Water Resources

The Law of Water

As demand for clean, potable water increases around the world, the regulatory, environmental and financial challenges associated with water supply and consumption are becoming more acute — presenting both risk and opportunity. The practice of water law now requires a multidisciplinary regulatory and transactional approach across all economic sectors — an approach that challenges well-established laws and regulations. Companies, investors and utilities are turning to counsel for assistance in developing strategically customized solutions to a complexity of resource, development finance, infrastructure and water management issues.

Our water resources team is composed of professionals from both McGuireWoods LLP and our public affairs subsidiary, McGuireWoods Consulting LLC. Together team members represent clients in matters related to policy, corporate law, public finance, tax, infrastructure development, risk management, climate change, energy and environmental issues. Collectively our lawyers have decades of experience representing water and wastewater utilities, service companies, engineers, developers, and debt and equity financing interests in matters related to potable and reclaimed water, storm-water control, waste-water collection and treatment, infrastructure development and finance, clean technology, green infrastructure, environmental markets, and the energy-water nexus.

We combine and leverage both public- and private-sector water experience to focus on environmental and energy regulation, innovative projects, public-private partnerships and advanced technology investments, both domestically and internationally. During the past 20 years, our lawyers have represented clients nationwide, both large and small, from almost every sector of the water resources industry, including energy utilities, pulp and paper manufacturing, mining, transportation, electronics, telecommunications, petroleum, and food and beverages.

Water Quality and Supply

Our traditional water resources practice is divided into two main areas — water quality and water supply. As a testament to our depth of experience in water resources, we represent many local governments and industries throughout the United States on water-quality matters. On behalf of our municipal clients, we have played a major role in the development and implementation of water-quality programs in various states and the District of Columbia. Over the past decade, we have also played a role in the development of all major federal legislative and regulatory clean water initiatives affecting municipal dischargers.

Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) — We have advised clients on legislative, regulatory and litigation issues associated with federal and state TMDL programs, from impairment determinations and so-called “interim permitting” issues to the development and implementation of TMDLs. We have handled matters related to review and comment on state listing methodologies, guidance documents, impaired water lists and TMDLs. We have negotiated the language of individual TMDLs and National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits affected by TMDL considerations.

NPDES Permitting —We advise local governments nationwide on the full range of NPDES permitting issues. In addition to our work on behalf of individual communities, we have represented associations and informal groups of communities in shaping statewide NPDES permit regulations and policies, as well as in developing water quality standards programs that address combined sewer overflows, wet weather sanitary sewer overflows and stormwater. Our experience is comprehensive and includes participation on EPA’s Urban Wet Weather FACA Committee. For more than a decade, we have also served as general counsel to the national Wet Weather Partnership and played a role in the ongoing development of general permits in several mid-Atlantic states (e.g., for combined and sanitary collection systems, and for small municipal separate storm sewer systems under the phase II stormwater program.)

Enforcement Defense — We have extensive experience in defending local governments in administrative and judicial enforcement actions. We have negotiated orders, decrees and agreements with state and federal agencies, and third parties. Negotiation circumstances range from relatively minor allegations of noncompliance to more serious situations leading to injunctive relief and collection system and treatment projects worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Federal and State Grant Funding — At both the federal and state levels, our representation has led to securing individual appropriations for municipal clients. Depending upon client needs, these appropriations have come with or without local matching requirements. In Virginia, we successfully lobbied the legislature to create a statewide grants program for installation of nutrient removal technology at publicly owned treatment works (POTW).

Our water resources team has handled issues relating to water supply, regional planning, water rights and allocation, minimum instream flows and source water protection. We provide the full range of services needed to participate effectively in both the legislative arena and the rulemaking process, including analysis, advice, drafting, lobbying, preparation of comments and litigation, including judicial review of agency action. We also assist in every phase of the permit process and in defense of judicial and administrative enforcement actions, including citizen suits.

Water Risk Management

All businesses use water. For larger companies, water use can be a central operational and enterprise concern. Water risk management for such entities is synonymous with asset management. For example, we currently advise several energy utilities and transportation companies on Clean Water Act regulations regarding intake and the implications for asset controls. In addition to regulatory compliance counseling, we have advised and represented companies on water supply and asset sale agreements, water risk accounting and disclosures, water-related corporate and social responsibility policies, water efficiency improvements and wastewater management projects. We have also assisted private-sector entities with studying and investing in advanced water treatment technologies, executing capital upgrades for reduced water intake, and hedging water risk through use of weather derivative swaps.

Infrastructure Development and Finance

We have assisted public- and private-sector entities on an array of projects. Through McGuireWoods Consulting and McGuireWoods’ construction and public finance groups, we have represented utilities and developers in the procurement, financing, construction and operation of Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) retrofit and related capital projects, treatment plants, system privatizations, and biosolids energy recovery projects (including anaerobic digestion and gasification). We have acted as bond counsel to municipalities and underwriters, and are experienced in new market tax credits, qualifying energy conservation bonds, climate bonds and state green bank financing. We are currently advising a large POTW on deploying green infrastructure projects throughout its system territory. We represent several companies investigating the development of desalinization projects in developing countries, and advise various entities on small hydro and hydrokinetic power plant development and regulation.

Environmental Markets and Sustainable Water Investments

Solutions to environmental challenges frequently involve use of market-based mechanisms. In the water industry, companies and investment firms increasingly monetize the value of their water management efforts through the registration, tracking and trading of available intangible assets. McGuireWoods has helped develop water quality nutrient trading programs in Virginia and throughout the mid-Atlantic, advising companies and investment firms in the registration, tracking, and sale and financing of land use credits, emission credits and renewable energy credits. We also help clients take advantage of emerging investment opportunities in green infrastructure and clean energy projects, including third-party project funding models.

Several water resources team members collaborate with the firm’s CleanTech Capital Group which focuses on helping venture capital and growth equity funds identify and invest in clean technologies. We represent several funds focused on water resource investments around the world and wastewater treatment technologies, including desalinization.

Water 148253920

CONTACTS

Jonathan P. Rak Partner T: +1 703 712 5411
Results 1-10 of 10
Representative Matter

Industry associations

Representation of several industry associations and intervened in a federal water quality ordinance litigation. The court ultimately struck down the water regulations (TMDL) on the grounds that the EPA exceeded its statutory authority under the Clean Water Act. In doing so, the court relied on arguments asserted by the firm that were not raised by the state’s Attorney General who was representing the plaintiffs.
Representative Matter

Fortune 500 company

Advising a Fortune 500 company on a variety of issues with respect to EPA’s Cluster Rule for the Pulp and Paper Industry.
Representative Matter

Industrial clients

Negotiating long-term interjurisdictional water supply contracts as well as water contracts between industrial clients and local water suppliers.
Representative Matter

Major East Coast city

Represented major east coast city before EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board and effectively challenged NPDES permit conditions.
Representative Matter

Maryland local governments

Advising a group of local governments in Maryland in the development of a statewide general permit to address sanitary sewer overflows.
Representative Matter

Municipalities

Lobbied effectively to Congress during 1996 on behalf of two municipal clients for a $40 million federal grant authorization for their sewer rehabilitation projects.  
Representative Matter

National Urban Wet Weather Federal Advisory Committee

Participating on behalf of the CSO Partnership in EPA’s National Urban Wet Weather Federal Advisory Committee.
Representative Matter

State agencies

Working with several state agencies on behalf of clients to develop reasonable and cost-effective water quality standards, as well as challenging and defending state water quality standards before state agencies and in the courts.
Representative Matter

State/Federal criminal investigations

Representing clients in connection with state/federal criminal investigations involving alleged NPDES permit violations and other Clean Water Act Criminal allegations.
Representative Matter

Virginia municipalities

Developing, introducing, and lobbying during the 1997 session of the Virginia General Assembly for statewide nutrient control legislation on behalf of a group of 37 Virginia municipalities.
Results 1-10 of 10
Brad Alexander Brad L. Alexander
Sr. Advisor, Georgia Gov. Relations McGuireWoods Consulting LLC
100 Peachtree Street, N.W.
Suite 2200
Atlanta, GA 30303-1931

T: +1 404 443 5811
F: +1 404 443 5682
vCard
Thomas William Bruno Thomas William Bruno
Associate
Gateway Plaza
800 East Canal Street
Richmond, VA 23219-3916

T: +1 804 775 1853
F: +1 804 440 7731
vCard
Preston Bryant L. Preston Bryant Jr.
Sr. VP, Infrastructure and Economic Development McGuireWoods Consulting LLC
Gateway Plaza
800 East Canal Street
Richmond, VA 23219-3916

T: +1 804 775 1923
F: +1 804 698 2235
vCard
Timothy Callahan Timothy P. Callahan
Partner
77 West Wacker Drive
Suite 4100
Chicago, IL 60601-1818

T: +1 312 750 3536
F: +1 312 558 4379
vCard
Charles Case Charles D. Case
Partner
434 Fayetteville Street
Suite 2600
Raleigh, NC 27601

T: +1 919 755 6698
F: +1 919 775 6675
vCard
Ann Neil Cosby M. Ann Neil Cosby
Counsel
Gateway Plaza
800 East Canal Street
Richmond, VA 23219-3916

T: +1 804 775 7737
F: +1 804 698 2011
vCard
Holly Deshields Holly B. Deshields
Sr. VP, State Gov. Relations McGuireWoods Consulting LLC
816 Congress Avenue
Suite 940
Austin, TX 78701-2442

T: +1 512 617 4510
F: +1 512 472 3068
vCard
Kimly Gianoutsos Kimly Vu Gianoutsos
Associate
Tower Two-Sixty
260 Forbes Avenue
Suite 1800
Pittsburgh, PA 15222-3142

T: +1 412 667 7933
F: +1 412 667 7999
vCard
M. Melissa Glassman M. Melissa Glassman
Partner
1750 Tysons Boulevard
Suite 1800
Tysons, VA 22102-4215

T: +1 703 712 5351
F: +1 703 712 5228
vCard
Matthew Hall Matthew Hall
Partner
11 Pilgrim Street
London EC4V 6RN
United Kingdom

rue des Colonies 56 - box 3
1000 Brussels

T: +44 20 7632 1611
F: +44 20 7632 1638
vCard

T:+32 2 629 42 34

Ashley H. Harrison Ashley H. Harrison
Senior Counsel
Gateway Plaza
800 East Canal Street
Richmond, VA 23219-3916

T: +1 804 775 1370
F: +1 804 698 2240
vCard
Steven J Keeler Steven J. Keeler
Partner
Court Square Building
310 Fourth Street, N.E.
Suite 300
Charlottesville, VA 22902-1288

1750 Tysons Boulevard
Suite 1800
Tysons, VA 22102-4215

T: +1 434 977 2512
F: +1 434 980 2259
vCard

T:+1 703 712 5138
F: +1 434 980 2259

Brian J Kelly Brian J. Kelly
Partner
500 East Pratt Street
Suite 1000
Baltimore, MD 21202-3169

T: +1 410 659 4465
F: +1 410 659 4480
vCard
Kurt J Krueger Kurt J. Krueger
Partner
Court Square Building
310 Fourth Street, N.E.
Suite 300
Charlottesville, VA 22902-1288

T: +1 434 977 2521
F: +1 434 980 2261
vCard
John M Lain John M. Lain
Senior Counsel
Gateway Plaza
800 East Canal Street
Richmond, VA 23219-3916

T: +1 804 775 4381
F: +1 804 698 2097
vCard
Dale Mullen Dale G. Mullen
Partner
Gateway Plaza
800 East Canal Street
Richmond, VA 23219-3916

T: +1 804 775 4710
F: +1 804 698 2098
vCard
Dana P Palmer Dana P. Palmer
Senior Counsel
1800 Century Park East
8th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90067-1501

T: +1 310 956 3445
F: +1 310 956 3121
vCard
Jonathan P Rak Jonathan P. Rak
Partner
1750 Tysons Boulevard
Suite 1800
Tysons, VA 22102-4215

T: +1 703 712 5411
F: +1 703 712 5231
vCard
Neil Rust Neil W. Rust
Partner
1800 Century Park East
8th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90067-1501

T: +1 310 315 8240
F: +1 310 956 3106
vCard
Anne Curtis Saunders Anne Curtis Saunders
Associate
Gateway Plaza
800 East Canal Street
Richmond, VA 23219-3916

T: +1 804 775 4397
F: +1 804 698 2197
vCard
Daniel K Slone Daniel K. Slone
Partner
Gateway Plaza
800 East Canal Street
Richmond, VA 23219-3916

T: +1 804 775 1041
F: +1 804 698 2175
vCard
Heather Nixon Stevenson Heather Nixon Stevenson
Counsel
Gateway Plaza
800 East Canal Street
Richmond, VA 23219-3916

T: +1 804 775 1380
F: +1 804 698 2241
vCard
Results 1-8 of 8
Event

Ebb and Flow: Navigating Construction Claims for Water Utility Providers

November 15, 2017
Complimentary Webinar
Event

Building for the Future

Today's Top Issues in Infrastructure and Public-Private Partnerships

October 17, 2017
Chicago, IL
Event

Tax Benefits for Infrastructure Projects

April 25, 2017
Complimentary Webinar
Event

2017 Infrastructure Outlook

March 2, 2017
Complimentary Webinar
Event

Virginia Public Procurement Issues: What You Should Know

April 5, 2016
Complimentary Webinar
Speaking Engagement

Hot Topics in Clean Water Law

January 22, 2014
NACWA Web Seminar
Event

Water and Wetlands Update – Winter 2013

December 3, 2013
Richmond, VA
Results 1-8 of 8
Results 1-20 of 25
Show All
Legal Alert

2016 Water Outlook

January 27, 2016
Legal Alert

Clean Water Environmental Issues for 2015

February 5, 2015
Legal Alert

Environment 2014: Water Issues

February 24, 2014
Legal Alert

After Delay, EPA Issues Diesel Fracking Guidance

February 13, 2014
Legal Alert

Like Drinking from a Fire Hose

Public and Private Utilities are Left with an Unlikely Hydrant Dilemma

December 4, 2013
Results 1-20 of 25