Kerry L. McGrath brings to the natural resources practice diverse experience on a wide range of cross-cutting environmental, energy and administrative law issues. Clients appreciate her ability to navigate complicated permitting and compliance issues and rely on her thorough legal analysis to build comprehensive regulatory strategies tailored to their business objectives.
Kerry has extensive experience with permitting and litigation under the Clean Water Act (CWA), the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and other environmental statutes.
She represents groups from a wide variety of industry sectors, including utilities, mining, oil and gas, renewables, agriculture, consumer products, housing and development, and related trade associations and industry coalitions.
Kerry has significant experience with federal litigation, drafting comments on administrative rulemakings and counseling clients on compliance with regulatory requirements.
As counsel on the many significant water cases and regulatory proceedings of recent years, Kerry has been able to offer clients smart judgment and practical advice to guide their short-term decision making and long-term planning.
She represents major industry groups on key issues such as the scope of federally regulated “waters of the United States” and requirements for utilities and manufacturers under EPA’s section 316(b) rule for existing facilities.
Kerry has extensive experience with CWA section 404 dredge and fill permitting and related federal requirements, such as NEPA review and the ESA section 7 consultation process. She regularly assists applicants in obtaining and defending federal permits for complicated energy and development projects.
A burgeoning thought leader, Kerry often serves as a speaker and panelist at legal and industry conferences and seminars around the country. She is the author of numerous articles and editorials on environmental, natural resources and regulatory issues, and is a frequent contributor to the firm’s environmental law blog, The Nickel Report.
- Represents developers, mining companies, agriculture interests, utilities and pipeline companies on jurisdictional determinations, use of nationwide permits and other general permits, expedited permitting procedures and mitigation requirements under Section 404 of the CWA.
- Represents industry coalitions and trade associations in litigation challenging rules issued by the EPA and the Corps under CWA Section 404.
- Counsels utilities on obtaining/renewing and complying with state and federal NPDES permits, particularly for facilities with cooling water intake structures subject to the EPA Section 316(b) Rule’s requirements.
- Drafts comments on behalf of industry groups on regulatory reform initiatives of the Army Corps, Department of Interior, and National Marine Fisheries Service.
- Counsels mining company in navigating Clean Water Act section 404 permitting process and related federal requirements, such as the National Environmental Policy Act review and the Endangered Species Act section 7 consultation process, and represents company in litigation regarding permit and environmental reviews.
- Advises utilities on Federal and state stormwater permits and related rulemakings.
Represents a major industry group in litigation regarding the EPA Section 316(b) Rule.
- Represents utilities, mining companies and interstate natural gas pipelines in US Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service rulemakings under the ESA, including preparation of comments on listing determinations, critical habitat designations and other key policies and rules.
- Counsels clients on the ESA Section 7 consultation process for projects requiring federal permits and the ESA Section 10 incidental take permit process for energy and development projects and operations.
- Advises electric utilities and other energy companies on permitting electric transmission and other structures across federal lands administered by the National Park Service and the US Forest Service.
- Advises interstate natural gas pipelines on environmental permitting and siting matters; regulatory compliance and litigation under the CWA, ESA, NEPA and other federal environmental laws; and the interplay between EPA, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) regulations.
- JD, George Washington University Law School, with honors; Dean’s Fellow; Editorial Board, George Washington Law Review, 2009
- BA, Political Science and with honors in English, Vanderbilt University, magna cum laude, 2006
- District of Columbia
- Intern, Office of US Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
- Judicial Intern, US Court of Federal Claims
- Member, Section of Environment, Energy and Resources, American Bar Association
- Member, Women’s Energy Network
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