Policy and Regulation > Environmental Permitting and Approvals

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP’s environment and project development lawyers represent public entities, private developers and Indian tribes in securing required permits and approvals for complex development projects throughout the United States. We assist our clients in all aspects of environmental review and permitting, from initial planning through final approvals and litigation.

As legal counsel to project sponsors, we work with the project team to identify required permits and approvals; develop a permitting strategy; and prepare, review and ensure the legal sufficiency of studies and reports. We help to streamline the permitting process, which includes elevating issues to agency headquarters and congressional offices in Washington, D.C., if necessary.

Our attorneys have significant experience in the laws and regulations that govern large infrastructure projects. We regularly work with the key environmental statutes to ensure that projects receive the required approvals, without unreasonable burdens, costs or delays:

  • National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). We advise project sponsors on the NEPA review of a wide range of complex projects by advocating strategic and advantageous positions for our clients before government agencies, ensuring that studies meet legal requirements and working to streamline the environmental review process.
  • Clean Water Act (CWA). We advise clients on projects that require various types of CWA permits. To assist in securing these permits, we counsel clients on the CWA’s procedural and substantive requirements and the applicable regulations issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as the executive orders on wetlands and floodplains.
  • Endangered Species Act (ESA). We counsel clients when projects may impact protected species or habitats. In negotiations with federal and state agencies, we find solutions to protect wildlife without imposing unnecessary burdens on our clients’ development projects.
  • Historic Preservation. We counsel project proponents regarding historic preservation requirements and the best way to design projects to accommodate historic concerns. Our extensive experience representing Indian tribes also allows us to assist project proponents in identifying and addressing tribal concerns while allowing projects to proceed forward.

Representative Projects

We have advised on a wide range of projects, such as those related to:

  • energy, including wind and solar energy, transmission lines, pipelines, liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities and power plants
  • transportation, including highways, bridges, transit stations, rail lines, airports and intermodal facilities
  • water infrastructure, including water and sewer lines, wastewater treatment plants and irrigation
  • private real estate developments, including housing, retail, commercial and marinas
  • resort and recreation facilities, including hotels, golf courses and casinos
  • tribal projects, including energy, water delivery, gaming, hospitality, transportation and recreation facilities.