National Environmental Policy
McKenna Long & Aldridge (MLA) attorneys have a strong and long track record handling major National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) matters. Known for thoughtful strategies that weave legal, policy, public affairs, and scientific components into comprehensive solutions, we bring our experience in endangered species, wildlife, wetlands, water and air quality, federal land management, coastal and offshore coordination and review, and energy regulatory requirements to bear on NEPA compliance matters. We work with the federal agencies responsible for NEPA compliance and then, if litigation is needed, work with the Department of Justice in the defense of agency NEPA documentation. Our relationships with officials within the affected departments and agencies, the Department of Justice and the President’s Council on Environmental Quality have proven crucial in ensuring a successful defense in NEPA compliance matters.
Our experience covers all aspects of the NEPA process:
- Impact assessment in project conception;
- Selection of lead agency;
- Preliminary and public impact statement scoping with agencies;
- Consultant selection and management;
- Provision of scientific and technical inputs;
- NGO relations;
- Review of draft environmental assessments (EAs) and environmental impact statements (EIS);
- Final EA/EIS review;
- Elevation of issues to higher governmental levels;
- Consultation with cooperating entities or agencies affected by the EA/EIS;
- Intervention in the event of legal challenge;
- Defending against preliminary injunctions; and
- Briefing, arguing, and (if necessary) appealing a NEPA challenge.
We currently represent project proponents in nationally visible NEPA matters including The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company’s effort to commercialize a genetically modified strain of grass. We are also currently handling a matter for BP Alternative Energy in connection with its efforts to locate a wind project on Lake Ontario in New York State.
Additional projects that the firm has provided NEPA advice include privatization of government-owned projects, power plants, airport projects, commercial development, highway construction projects and water projects.
- Counsels the 131-year-old Scotts Company, the worlds leading lawn and garden consumer products company, regarding approvals to market a genetically engineered strain of grass.
- Represents BP Alternative Energy in connection with its proposed 350 maximum megawatt wind turbine project to be sited on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River in Cape Vincent, New York.
- Represented the Scripps Research Institute, one of the country’s largest non-profit research organizations, in its project to construct a several hundred million dollar biomedical research facility in Florida. Environmental groups challenged an army corps of engineers dredge and fill permit issued for this high-profile project.
- Represented British Petroleum (BP) as an intervenor in Edwardsen v. United States Department of the Interior, 268 F.3D 781 (9th Cir. 2001), a Federal Ninth Circuit Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) and NEPA lawsuit brought by Greenpeace regarding oil development and production off the North Slope of Alaska in the Beaufort Sea (the Northstar project).
- Represented BP on the second major offshore oil project initially planned to be located in the Beaufort Sea. A Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) was to be prepared on the project.
- Represented Williams Pipeline Company, which had proposed to build an interstate fuel products pipeline that would cross four western states.
- Counseled three of the largest energy companies (electricity, oil and gas) on existing and contemplated NEPA suits through which NGOs seek to require federal agencies to consider potential climate impacts in their environmental impact statements on proposed energy projects.
- Provided NEPA counseling to BP on billion-dollar alternative options for bringing crude oil from the deep Gulf to shore.
- Represented the King Ranch of Texas for more than 10 years in ongoing NEPA counseling, impact analysis, and litigation involving various proposals by the Corps of Engineers to dump spoil dredged from the Laguna Madre on coastal shorelines of the Ranch.
- Addressed NEPA issues involving a proposed hotel, office, and shopping complex near the south entrance to the Grand Canyon National Park.
- Represented Public Service Company of New Mexico in NEPA counseling and litigation on several matters relating to route selection and construction of power transmission systems in New Mexico.
- November 7, 2012On November 6, 2012, a majority (53%) of California’s citizens voted against Proposition 37, a ballot initiative which would have required the labeling of certain genetically engineered foods.
- California's Proposition 37: Right-to-Know Initiative Would Require Labeling for "Genetically Engineered" FoodsOctober 1, 2012
- October 6, 2011