By - Jon Brown

Endangered Species Act, Wetlands, Stormwater & Floodplain Regulatory Compliance for Energy and Utilities
July 10-11, 2019 | Denver, CO

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Environmental permitting affects many utility projects in the United States. Often, these processes impose delays, constraints and additional costs that are not anticipated by the project team. The goal of this course is to provide attendees with a broad understanding of many of the commonly encountered permitting processes associated with construction, maintenance and operational activities. 

This course will strive to inform attendees of when permitting may be necessary and to provide an understanding of the process for navigating these permitting processes. Relying on experience working on hundreds of previous projects on these subjects, course instructors will provide case studies to highlight lessons learned and successful approaches. An additional goal of this course will be to provide attendees with tools to make environmental permitting a more efficient component of their organization’s project management. 

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify utility and energy project activities that are likely to “trigger” environmental regulation under Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, National Environmental Policy Act, and floodplain law
  • Discuss the basis and intent of these regulations
  • Develop approaches to minimize regulatory burden through project modification
  • Create permitting timelines for projects
  • Access resources that can help navigate environmental permitting
  • Engage in opportunities to influence regulations and policy
  • Discuss how to manage consultants assisting with regulatory compliance
  • Discuss in-depth the following regulations:
    • Clean Water Act (CWA)
    • Endangered Species Act (ESA)
    • Floodplain Regulations
  • Review case studies related to Sections 402 and 404 of the Clean Water Act and the ESA 
  • Apply regulatory knowledge in the field during a site visit



EUCI has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).  In obtaining this accreditation, EUCI has demonstrated that it  complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard which is recognized internationally as a standard of good practice. As a result of their Authorized Provider status, EUCI is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for its programs that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standard. EUCI is authorized by IACET to offer 1.5 CEUs for this event.

Continuing legal education (CLE), also known as mandatory or minimum continuing legal education (MCLE) or, in some jurisdictions outside the United States, as continuing professional development, consists of professional education for attorneys that takes place after their initial admission to the bar.

This event has been approved by the Colorado State Supreme Court Board of Continuing Legal and Judicial Education for 10 CLE credits.


Requirements for Successful Completion of Program 

Participants must sign in/out each day and be in attendance for the entirety of the course to be eligible for continuing education credit. 

Instructional Methods

PowerPoint presentations will be used in this program. 


Wednesday, July 10, 2019

7:30 – 8:00 a.m. :: Registration & Continental  Breakfast

8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. :: Course Timing

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. :: Group Luncheon

Clean Water Act

  • History of the Federal Clean Water Act
  • Jurisdiction: Geographic extent of Waters in the U.S.
    • 33 CFR 328.3
    • Types of waters that may be Waters of the U.S.
      • Open waters
      • Wetlands
        • USACE methodology
    • Migratory Bird Rule
    • U.S. Supreme Court decisions in Rapanos v. U.S. and SWANCC v. U.S.
      • 2008 USACE and USEPA guidance on jurisdictional extent of Waters of the U.S.
    • 2015 Clean Water Rule defining the extent of Waters of the U.S.

Section 404 Overview 

  • Federal agencies administering Section 404 program
    • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
    • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA)
  • Components of a regulated activity
    • Geographic extent – Waters of the U.S.
    • Discharge of fill into Waters of the U.S.
  • Authorization opportunities
  • Discharges trigging Section 404 regulation
    • Below ordinary high water mark or in wetland area
    • Excavation-Tulloch Rule
    • Temporary vs. permanent discharges
    • Consideration of non-discharge related impacts
  • Exempt activities
    • Agricultural and maintenance

Authorization Opportunities for Regulated Activities 

  • Nationwide permits (NWPs)
    • NWPs used by utility fields
    • Special considerations for linear projects
    • General conditions
      • Endangered Species Act
      • National Historic Preservation Act
    • Pre-construction notification
    • Regional conditions
  • Individual permits
    • Application process
    • Review process
    • National Environmental Protection Act compliance
    • Public and interagency comment period
    • Alternatives assessment
  • Mitigation of impacts
    • Onsite
    • Offsite
    • Mitigation bank

Violations, Non-Compliance and Enforcement Actions

Endangered Species Act

  • Federal agencies administering ESA
    • U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS)
    • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • What it protects
    • Threatened species
    • Endangered species
  • Activities it regulates
    • Prohibits “take” of listed species
    • Harass
    • Harm
    • Pursue
    • Hunt/shoot/wound/kill/trap
    • Habitat modification
    • Habitat degradation
  • Projects with other Federal agency action- section 7 of the ESA
  • Projects without other Federal agency action- Sections 9 and 10 of the ESA
  • Penalties for non-compliance

Threatened and Endangered Species 

  • Process for listing
    • Species of animals (including invertebrates) and plants
    • Threatened vs. endangered
      • Habitat loss
      • Overutilization
      • Disease or predation
      • Inadequacy of existing regulations
      • Natural or manmade factors affecting survival
    • U.S. vs. international species
    • Petition vs. candidate assessment process
  • Critical Habitat Designation
    • Based on scientific information
    • Accounts for economic impacts
  • Reoccurring review
    • Change in listing status
      • Up-listing
      • Down-listing
      • Delisting
    • Change in identified critical habitat

Project ESA Compliance 

  • Identifying when ESA compliance may be a consideration
    • USFWS maintained species lists by county
    • Understanding habitat types used by listed species
    • Awareness of USFWS species profiles/guidelines for species that identify when project owners should coordinate with the USFWS.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

7:30 – 8:00 a.m. :: Continental Breakfast

8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. :: Course Timing

12:30 – 1:30 p.m. :: Group Luncheon

8:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. :: FIELD SITE VISIT TO BEAR CREEK PARK

  • We will review site characteristics to develop an understanding of:
  • Field wetland and other water delineations
  • Endangered Species Act habitat considerations
  • Permitting considerations regarding potential projects that could occur at the site
  • Attendees will develop skills to identify when an area may be considered a wetland/other water by the USACE

1:30 – 5:00 p.m. :: Lecture & Case Studies 

Clean Water Act – Sections 303 and 402 

  • Section 303d (Total Maximum Daily Loads)
    • Typically administered by States
      • Water Quality Standards based on designated uses
      • 303d List of Impaired Waters
      • Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL)
  • Section 402 (National Pollution Discharge Elimination System {NPDES})
    • Typically administered by States
      • Construction Stormwater Permitting
        • When required
        • General vs. Individual Permit
        • Inspection, monitoring and documentation
        • Termination
      • Industrial Site Stormwater Permitting
        • Permitting options and requirements
      • Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permitting
        • Types of MS4s
          • Cities/town
          • Transportation right-of-ways
          • Non-standard MS4s
        • Components and requirements
      • Dewatering permitting
        • Groundwater
          • When required
          • Permitting process and monitoring requirements
        • Construction
          • Temporary in nature
          • Permitting process

Floodplain Regulations 

National Environmental Policy (NEPA) 

  • Regulated activities
    • Projects requiring federal action
  • What are the requirements
    • Environmental Assessment (EA)
      • Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI)
    • Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)

Managing Risk- Environmental Avoidance and Response 

  • Developing Internal Desktop Assessments
    • Wetlands
      • National Wetland Inventory
      • USGS topographic mapping
      • NRCS soils
    • Section 303(d)
      • EPA’s watershed tool
    • Drainage and floodplain regulations
      • FEMA mapping
      • USGS StreamStats
      • Model resources
    • Stormwater permitting resources
      • Site characterization
      • Template appendices
      • “Umbrella” approaches
      • “Typical” details
    • Endangered Species Act
      • USFWS Project planning website


Noah Greenberg, Natural Resources Project Manager and Aquatic Resources Scientist, SWCA Environmental Consultants

Noah Greenberg is an aquatic resources scientist and Clean Water Act regulatory specialist with over 15 years of experience working in the environmental science field. He conducts Clean Water Act compliance services, including Waters of the U.S. delineations, Section 404 permitting, water quality assessments, and waterbody assessments for clients throughout the country.

Amanda Aurora, Regional Scientist / Regulatory Specialist, SWCA

Ms. Aurora is a Regional Scientist and Regulatory Specialist for SWCA providing strategic permitting and compliance services related to federal, state and local environmental regulations.  Based in the SWCA Austin office, Amanda has 20 years of consulting experience, with an emphasis on Endangered Species Act compliance and the intersections of the Endangered Species Act with other regulatory programs.  Amanda has a wealth of experience pertaining to endangered species issues, including research, permitting, consultations, and conservation planning.   Amanda is skilled with regional and multi-species Habitat Conservation Plans, Candidate Conservation Agreements, and Conservation Banks. Her experience with the ESA includes consultations and permitting under both Section 7 and Section 10 that have involved negotiating compliance solutions for critically imperiled species facing potential determinations of jeopardy or adverse modification of designated critical habitats. 

Katie Schroder, Partner, Davis Graham & Stubbs

Katie Schroder is a partner in the Natural Resources Department of Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP where her practice focuses on all aspects of energy development on federal lands. Ms. Schroder counsels clients on oil and gas leasing and development on federal lands and agency compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Historic Preservation Act. She has extensive experience with the Endangered Species Act, including the process for listing species as threatened or endangered, the process for obtaining permits under section 10 of the Act, and the development of conservation agreements for candidate species.

Courtney Shephard, Associate, Davis Graham & Stubbs 

Courtney Shephard is an associate in the Natural Resources Department of Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP. Her practice focuses on public lands, energy, and water resources. Prior to joining DGS, Ms. Shephard practiced with another Denver firm for four years. Ms. Shephard regularly represented oil and gas exploration and production companies before the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and consulted on federal regulatory issues. She also represented clients in Colorado water court and appellate proceedings and advised on water sales and leases.

Ms. Shephard received her J.D. from the University of Colorado in 2014 and a Master of Environmental Management, with an emphasis in environmental economics and policy, from Duke University in 2011.



EUCI Office Building Conference Center

4601 DTC Blvd, B-100

Denver CO, 80237


Nearby Hotels

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