As a result of settlements between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and environmental groups, the number of species being considered for listing as threatened or endangered has increased exponentially in recent years. Moreover, regulators are interpreting longstanding water laws in new ways, using clean water standards as a protective device for resources, habitats and wildlife. Today, water quality also can include protection of species.
Troutman Sanders’ environmental lawyers advise our clients on the potential impact of new legislative developments and of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) on projects, particularly those related to wind power and mining operations. We also help clients keep their projects on schedule.
We have assisted clients in commenting on proposed listings and in evaluating the impact of such listings on regulatory programs. These include the development of water quality standards, Clean Water Act Section 402 and 404 permits, water withdrawal permits and air permits.
We advise clients in situations where there is federal involvement, leading to a Section 7 consultation, and where there is no federal involvement and our client is contemplating developing a Habitat Conservation Plan. We assist clients as they work with federal agencies to prepare biological assessments and we represent clients in informal and formal consultation and help them obtain incidental take permits. Our lawyers have also assisted in defending state permitting actions against ESA take claims brought by environmental groups.