Our water resources team is composed of professionals from both McGuireWoods LLP and our public affairs subsidiary, McGuireWoods Consulting LLC. Collectively, we have decades of experience representing water and waste-water utilities, service companies, engineers, developers, and debt and equity financing interests in matters related to public water supplies and treatment, inter-basin transfers of water and similar allocations; potable and reclaimed water, erosion and sedimentation control and stormwater quality protections; waste-water collection and treatment; renewal resources, clean technology, green infrastructure, and environmental markets; and climate change and the energy-water nexus.
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, regional and special-purpose units of local governments and industries throughout the United States on water-resource and water-quality matters as well as wetlands and infrastructure development projects.
Water Supply, Rights and Allocation
We have 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.
Surface Water and Groundwater Quality Permitting and Enforcement
We have handled all of the major aspects of permitting both discharge and non-discharge facilities, including chemical, pharmaceutical and other types of manufacturing and processing plants, including CAFOs; publicly owned treatment works and pretreatment dischargers to those plants; Section 404 dredge-and-fill permits; stormwater permits, including multi-party permits; permits for water withdrawal, transfer, storage and land application; and 401 water quality certifications associated with those permits. These permits are for construction and operation, but also including the changes for such things as expansions, changes in processes or wastewater, and transfers in ownership or operation. We also provide advice on both federal and state-specific groundwater rules and protections, including actions concerning well-head protections and remediation of contaminated groundwater. 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. We have handled various types of administrative actions and penalties, including both civil and criminal proceedings.
Water Quality and related Land and Project Development Permitting
We advise parties, joint venture entities, and local governments regarding the usual aspects of developments. This would include permits for all types of land-disturbing activities, including wetlands and buffer protection, sedimentation and erosion control rules, stormwater design and maintenance requirements, use and transfer to surface and groundwater. 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).
Wetlands and Buffer Areas
We work on wetlands and buffer issues across the country. The vast majority of our work has focused on development projects and enforcement actions in Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina. In addition to coordinating the permitting strategies for clients seeking the necessary federal, state and local wetland permits, we also assist in resolving the problems which may arise during the permitting process and in the related environmental practice areas of historic resources, endangered species and NEPA compliance. We also provide advice on the mitigation requirements and strategies, including the creation of dedicated wetland banks properties.
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 water supply and energy utilities; mining; transportation, including highways construction and airport construction operation; and a wide variety of manufacturing and related activities, including pulp and paper, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, vehicles and parts, electronics, telecommunications, and food and beverages.
Further, McGuireWoods is a leader in structuring P3 transactions and has participated in the various aspects of the relationship between the private and the public sector in P3 arrangements. Examples include ground leases of publicly owned property (including compliance with the applicable state law regarding transfer of interests in public property); pre-development and development agreements between public bodies and private entities (including structuring transactions to permit the public bodies to enter into such arrangements); construction disbursing agreements to manage multiple sources of funding and agreements for management upon completion that are structured to permit financing for the project.