We help clients navigate the permitting and environmental compliance processes for any operating permits, certificates, licenses, or approvals governed by federal environmental statutes and regulations.

When participating in the application process, we meet with the agencies and represent our clients’ interests at public hearings.  We understand the importance of creating a defensible administrative record to develop a record that will withstand administrative and federal court litigation.


Our attorney teams help clients set and follow successful NEPA compliance strategies from the earliest stage of project planning to the final stage of litigation. We assist with cutting-edge NEPA strategies, including analyses of potential impacts of climate change, cumulative impacts, and application of NEPA to all federal permitting actions.

Public Lands

Our team of attorneys is uniquely able to meet the challenges and take advantage of opportunities associated with public lands. The great majority of federal public lands is located in the states in which Holland & Hart has offices or has practiced.  We have extensive experience in dealing with federal agencies in negotiations, rulemaking, legislative oversight and judicial review.

Cultural Resources

We have the knowledge, experience, and local connections necessary to solve complex cultural resource and preservation issues across the country.  Our attorneys have handled cultural resource issues and negotiated project-specific preservation agreement documents for linear rights-of-way projects as well as traditional energy projects.

NEPA, Public Lands, and Cultural Resources Client Results

NEPA Litigation
  • Represented a renewable energy company in a case pending in the Ninth Circuit and two parallel cases in federal district court in California brought under NEPA and the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) by Indian tribes and environmental groups opposing a proposed energy project.
  • Successfully represented three municipalities and a business coalition in defending challenges to projects in Utah brought by environmental groups under NEPA.
  • Successfully defended a government defense contractor in litigation brought by environmental groups under NEPA and other statutes.
  • Lead counsel for interests challenging the Department of Defense’s and Department of Transportation’s NEPA compliance for military training activities in west Texas, which resulted in the first U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in over 20 years to set aside an agency’s environmental impact statement (EIS).
  • Successfully represented project proponents in dozens of challenges to BLM approvals of oil and gas, potash, coal mining, and other federal resource development projects and leasing decisions before the Interior Board of Land Appeals and federal courts.
  • Lead counsel in the successful defense on behalf of a government contractor to a challenge to the Department of Defense’s chemical weapons disposal facilities, resulting in a favorable decision in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
  • Lead counsel in a significant federal court case concerning the adequacy of environmental analyses for competing military and public uses of over 3.2 million acres of public land in southwestern Idaho.
  • Successfully defended an Environmental Protection Agency/Department of Transportation environmental assessment on a refined products pipeline crossing endangered species habitat and a sole-source drinking water aquifer for a major metropolitan area.
  • Successfully defended, on behalf of oil and gas client coalition, the Pinedale Anticline Oil and Gas Project and Jonah Oil and Gas Project against NEPA and other challenges in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and on appeal to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Successfully challenged, on behalf of a nonprofit organization, the Department of the Interior’s plan to transfer operation and management of the National Bison Range Complex from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to an Indian tribe for failure to comply with NEPA.
  • Successfully represented the Idaho Transportation Department in several NEPA and other federal actions involving a major highway construction project in northern Idaho.
  • Represented a large energy company in federal district court in Colorado in a case brought by environmental groups challenging oil shale regulations.

NEPA Permitting and Process
  • Represented pipeline trade associations on the development of policy for coordinated federal environmental and safety permitting.
  • Successfully represented hydropower developers and project stakeholders in the NEPA-driven FERC licensing process, including competitive licensing proceedings.
  • Represented liquids pipelines on NEPA compliance issues, including settlement of litigation and resolution of numerous state and local claims.
  • Successfully advised a municipal water developer through the complex NEPA review process for a groundwater pipeline project, including all facets of EIS preparation, government affairs, and negotiations with numerous federal agencies.
  • Advised project developers on third-party NEPA contracting issues.
  • Served as counsel to utilities developing the Susquehanna-Roseland 500-kV transmission project through three National Park Service units in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, successfully guiding the project through siting-related regulatory issues, EIS preparation, government affairs, communications, negotiation of comprehensive mitigation strategy, and oversight of engineering and resource consultants to final Record of Decision approving project.
  • Successfully represented interstate natural gas pipeline project developers through the NEPA process, coordinating with multiple agencies. Successfully defeated numerous motions for preliminary injunction in federal court asserting NEPA and other statutory violations for one of these projects.
  • Advised numerous renewable energy clients, including geothermal, wind, solar, marine hydrokinetic, and hydropower energy developers throughout project NEPA review.
Other Experience
  • Successfully defended in federal court, state court, and agency proceedings the environmental assessment and wetlands, water quality, lake protection, and other approvals for Idaho’s largest highway improvement project.

  • Lead counsel for landowners challenging the Department of Defense’s and Department of Transportation’s NEPA evaluation for military training activities in west Texas, which resulted in the first U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in over 20 years to set aside an agency’s environmental impact statement.

  • Worked with a landowner and the Fish and Wildlife Service to permit the first-ever habitat conservation plan for the Great Lakes piping plover.

NEPA, Public Lands, and Cultural Resources Publications

NATIONAL TIER 1: Environmental & Natural Resources Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms"

Recognized in 2022 Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms": National Tier 1 for Environmental Law, Natural Resources Law, and Litigation – Environmental

Nationwide and State Practices: Chambers USA 2022

Recognized by Chambers USA 2022 in 39 practices including: USA-Nationwide: Environment; Environment; Natural Resources & Environment

BTI's Law Firms with the Best Collaboration

One of nine firms nationwide named in 2017 by leading legal decision makers for “standout collaboration”

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