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Nossaman LLP

Brooke M. Wahlberg

Partner

T 512.813.7941
F 512.651.0670
816 Congress Ave., Suite 970
Austin, TX 78701

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 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 currently leads the development of eight Habitat Conservation Plans, several BGEPA permits, and several other ESA, BGEPA and CWA compliance efforts.  These efforts span across several industries (wind energy, electric transmission and distribution, water infrastructure, timber management) and occur within every region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Ms. Wahlberg advises clients on policy-level issues related to the ESA, BGEPA, and MBTA and often represents her clients in Washington D.C. on related policy issues.  She has also negotiated and developed the first programmatic species conservation bank in the country on behalf of the lesser prairie chicken.

Ms. Wahlberg regularly advises investors and power purchasers on federal wildlife issues for potential renewable acquisitions and serves as consulting counsel for natural resource litigation.  She has advised a wide range of clients on issues related to compliance with state and local environmental and land use regulations.  She has experience in CERCLA, RCRA, environmental due diligence in commercial and industrial real estate transactions, and land development projects.

Ms. Wahlberg frequently speaks on ESA, MBTA, BGEPA, and CWA issues in many different industry forums across the nation.  She has spoken at the American Wind Energy Association’s annual environmental and siting conference since 2014.  From 2014-2017, she has served as vice chair of the Endangered Species Committee newsletter for the ABA Section of Environment, Energy and Resources.  In 2017, Ms. Wahlberg co-chaired CLE International's 2nd Annual MBTA & BGEPA Conference: Hot Topics in Avian Protection in Denver, Colorado.   In 2018, Ms. Wahlberg will serve on the Planning Committee for the 2019 University of Texas Renewable Energy Law Conference.

Representative Work

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.

  • 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. 
  • 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.
    • Provides ongoing counsel to several wind energy companies in several states with ESA and compliance approaches, including project-specific incidental take permits (ITPs) under both ESA and BGEPA.
    • Regularly evaluates potential wind energy and solar energy project acquisitions with regards to federal wildlife issues on behalf of national utilities and private investors.
    • Assisted in amending an ITP/HCP for a wind energy facility in Hawaii.
    • Provides counsel to several wind energy facilities on issues related to ESA, BGEPA, MBTA, and CWA compliance and permitting approaches.
  • 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 and public utilities with regards to ESA, BGEPA, and CWA compliance issues in several states.
    • Assists private pipelines companies on  billion dollar pipelines across multiple states on ESA, MBTA, CWA, and NEPA compliance issues.
  • Conservation Banking. 
    • Developed the first multi-state, programmatic conservation bank in the country.  
    • Assisted in completed and ongoing species banking efforts throughout Texas and other states including for the American burying beetle, black-capped vireo, and golden-cheeked warbler.
    • Assisting in the development of a golden eagle conservation bank.
  • 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.
  • Mining.
    • 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.
  • Texas Natural Resource and Environmental Laws.  Ms. Wahlberg advises clients in several industries on issues related to Texas natural resource and environmental laws, including mussel relocation, marl, sand, gravel, shell, and mudshell permitting, and voluntary clean-up program participation.
  • Species Experience.  Ms. Wahlberg has specific experience with almost all of the listed and rare species encountered in Texas, the Southwest, Midwest, and the Central Plains.  These include karst invertebrates, bat species, the golden cheeked warbler, the black capped vireo, salamander and other aquifer species, the ocelot, the whooping crane, piping plovers, lesser prairie chicken, eagles, jaguar, 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.
Brooke M. Wahlberg
Brooke M. Wahlberg

Practices

Education

J.D., George Washington University Law School, 2006

B.A., Colorado College, 2002

Admissions

Texas

U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas

Professional Affiliations

American Bar Association, Section on Environment, Energy and Resources
Austin Bar Association
Texas Young Lawyers Association
 

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