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Lowell M. Rothschild
Lowell Rothschild advises clients on environmental compliance, enforcement, public policy and government relations issues. With a strong background in natural resources and land development, he guides clients through the challenges of energy development, infrastructure projects and mining, including impact analysis, wetlands, mitigation and habitat conservation, as well as associated permitting, internal and external investigations, and litigation.
Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Rothschild was the primary environmental counsel for The Mosaic Company, the world’s largest integrated phosphate and potash (fertilizer) supplier. His practice covers the range of federal, state and local environmental laws related to infrastructure development, natural resource extraction, complex governmental investigations and manufacturing. These include wetlands, environmental review, endangered species, water quality and quantity, hazardous and solid waste, legacy remediation, radiation, air, hazardous chemicals, mining, occupational safety and health, and wildlife control matters. He is extremely well versed in managing the challenges facing companies whose operations cause significant land impacts, particularly in connection with wetlands, National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act and Clean Water Act matters.
Mr. Rothschild has handled wetland and water discharge compliance, permitting and enforcement matters for over 15 years for a variety of clients, including timber, mining, and development companies; state highway departments; airport authorities; and private contractors across the full range of actions, including permitting, internal and external investigations, litigation and settlement negotiations. In the area of wetlands law, he has overseen the creation, adoption and monitoring of complex compliance and monitoring protocols; litigated and settled enforcement actions; negotiated and received permits both before and after wetland impacts; and defended permits in Federal Court standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the federal government. He is also the co-author of one of the definitive resources on wetlands enforcement and permitting.
Before working in the corporate sector, he was an environmental partner and attorney at law firms in Washington, D.C., the Midwest and the West Coast. Throughout his practice, he has handled civil, administrative and criminal litigation; contaminated property issues; and a wide range of administrative law matters, including comment and advice on rulemakings, Freedom of Information Act matters and administrative hearings.
Transportation and Infrastructure Development
- Represented half a dozen state highway departments and metropolitan planning organizations in NEPA and wetland permitting and litigation matters related to various highway projects at all federal court levels.
- Represented a large airport authority in obtaining wetland permits and meeting NEPA requirements for the construction of a new runway and construction of new hangar facilities.
- Defended actions by a metropolitan planning organization related to the Environmental Impact Statement for a significant beltway bypass.
- Worked with a state department of transportation and a local metropolitan planning organization to draft, finalize and litigate their EIS for a highway reliever around the state capital.
Internal Investigations and Litigation
- Investigated the allegations regarding, and assisted in the settlement of what was, at the time, the largest Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Justice and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers enforcement action in the wetland context.
- Represented the plant manager and the individuals responsible for EHS compliance at the facility of a major chemical company in an EPA and DOJ criminal investigation into alleged Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Clean Air Act violations.
- Worked to investigate and settle two different criminal prosecutions and a major (over 400-count complaint) civil action related to the actions of an industrial manufacturer.
- First-chaired a multi-million dollar Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) enforcement action. The opinion, which EPA appealed, was affirmed by the EPA Environmental Appeals Board.
- Defended a major transportation association related to certain NEPA requirements for presidential action under the North American Free Trade Agreement.
- Organized, coordinated, and drafted an Amicus brief for a state department of transportation, which eventually involved a large number of other state DOTs.
- Represented a large Appalachian coal mining company in a contentious water discharge permitting matter and in the sale of all of its assets and the disposition of its environmental liabilities.
- For a major mining and natural resources development company, handled federal and state litigation; federal, state and local permitting; and federal, state and local administrative law, including rulemakings, FOIA matters and hearings.
- Aided a client in obtaining permits to fill over a hundred acres of wetlands.
- Created strategies to receive permits for over a thousand acres of wetland impacts.
Publications and Speeches
“Before and After Sackett v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,” The Federal Lawyer, July 2012.
Panelist, “Creative Paths to the Settlement of Complex Environmental Litigation,” American Bar Association Annual Spring Meeting, Phoenix, March 30, 2012.
“New NEPA Guidance from the Council on Environmental Quality,” Association of Airport Executives National Aviation Environmental Management Conference, June 15, 2010.
“Emerging U.S. Policy and Regulatory Developments in Clean Energy,” AECOM Online Seminar, June 3, 2010.
“The SEC’s New Guidance on Public Company Disclosure of Climate Change Risks,” Trends (ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources Newsletter), May/June 2010.
“What Wetlands Are Regulated? Jurisdiction of the §404 Program,” Environmental Law Reporter's News & Analysis Journal, April 2010.
“Stationary Source Greenhouse Gas Permit Requirements,” Association of Corporate Counsel's Environmental, Health & Safety Committee, April 8, 2010.
“Taking the Temperature at the SEC: What the Agency's Climate Change Guidance Really Means,” Association of Corporate Counsel's Environmental, Health & Safety Committee, February 16, 2010.
Wetlands Deskbook, 3rd Edition, Environmental Law Institute Press, December 2009.
“New Environmental Regulatory Developments: Greenhouse Gas Regulation, Green Chemicals, Green Contracting, and Enhanced EPA Enforcement,” Federal Publications Seminars, October 21, 2009.
“The Clean Water Act: Will Legislation Clarify Muddy Waters?” Association of Airport Executives National Aviation Environmental Management Conference, February 9, 2009.
“Wetland Jurisdiction and Mitigation Update,” Association of Airport Executives National Aviation Environmental Management Conference, June 23, 2008.
“Going Green: The Airport and Aviation System of the Future,” American Association of Airport Executives Aviation Issues Conference, January 7, 2008.
“Wetland Basics for Land Development,” National Groundwater Association Annual Groundwater and Environmental Law Conference, July 25, 2007.
“The Other Shoe Drops: Using Sarbanes-Oxley Criminal Provision, DOJ Indicts Attorney for Destroying Evidence in Advance of a Proceeding,” BNA White Collar Crime Report, June 8, 2007; reprinted in BNA International World Securities Law Report, September 2007.
“Coming Soon to a Grand Jury Near You: The Broader Implications of the New Civil Rules Relating to Electronically Stored Information for Environmental Enforcement,” ABA Natural Resources & Environment Winter Meeting, March 2007.
“Natural Lawyer,” TRB Environmental Issues in Transportation Newsletter, January 2007-Present, Articles Contributor.
J.D., magna cum laude, University of Minnesota Law School, 1993
B.A., University of Virginia, 1990
District of Columbia
U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 8th and 9th Circuits
U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota
U.S. District Court for the Northern and Central Districts of California
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
Liaison to Chairperson, The Trade and Environmental Policy Advisory Committee (TEPAC)