Brooke Wahlberg focuses her practice on various areas of environmental law, including the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (BGEPA), the Clean Water Act (CWA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
Ms. Wahlberg regularly counsels some of the nation's largest electric generation and transmission companies, wind energy companies, pipeline companies, real estate developers, governmental entities, species conservation bankers, investment companies, and mining companies on policy-level and project-specific issues arising under ESA, BGEPA, MBTA, CWA, and NEPA. She is currently working with the American Wind Energy Association on two multi-state, multi-species habitat conservation plans (HCPs): the Great Plains Wind Energy HCP and the Midwest Wind Energy Multi-Species HCP. Ms. Wahlberg regularly assists clients with the development of HCPs and low-effect HCPs in multiple states. She has also negotiated and developed the first programmatic species conservation bank in the country.
Ms. Wahlberg regularly advises investors on federal wildlife issues for potential renewable acquisitions and serves as consulting counsel for natural resource litigation. She also assisted in the negotiation of recycling services with the City of Austin. She has advised a wide range of clients on issues related to compliance with state and local environmental and land use regulations. Ms. Wahlberg has experience in CERCLA, RCRA, environmental due diligence in commercial and industrial real estate transactions, and land development projects.
She is the 2014-2015 vice chair of the Endangered Species Committee newsletter for the ABA Section of Environment, Energy and Resources.
The following projects are representative examples of Ms. Wahlberg's experience successfully obtaining and defending environmental approvals for a large number of projects across various industries across the country.
- Linear Infrastructure.
- Member of a subconsultant team advising the lead civil engineer on ESA compliance issues associated with the construction of a causeway in the vicinity of state and federal wildlife areas.
- Counsel to a public improvement district responsible for a San Antonio area roadway extension on various ESA permitting and compliance issues involving karst invertebrates.
- Advises multiple municipal utilities on ESA compliance issues related to system-wide infrastructure, development of system-wide HCPs.
- Assists transmission companies with regards to ESA and CWA compliance issues related to state-mandated Competitive Renewable Energy Zone transmission lines in the Texas panhandle.
- Assists a private pipeline company on three billion dollar pipelines across multiple states on ESA, MBTA, CWA, and NEPA compliance issues.
- Renewable Energy.
- A member of the legal team advising the American Wind Energy Association on two multi-state, multi-species HCPs: the Great Plains Wind Energy HCP and the Midwest Wind Energy Multi-Species HCP.
- Regularly evaluates potential wind energy facility acquisitions with regards to federal wildlife issues on behalf of national utilities and private investors.
- Assisted in amending an incidental take permit (ITP)/HCP for a wind energy facility in Hawaii.
- Provides ongoing counsel to a wind energy company in the process of obtaining a BGEPA programmatic eagle take permit for a wind energy facility in the eastern United States.
- Provides counsel to several wind energy facilities on issues related to ESA, BGEPA, MBTA, and BGEPA compliance and permitting approaches.
- Conservation Banking. Ms. Wahlberg has been a leader in developing the first multi-state, programmatic conservation bank in the country. Additionally, Ms. Wahlberg has been involved in several species banking efforts throughout Texas and other states including for the American burying beetle, black-capped vireo, and golden-cheeked warbler.
- Real Estate Development.
- Handled complex CWA and ESA permitting and ongoing compliance issues for a marina community on the Texas Gulf coast.
- Advised developers of master-planned developments in central Texas on ESA compliance approaches.
- Assisting in the development of an HCP for a quarry in central Texas.
- Provided counsel with regards to the Section 7 consultation process for a mine in Arizona.
- Federal Wildlife Policy. Member of the legal team leading a growing national coalition of utilities and renewable energy companies. The coalition focuses on federal wildlife laws and policies affecting construction and operation of member projects across the United States. Counsel's role includes policy-level and project-specific issues impacting member companies.
- Species Experience. Ms. Wahlberg has specific experience with almost all of the listed and rare species encountered in Texas. These include karst invertebrates, the golden cheeked warbler, the black capped vireo, salamander and other aquifer species, the ocelot, the whooping crane, piping plovers, lesser prairie chicken, eagles, freshwater mussels, various reptiles, and various plants and cacti. Additionally, Ms. Wahlberg has extensive experience with listed bats, listed avian species, and eagles throughout the United States.