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Environment and Natural Resource Laws Applicable to Infrastructure Projects: Changes Affecting Project Planning and Execution

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 60 minutes
Recorded Date: July 24, 2019
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  • New Developments in NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act)
  • CWA (Clean Water Act) Section 401
  • Changes in ESA (Endangered Species Act) and CWA Implementation
  • Q & A
Runtime: 1 hour
Recorded: July 24, 2019


Immediately upon taking office, the Trump administration embarked on an ambitious agenda of streamlining permitting and lightening the regulatory burden on the development of infrastructure projects. Efforts have included the issuance of Executive Orders, establishment of inter-agency working groups, evaluation of agency-specific streamlining opportunities, rule-making, issuance of guidance, and further development of federal management of complex projects. The efforts are intended to shorten timelines, make permit processes less expensive, and overall make requirements for project construction less burdensome.

In this program, panelists will discuss specific reform efforts, focusing on directives emanating from the White House, changes at the Department of the Interior, progress at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and related actions by the Environmental Protection Agency. These federal changes implicate such statutes as the Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, National Environmental Policy Act, and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Faculty will address the legal consequences of changes to date, as well as potential litigation challenges as the processes mature and projects are approved using new methods.

Provided By

American Bar Association
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Sandra Snyder

Senior Regulatory Attorney
INGAA (Interstate Natural Gas Association of America)

Sandra Snyder is a Regulatory Attorney for Environment and Personnel Safety.

Before joining INGAA, Sandra was an attorney at Bracewell LLP’s Washington, D. C. office where for eight years she represented clients in various environmental rule-making and permit challenges and provided regulatory compliance advice. From 2006 - 2008, Sandra was an attorney in the New Jersey office of K&L Gates LLP where she handled CERCLA litigation and represented manufacturers of industrial materials and equipment at products liability depositions.

During law school, Sandra served as a legal extern to the Honorable Dora L. Irizarry of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. She also completed a legal externship with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Before becoming an attorney, Sandra worked as a chemical engineer for ExxonMobil from 1998 – 2002. During that time, Sandra provided operations support to ExxonMobil as a process engineer, before serving as the Foreign Trade Zone and Oil Loss Coordinator for ExxonMobil's Baytown refinery, olefins plant, and chemical plant.

Sandra received a BS from the University of Oklahoma and her JD from Brooklyn Law School.

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Christine Wyman


Christine Wyman assists clients in developing policy strategies and implementing them through effective participation in the legislative and regulatory process. Her work covers a broad range of issues, including energy, environmental, permitting, and pipeline safety. Her experience includes advocating for energy, oil and gas, and industrial clients before Congress and a variety of federal agencies, including the White House, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Department of Interior, and U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

Christine launched her legal career at an international law firm, where she represented clients in a broad range of environmental matters, including defending energy utilities and industrial clients facing government enforcement actions, providing counsel on compliance with federal environmental regulations, and advocating for clients’ interest through the federal rule-making process.

Prior to joining Bracewell, Christine was senior counsel at the American Gas Association where she advocated for natural gas utilities on federal environmental, energy, and pipeline safety matters.

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Ann Navaro


Ann Navaro advises on and litigates under the federal laws and policies governing natural resources and the environment. After more than 25 years as a top litigator and policy adviser to the federal government, Ann brings exceptional insight and acumen to clients seeking to build infrastructure, produce valuable natural resources, or improve government policies and programs affecting their businesses. She has held senior legal and policy positions at the US Army Corps of Engineers and the US Department of the Interior, including most recently as Counselor to the Solicitor at the Department of the Interior. Ann spent more than 10 years as a trial lawyer in the Environment and Natural Resources Division at the US Department of Justice, as well as 10 years litigating and managing civil works litigation for the Army Corps.

Ann has advised on some of the most challenging and high-profile policy issues in natural resources and environmental law, including NEPA reform, federal permit streamlining, wetlands protection, and protected species policy. She has litigated or overseen the litigation of scores of disputes involving a wide range of issues, such as upstream energy permitting, wetlands permitting, offshore royalties, federal takings and constitutional challenges.

Ann supports clients—including infrastructure developers and companies active in the upstream, pipeline, renewables, power transmission, and LNG sectors—on project siting and operation; permitting and enforcement under federal wetland, habitat and resource statutes; and related regulatory issues, policy advocacy, and litigation.

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