Find Lawyers in Portland, Oregon for Water Law
Michael Campbell is a partner with nearly 30 years of experience helping industrial and municipal clients obtain water quality permits and find solutions to regulatory problems related to water quality. His practice includes National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), Underground Injection Control (UIC), and state wastewater and stormwater discharge permits, Clean Water Act (CWA) section 404 and state fill permits, CWA section 401 certifications, and the defense of enforcement ac...
David Filippi is a partner of Stoel Rives who practices in the areas of natural resources, environmental and land use law, concentrating his practice on water rights and water quality, fish and wildlife law, hydropower relicensing, and project facility siting and permitting. David has been closely involved in the development and implementation of numerous Endangered Species Act compliance strategies on behalf of both public and private clients. His experience includes section 7 consultations ...
Jim Kincaid focuses his practice on environmental and natural resources law and administrative practice and procedure, with an emphasis on matters related to the federal Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, and Oregon’s water pollution control laws. He represents clients in permitting, enforcement, and proceedings for contested cases before state and federal agencies and in litigation brought by citizens under the Clean Water Act. In addition, Mr. Kincaid has developed special e...
Jan is Senior Counsel with Tonkon Torp’s Water Law and Environmental & Natural Resources Practice Groups. She represents clients in a variety of water and natural-resource-related matters, including obtaining, transferring, and protecting water rights; addressing water conservation, distribution, policy, and management; and using and protecting both groundwater and surface water. Jan is considered one of the foremost water law specialists in Oregon and is nationally-recognized as a ...
Water Law Definition
Water use law practice starts at the fundamental level with the rights of owners of property abutting a surface water, i.e. riparian owners, to use water without unreasonably interfering with the rights of other riparian owners. This can involve both withdrawing and using water or diverting the flow of surface water. The withdrawal of groundwater is also regulated where necessary to avoid overuse of aquifers. A body of state statutes and regulations regulates certain uses of water, such as transfers of water from one river basin to another, withdrawal of groundwater from overused aquifers, impoundment of water, and construction of wells. In addition, the Federal Safe Water Drinking Act regulates the treatment of water by water supply systems.
Water pollution law practice is an extraordinarily complex area of common law and regulatory programs. It can involve areas of common law such as nuisance, trespass, and negligence, but more often it involves an interwoven and overlapping network of federal and state statutes and regulations. A partial list includes state laws regulating surface water discharges from point sources; sedimentation and erosion; stormwater runoff; land uses in nutrient-sensitive waters and water supply watersheds; and sources of groundwater pollution. Federal regulatory programs include regulation of wetlands and construction in navigable waters and establishment of total maximum daily loads in highly polluted surface water bodies.
Clients in this area of practice include local governments, utilities, private developers, and industries seeking to build or expand water supply and waste treatment facilities, or engaging in large land development projects involving wetlands, stormwater controls, and water-dependent uses such as docks and marinas.
Representation of such clients frequently involves compliance counseling to obtain agency permits, and sometimes includes administrative litigation when the agency denies approval or when another person challenges an approval. Water law practice also can involve litigation in court, sometimes in the form of appeals of agency decisions, penalties or orders and sometimes private party claims based on nuisance, negligence, trespass, interference with riparian rights, or citizens’ suits to address alleged violations of regulatory requirements.
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