Endangered Species Act, Wetlands, and Stormwater Regulatory Compliance for Energy and Utilities

May 20-21, 2024 | Online

Click Here to register $1695 (1295 for main program, $495 for workshop)

If you are unable to attend at the scheduled date and time, we make recordings available to all registrants for seven days after the event

“This program provided a helpful overview for anyone who works in the environmental permitting space. The speakers were very insightful and engaging.” – Heliogen

“As a consultant, I knew several parts of the big picture and this training connected the dots for me and even taught me some stuff I didn’t know!  It was a really insightful training class with very knowledgeable speakers.” – TTL

“These were some of the most informed, interesting, and non-boring speakers I have heard in a long while. EUCI speakers are experienced and very knowledgeable.” – Attorney, Gould & Ratner, LLP

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 inform attendees of the following:

  • When permitting may be necessary
  • The process for navigating permitting
  • Tools to make environmental permitting a more efficient component of their organization’s project management
  • Case studies to highlight lessons learned and successful approaches

Join this highly rated insightful program with some of the most informed and interesting speakers in the industry. Attendees also have the option of joining a workshop on Migratory Bird & Bald Eagle Protection Acts, which immediately follows the course.

Learning Outcomes

  • Review utility and energy project activities that are likely to trigger environmental regulation under Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, and National Environmental Policy Act and discuss their basis and intent
  • Identify endangered vs. threatened species, critical habitat designation, consultation process, penalties, and more when it comes to the Endangered Species Act
  • Define the National Historic Preservation Act, as well as the actions that may cause adverse effects, potential historic properties, and more
  • Review the Clean Water Act, including Sections 303, 401, 402, and 404
  • Study Nationwide Permits and understand what it does, where it’s used, special considerations, etc.
  • Gain insight on the National Environmental Policy Act such as its history, regulations, requirements, and reforms
  • Review what’s included in the Coastal Zone Management Act


MONDAY, MAY 20, 2024

9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Central Time

Endangered Species Act

  • Federal agencies administering ESA
    • US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS)
    • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • What it protects
    • Threatened species
    • Endangered species
  • Threatened and Endangered Species
    • Process for listing
    • Listing factors
    • Plants
  • Endangered vs. Threatened
    • Imminence of extinction
    • Significant Portion of its Range
    • 2019 Regulatory Amendments
    • 4(d) rules
  • Critical Habitat Designation
    • Based on scientific information
    • Accounts for economic impacts
  • Recurring review
    • Change in listing status
      • Up-listing
      • Down-listing
      • Delisting
    • Change in identified critical habitat
  • Activities it regulates – ESA Section 9 Prohibition
    • Prohibits “take” of listed species
  • Section 7 Consultation Process
    • When is it required?
    • What is involved?
    • Jeopardy/Adverse Modification
    • Pitfalls
    • Benefits
  • Section 10 Incidental Take Permits and Habitat Conservation Plan
    • What are they?
    • What is involved?
    • Pitfalls
    • Benefits
  • Penalties for non-compliance and Section 11 Citizen-Suit Provision
    • Civil and Criminal Penalties
    • Lawsuits and injunctive relief
    • Citizen-suits
      • NOI
      • ESA vs. APA challenges
    • 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

National Historic Preservation Act

  • Define the NHPA and its key components
    • National Register of Historic Places (NRHP)
    • Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP)
    • State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPOs)
    • Tribal Historic Preservation Offices (THPOs)
    • Section 106
    • Section 110
    • Understand the Section 106 4-step process
  • Identify actions that trigger HP review
  • Identify potential historic properties
  • Identify actions that may cause adverse effects
  • Describe the purpose of a Memorandum of Agreement and Programmatic Agreement
  • State Historic Preservation Office and their regulations

Clean Water Act

  • History of the Federal Clean Water Act
  • Significance/applicable Sections

CWA – 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/towns
        • 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
    • Stormwater permitting resources
      • Site characterization
      • Template appendices
      • “Umbrella” approaches

CWA – Section 404

  • Federal agencies administering Section 404 program
    • US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
    • US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA)
  • Jurisdiction: Geographic extent of Waters in the US
    • 33 CFR 328.3
    • Current revisions – Revised definition of WOTUS (effective 3/20/23)
    • Territorial seas and traditional navigable waters
    • Tributaries
    • Lakes and ponds
    • Adjacent wetlands
    • Ditches
    • “Typical year”
  • Non-Jurisdictional Categories
    • Swales and erosional features
    • Ditches
    • Prior converted croplands
    • Artificially irrigated areas, artificial lakes and ponds
    • Water-filled depressions
    • Waste treatment systems
    • Artificial reflecting or swimming pools/other small ornamental bodies
    • Potential issues
    • Legal challenges
  • What does this mean to you?
  • Wetlands
    • Definitions
    • Tidal waters and non-tidal waters
    • Jurisdictional determination

Section 404 Authorizations

  • General and individual permits
  • Exempt activities
  • State adoption
  • Excavation-Tulloch Rule
  • Pre-Application meetings
  • Regional General Permits (RGPs)
  • Programmatic General Permits (PGPs)
  • Special Area Management Plans (SAMPs)

TUESDAY, MAY 21, 2024

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Central Time

National Environmental Policy Act

  • NEPA History
  • NEPA Regulated Activities
    • Projects requiring federal action and NEPA review
    • Agencies that use NEPA reviews for planning and issuing permits
    • Kinds of projects
  • What are the requirements
    • Environmental Assessment (EA)
    • Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI)
    • Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
  • NEPA Reform and CEQ’s Proposed Regulations
    • What’s changed
    • Greenhouse Gas Analysis
    • Cumulative Effects
    • Current Status and Risk Management

CWA – Section 401

  • June 2020 – EPA Finalized “Clean Water Act Section 401 Certification Rule”
  • What it is and what it does
  • Beyond water quality
  • Kinds of projects that triggers it
  • Role of State Environmental Quality Act Law
  • Impact of denial of State Water Quality Certificate on projects

Coastal Zone Management Act

  • What it is and does
  • What’s included in a coastal zone
  • Finding that project is inconsistent with State’s Coastal Zone Management Act

Post Conference Workshop

Migratory Bird Treaty & Eagle Protection Acts

TUESDAY, MAY 21, 2024

1:00 – 4:30 p.m. Central Time

During this afternoon workshop, we will learn about the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (BGEPA) and Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA). The goal will be to understand what is prohibited under BGEPA and MBTA, how the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) administers these two laws, and what is in flux. Those in class will leave the workshop with an understanding of how to assess the risks under BGEPA and MBTA using examples across several industries.

Learning Outcomes

  • Review how the BGEPA and MBTA function and how they may impact project development and operations
  • Discuss where the challenges lie when managing risk under these two statutes at your projects
  • Evaluate what changes are expected in the near term to both regulatory programs and how to keep track of these changes


Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act

  • Overview of Statutory Protections and Enforcement Risks
  • Overview of Permitting Program for Incidental Take, Nest Disturbance, and Nest Removal
  • Practical Considerations for Those in the Wind, Solar, Electric and Water Infrastructure, Mining, Commercial, and Residential Sectors
  • Update on Anticipated Regulatory Changes

Migratory Bird Treaty Act

  • Overview of Statutory Protections and Enforcement Considerations
  • Overview of Current Regulatory Status, Current Circuit Court Status, and Legislative Status
  • Overview of Director’s Order and USFWS Development of a Permit Program
  • Practical Considerations for Managing MBTA Enforcement Risk