Law Seminars International Presents:

The Fifteenth Annual Intensive One-Day Seminar on


Today's most important compliance, litigation and policy developments for land use and environmental professionals

January 10, 2018

Seattle, WA
(or anyplace you may be via webcast!)

Download PDF Brochure
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Program Overview

Who Should Order

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

Why You Should Order

The seminar brings you important information on legislative, judicial, and administrative developments in SEPA and NEPA law during the past year. Speakers from a wide range of perspectives will address the most recent SEPA/NEPA compliance, litigation, and policy issues confronting land use and environmental professionals today.

These special topics will include how Trump Administration and recent Washington State legislation may speed up the EIS process; how to study greenhouse gas impacts after the Trump Administration's repeal of climate guidance and Ecology's withdrawal of its internal guidance, and the decisions issued in recent litigation; the increasing use of substantive SEPA by the courts and state and local governments; and the nuances of deciding when there is an "action" for purposes of SEPA review.

Throughout the program, there will be lively discussion, commentary, and exchanges of ideas and opinions. We hope you will join us.

~ Rodney L. Brown, Jr., Esq. of Cascadia Law Group and Patrick J. Schneider, Esq. of Foster Pepper PLLC, Program Co-Chairs

What You Will Learn

  • ~ Annual SEPA/NEPA legal update
  • ~ Climate change as one of the Governor's top priorities: Greenhouse gas emissions and SEPA/NEPA
  • ~ "Substantive" SEPA provisons: The potential effects of recent cases and amendments to Seattle's SEPA housing policy
  • ~ When is there an action for purposes of SEPA review
  • ~ Options for speeding up environmental review

What Attendees Said

  • ~ "Excellent faculty - great audience interaction"
  • ~ " Very informative - especially the tips peppered through each talk."
  • ~ "Enjoyed the topic of SEPA appeal process and ways to make it better."
  • ~ "Supplemental materials useful and will be great resource for later"
  • ~ "Some other conferences focus so much on networking that they lack content, but LSI always puts on very informational programs."
  • ~ "Pretty fascinating stuff; I'll definitely be back"

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

8:00 am

Registration Opens

8:30 am

Introduction & Overview

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

Patrick J. Schneider, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Foster Pepper PLLC / Seattle, WA

8:45 am

Annual SEPA/NEPA Legal Update

Recent NEPA cases and federal administrative policy changes

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

A former Regional Administrator's insights into how the Trump Administration policy and budgetary changes will affect EPA operations in the Pacific Northwest

Dennis McLerran, Esq.
Cascadia Law Group PLLC / Seattle, WA

10:15 am


10:30 am

Addressing Climate Change as one of the Governor's Top Priorities: Greenhouse Gas Emissions and SEPA/NEPA

Strategies for dealing with the absence of guidance at both the federal and state levels

Jay P. Derr, Esq.
Van Ness Feldman LLP / Seattle, WA

Brett VandenHeuvel, Esq. , Executive Director & Riverkeeper
Columbia Riverkeeper / Hood River, OR

Laura J. Watson, Esq. , Senior Assistant Attorney General
Washington State Attorney General's Office / Olympia, WA

12:00 pm

Lunch (on your own)

1:15 pm

Substantive SEPA

The potential effects of recent cases

Thomas J. Young, Esq. , Assistant Attorney General, Ecology Division
Washington State Attorney General's Office / Olympia, WA

Amendments to Seattle's SEPA housing policy

Steven J. Gillespie, Esq.
Foster Pepper PLLC / Seattle, WA

2:15 pm

When is there an Action for Purposes of SEPA Review

Perspectives on the Paine Field and SODO Arena cases

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

James C. Carmody, Esq.
Meyer Fluegge & Tenney PS / Yakima, WA

3:15 pm


3:30 pm

Speeding up Environmental Review

Technical constraints and options

Mark Johnson, PLA , Northwest Director of Community Development
Environmental Science Associates / Seattle, WA

Legal constraints and options

Deborah L. Cade, Esq. , Managing Assistant Attorney General
Washington State Attorney General's Office / Olympia, WA

Case study of what Sound Transit is trying to do to speed up its project delivery; strategies that seen to work and ones that don't

Perry Weinberg, Esq. , Director, Senior Legal Counsel
Sound Transit Office of Environmental Affairs & Sustainability / Seattle, WA

5:00 pm

Evaluations and Adjourn

Faculty Bios

Rodney L. Brown, Jr., Rodney L. Brown, Jr., Program Co-Chair, founder Cascadia Law Group, focuses on natural resources, transportation megaprojects, energy and other environmental and natural resource issues. He was the principal author of Washington's Superfund law and Model Toxics Control Act and is named in Best Lawyers and Washington Law and Politics Super Lawyers.

Patrick J. Schneider, Patrick J. Schneider, Program Co-Chair, is a member at Foster Pepper PLLC. He assists private companies, public entities and landowners in negotiating local and state regulatory processes. He was lead land use attorney for Seattle, as well as a senior land use attorney for King County, and was one of the drafters of the Land Use Petition Act.

Deborah L. Cade is a Managing Assistant Attorney General in the Transportation and Public Construction Division of the Washington State Attorney General's Office and is Chief Environmental Counsel to the Washington State Department of Transportation.

James C. Carmody, James C. Carmody, at Meyer Fluegge & Tenney PS, has come to be regarded as one of the leading land use and environmental attorneys in the State of Washington. His professional experience is in business, corporate, real estate, and land use/environmental planning.

Jay P. Derr, Jay P. Derr, partner at Van Ness Feldman LLP, guides both public and private sector clients to progress their projects through to completion. He balances various factors and considerations to successfully negotiate the appropriate scope of SEPA and NEPA environmental review and mitigation.

Steven J. Gillespie, Steven J. Gillespie, member at Foster Pepper PLLC, helps private and public clients obtain and defend land use entitlements, obtain master plan approvals as well as project-level permits. He also litigates land use, environmental, and real estate matters.

G. Richard Hill, G. Richard Hill, is a named partner at McCullough Hill Leary PS. His practice emphasizes the land use entitlement process throughout Western Washington. He assists private and public sector clients in obtaining governmental approvals for commercial, residential, educational, life sciences and recreational developments.

Mark Johnson, PLA, Mark Johnson, PLA, is Northwest Director of Community Development for Environmental Science Associates (ESA). He helps clients plan, design, permit, and implement their planning and development projects.

Dennis McLerran, Dennis McLerran, Of Counsel at Cascadia Law Group PLLC, formerly was the EPA Region 10 Administrator for the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. He now serves on the Leadership Council of the Puget Sound Partnership, and as Board Member of the US arm of the Stockholm Environment Institute.

Owen L. Schmidt Owen L. Schmidt is an environmental consultant and principal of Owen L Schmidt LLC. He formerly served as Senior Counsel with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the General Counsel, in Portland, Oregon, where he advised the Forest Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and other USDA agencies.

Brett VandenHeuvel, Brett VandenHeuvel, Executive Director of Columbia Riverkeeper, has litigated cases challenging illegal pollution discharge, LNG terminal land use approvals, and failure to disclose public information.

Laura J. Watson, Laura J. Watson, Assistant Attorney General and Section Manager with the Ecology Division of the Washington State Office of the Attorney General's Office, represents the Department of Ecology on climate change, shorelines, air quality, water quality and oil spills.

Perry Weinberg, Director of Environmental Affairs & Sustainability at Sound Transit, where he also is Senior Legal Counsel for environmental matters and serves as the agency's SEPA Responsible Official. His office has responsibility for environmental review & permitting; compliance oversight for construction activities and facilities; and the agency's sustainability program and ISO 14001-certified Environmental & Sustainability Management System.

Thomas J. Young Thomas J. Young is senior counsel with the Ecology Division at the Washington State Attorney General's Office, and manages the Environmental Quality section, responsible for representing Ecology's spills, water quality, air quality, and shorelands programs..

Continuing Education Credits

Law Seminars International is a State Bar of Washington approved MCLE provider and State Bar of Oregon approved MCLE provider. This program qualifies for 6.75 Washington MCLE credits and 6.75 Oregon MCLE credits. Upon request, we will apply for, or help you apply for, CLE credits in other states and other types of credits.

Replay Options

Video Replays allow you to time-shift your content. The streaming and Vodcast options have navigation tools and search capabilities that allow you to quickly find the portions most important to you. The Vodcast option also allows you to plug a flashdrive into your laptop and make effective use of in-flight plane time.

Audio Podcasts are perfect for making more effective use of the time you spend commuting.

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