Law Seminars International Presents: The Thirteenth Annual Intensive One-Day Seminar on

Featuring presentations on the most important compliance, litigation and policy developments today

January 15, 2016
Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, WA

Who Should Order This Homestudy

Attorneys, land use, real estate, and environmental professionals, consultants and governmental officials and regulatory staff

Why You Should Order

This workshop will feature presentations and discussions of the most important SEPA/NEPA compliance, litigation, and policy issues confronting land use and environmental professionals today. The program will include recent developments in both SEPA and NEPA law and will focus special attention on some controversial areas of the law where SEPA and NEPA issues are being argued and litigated, establishing precedent for practitioners working in other areas of the law. Another panel will discuss and debate the timely topic of the scope of environmental impact statements under NEPA and SEPA for proposed coal and oil export terminals, as well as the analysis of climate change impact under SEPA and NEPA.

The interdisciplinary nature of SEPA and NEPA, the complementary roles of a wide range of land use and environmental professionals, and the project and non-project contexts of SEPA/NEPA compliance will be ongoing themes of the seminar.

As in past seminars, there will be lively discussion, commentary, and exchanges of opinions.

~ Program Co-Chairs: Rodney L. Brown, Jr., Esq. of Cascadia Law Group PLLC, and Richard L. Settle, Esq. of Foster Pepper PLLC and Seattle University School of Law

What You Will Learn


Friday, January 15, 2016

8:00 am

Registration Opens

8:30 am

Introduction & Overview

Rodney L. Brown, Jr., Esq., Program Chair
Cascadia Law Group PLLC / Seattle, WA

Richard L. Settle, Esq., Program Co-Chair
Foster Pepper PLLC / Seattle, WA

8:45 am

Recent Case Law for SEPA and NEPA

Recent SEPA decisions from the courts

G. Richard Hill, Esq.
McCullough Hill Leary, PS / Seattle, WA

Update on NEPA case law and guidance, including climate change and other relevant cases

Owen L. Schmidt, Esq., Principal
Owen L. Schmidt LLC / Portland, OR

10:00 am

Converting Forestland: Tips and Traps

When conversions trigger SEPA or EIS requirements; resolving ambiguities between the role for local government and for the Department of Natural Resources and the need to comply with its rules

Cheryl Nielson, Esq., Assistant Attorney General
Washington State Office of the Attorney General / Olympia, WA

10:30 am


10:45 am

Marbled Murrelet: The Interplay Among SEPA/NEPA, Endangered Species Act, and Forest Practices Act

With the uptick in timber harvesting as the economy improves and the Marbled Murrelet going onto the endangered species list, what is the status of current law and federal/state administrative policy development? What are the emerging issues?

Wyatt F. Golding, Esq., Staff Attorney
Washington Forest Law Center / Seattle, WA

Elaine Louise Spencer, Esq.
Miller Nash Graham & Dunn PC / Seattle, WA

Martha Wehling, Esq., Assistant Attorney General, Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Division
Washington State Attorney General's Office / Olympia, WA

11:45 am

Lunch (on your own)

1:00 pm

SEPA and the Administrative Hearings Boards

How SEPA is being applied by the State's administrative boards

Susan Elizabeth Drummond, Esq.
Law Offices of Susan Elizabeth Drummond / Kirkland, WA

Thomas McDonald, Esq.
Cascadia Law Group PLLC / Olympia, WA

2:00 pm

Substantive SEPA Mandate

Puget Soundkeeper Alliance vs. State of Washington: Implications of the court's reliance on RCW 43.21C.030, which provides the "laws of the state of Washington shall be interpreted and administered in accordance with the policies set forth in [SEPA]"

Richard Settle, Esq., Program Co-Chair
Foster Pepper PLLC / Seattle, WA

2:30 pm


2:45 pm

Climate Change, Integration of SEPA & NEPA, and the Scope of Review: Lessons from the Coal and Oil Export Terminal Applications

Update on the rulings and reasoning in Columbia Riverkeeper vs. Tesoro-Savage Terminal decision

Alexandra Kennard Smith, Esq., Senior Port Counsel
Port of Seattle / Seattle, WA

Perspectives on the proper role of SEPA/NEPA review of fossil fuel impacts: the Obama Administration's Clean Power Plan

Erin Lisa Anderson, Esq.
Stoel Rives LLP / Seattle, WA

Jan Hasselman, Esq., Staff Attorney
Earthjustice / Seattle, WA

4:30 pm

Case Study on How Environmental Impact Statements Under NEPA Address Climate Impacts

Laura J. Watson, Esq., Assistant Attorney General
Washington State Office of the Attorney General / Olympia, WA

5:00 pm

Evaluations and Adjourn



Regular tuition for in person or webcast attendance for this program is $695 with a group rate of $520 each for two or more registrants from the same firm. For government employees, we offer a special rate of $465. For students, people in their job for less than a year, and public interest NGO's, our rate is $347.50. All rates include admission to all seminar sessions, food and beverages at breaks, and all course materials. Make checks payable to Law Seminars International.

Financial aid is available to those who qualify. Contact our office for more information.

Continuing Education Credits

Live credits: This program qualifies for 6.5 WA CLE credits. Upon request, we will apply for, or help you apply for, CLE credits in other states and other types of credits.


There is a $25 cancellation fee for Course Materials orders and $50 for Homestudy orders

Faculty Bios

Rodney L. Brown, Jr., Program Co-Chair, founding partner, Cascadia Law Group PLLC, permits projects under NEPA and SEPA and helps create and reform existing environmental regulatory systems, including MTCA, GMA, and the Regulatory Reform Act. He was on the Washington State Climate Action Team.

Richard L. Settle, Program Co-Chair, of counsel, Foster Pepper PLLC, and Professor of Law Emeritus, Seattle University School of Law, focuses on land use, environmental and municipal law; represents landowners, developers, and governmental entities; and is an expert witness and mediator. He is the author of two books and numerous articles on Washington land use and environmental law.

Erin L. Anderson, of counsel, Natural Resources and Land Use practice group, Stoel Rives LLP, advises clients in permitting, developing, constructing and operating major capital facilities, with a focus on energy generation and transmission facilities. She represents independent power producers and regulated utilities in site certification, environmental review, and operational compliance.

Susan E. Drummond, Law Offices of Susan Elizabeth Drummond, PLLC, works on municipal and land use issues, including drafting regulations and planning policies; assisting on permitting issues, and litigating related issues before administrative tribunals, and the superior, appellate, and federal courts.

Wyatt F. Golding, Staff Attorney, Washington Forest Law Center, focuses on the application of state and federal law to forestry on state and private land in the Pacific Northwest. Recent NEPA/SEPA cases include Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center v. Nat'l Marine Fisheries Service, United States District Court, N.D. of California; Seattle Audubon Soc'y v. Wash. State Department of Natural Resources.

Jan Hasselman, Staff Attorney, Earthjustice, focuses on national environmental issues including endangered species, public lands, pesticides and hydroelectric dams. He represents clients opposing the construction of coal export terminals in the Pacific Northwest.

G. Richard Hill, partner, McCullough Hill Leary, PS, specializes in the land use entitlement process. He helps private and public sector clients obtain governmental approvals for commercial, residential, educational, life sciences and recreational developments.

Thomas McDonald, partner, Cascadia Law Group PLLC, focuses on water resource management, water rights and water quality. Previously, he was Chair of the Pollution Control Hearings Board and Shorelines Hearings Board.

Cheryl Nielson, Assistant Attorney General in the Natural Resources Division of the Washington State Office of the Attorney General, specializes in cases involving the state's regulation of timber harvesting and other forest practices. She is a Solicitor General Appellate Advisor and has written for several law practice manuals on the topics of forest practices, enforcement of agency orders and the Equal Access to Justice Act.

Owen L. Schmidt is environmental consultant and principal for Owen L. Schmidt LLC. He is the author of NEPA Models and Case Lists. Previously, he acted as Senior Counsel with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Office of the General Counsel in Portland, OR, and as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney.

Alexandra K. Smith, Senior Port Counsel, Port of Seattle. She was previously with the Port of Tacoma where she was also in-house counsel on environmental matters. She is the Ports SEPA Responsible Official and implements a recently-adopted Port SEPA policy that includes evaluating greenhouse gas emissions and climate change impacts for Port projects undergoing SEPA review.

Elaine L. Spencer, Miller, Nash, Graham & Dunn, LLP, focuses on natural resource issues, including the effect of managed forests on native species, forest practice regulation, and the twin goals of maintaining economic viability of modern forestry while protecting environmental values.

Laura Watson is Senior Assistant Attorney General and Chief of the Ecology Division of the Washington State Attorney General's Office. Previously, she was a Deputy Solicitor General.

Martha F. Wehling, Assistant Attorney General, Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Division, Washington State Attorney Generals Office, represents WDFWs habitat program, and provides advice on SEPA, real estate, and enforcement issues. Previously, she represented clients in real estate, land use, natural resource, and ESA issues in private practice.