limitations period was triggered only when liability for the required response cost was resolved.  Asarco was attempting to recover part of $99 million in cleanup costs expended to remediate a Superfund site in Montana.”

Ms. Larson commented that “The Ninth Circuit had never considered the question before.  They set the precedent of ... you have to look very carefully at what the terms of a consent decree or settlement agreement is to determine whether or not there is a judicially approved settlement that arises to the standard in [CERCLA Section 113].”  With the win, Asarco will have the opportunity to argue before a lower court that it deserves compensation.

The article touted the cross-office staffing of the firm’s work for the American Wind Energy Association and its members with permitting for wind power projects, noting that the group can handle both permitting matters such as preparing habitat conservation plans and incidental take permits and defense of those permits in litigation.

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