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Nossaman LLP

Svend Brandt-Erichsen


T 206.489.5633
F 206.489.5501
801 Second Avenue, Suite 800
Seattle, WA 98104

Svend Brandt-Erichsen focuses his practice on the development and ongoing operation of energy and natural resource projects. He has advised companies on permitting, compliance, regulatory development and other issues arising under all of the major federal environmental statutes, as well as their counterparts in a number of states.

Mr. Brandt-Erichsen has helped companies obtain permits and approvals and has litigated claims under the Clean Air Act (CAA), Clean Water Act (CWA), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and Endangered Species Act (ESA). He has assisted wind project developers with issues under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) and the Bald & Golden Eagle Protection Act (BGEPA). He has litigated claims regarding projects on federal lands under the Federal Land Policy Management Act (FLPMA) and the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA).  He also has advised clients on compliance with the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) and its state counterparts and litigated claims under those statutes.  Additionally, he has helped utilities negotiate fish and wildlife mitigation measures for hydroelectric projects.  Mr. Brandt-Erichsen routinely handles appeals involving environmental matters in federal and state courts.

Before joining Nossaman, Mr. Brandt-Erichsen served as Managing Partner of the Seattle office of a Seattle-based law firm. He began his career on the legislative staff of Alaska's Senator Ted Stevens and served as a Regional Administrator of the State of Alaska's Department of Environmental Conservation.

Representative Work

  • Represented the owners of oil and gas platforms in Cook Inlet, Alaska in several cycles of NPDES wastewater discharge permitting since 1996, including litigation in the Fifth and Ninth Circuits concerning the validity of EPA-issued general NPDES permits and concerning effluent guidelines developed for the coastal sector of oil and gas exploration, development and production facilities.
  • Currently representing the developer of a crude-by-rail terminal proposed in Grays Harbor, Washington in the state environmental review and shoreline permitting process. Represented the developer in a prior round of litigation concerning the project before Washington’s Shorelines Hearings Board.
  • Represented Alyeska Pipeline Service Company in a wide range of environmental matters, including air and wastewater discharge permitting; permit appeals; the development of significant air pollution control regulations and advice on implementing the resulting rules; regulatory interpretations; advice on oil spill response, cleanup and cost recovery; litigation (including appeals) over regulations, agency user fees, and rights-of-way.
  • Represented a Washington regional air agency in defending against a Clean Air Act citizen suit seeking to require the agency to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from Washington refineries. The Ninth Circuit ruled that the plaintiff environmental groups did not have standing to bring the citizen suit, as they had not shown that refinery emissions caused their climate change-related injuries. Despite the Ninth Circuit’s ruling, the Washington air agencies decided to proceed with adoption of new regulations.
  • Represented Chukchi Sea leaseholders as intervenors in litigation concerning NPDES discharge permits for exploratory drilling in Arctic offshore areas.
  • Represented a North Slope oil producer in negotiating a settlement with EPA for a release of oil and water to a gravel pad and to surrounding tundra.
  • Currently representing a Washington container glass manufacturer in an appeal of a regulatory order imposing more stringent emission limits on two existing furnaces.
  • Represented a Washington pulp mill in air permitting and environmental review of a 24 MW biomass cogeneration project. Successfully defended the project's air permit and state environmental review document in an administrative appeal and in subsequent appeals to superior court and to the Washington Supreme Court.
  • Lead trial counsel for an independent power developer in defending federal rights-of-way for a wind energy project in California’s Imperial Valley, the first renewable energy project to deliver power over the Sunrise Powerlink. A total of six suits were filed against the project, five of them in federal district court. Defeated motions for temporary restraining orders and a preliminary injunction in three suits, which allowed construction to proceed and the close of project financing. Obtained favorable decisions on the merits in all five federal cases and the state court case and in one Ninth Circuit appeal. Two Ninth Circuit appeals remain pending.
  • Represented the developer of the first utility-scale wind energy project in Nevada in defending the federal right-of-way for the project. Defeated a preliminary injunction motion in federal district court and on appeal to the Ninth Circuit, then negotiated settlement of all claims.
  • Counsel to an independent power developer concerning the first integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) project in the U.S. to use carbon capture and sequestration. The engagement has included advice on applications for federal grants and tax credits, evolving federal regulations affecting greenhouse gas emissions, federal carbon sequestration policy, and NEPA compliance.
  • Represented a Washington regional air agency in successfully defending the Title V air operating permit for Washington’s only coal-fired power plant against an appeal seeking to require the agency to establish new emission limits on greenhouse gases and mercury.
  • Assisting clients with matters under the Endangered Species Act, including successfully opposing petitions to list a herring population and a whale population; advice regarding ESA consultations; litigation over habitat conservation plans; litigation over adequacy of biological opinions; and litigation over an agency’s failure to conduct ESA consultation.
  • Represented parties in disputes over compliance with NEPA and its State equivalents, including adequacy of an EIS under federal law in connection with a federal land exchange; adequacy of an EIS under state law in permitting of a Washington landfill; adequacy of an EIS under state and federal law in permitting of gravel mine expansion; adequacy of EAs and EISs under federal law in permitting wind energy projects; and adequacy of a mitigated determination of nonsignificance under state law permitting a biomass cogeneration project, and in permitting a crude oil transfer facility.

Awards & Honors

Chambers USA 2016 Ranking - logo

Martindale Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ Rated.

Named on the list of The Best Lawyers in America© in 2013 - 2016 and named Seattle "Lawyer of the Year" for Natural Resources Law in 2016.

Chosen for individual recognition for Environment in Washington State by Chambers USA, 2013 - 2017.

Named to Who’s Who Legal: Environment in 2016.

Svend  Brandt-Erichsen
Svend  Brandt-Erichsen



J.D., George Washington University, 1988

B.A., University of Colorado, 1984



U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit

U.S. Dictrict Courts, Alaska

U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois

U.S. District Court, Western District of WA


Professional Affiliations

American Bar Association, Environment, Energy, and Resources Section

Washington State Bar Association, Environmental and Land Use Law

Alaska State Bar Association, Natural Resources and Environmental Law Section

Awards & Honors

Chambers USA 2016 Ranking - logo

Martindale Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ Rated.

Named on the list of The Best Lawyers in America© in 2013 - 2016 and named Seattle "Lawyer of the Year" for Natural Resources Law in 2016.

Chosen for individual recognition for Environment in Washington State by Chambers USA, 2013 - 2017.

Named to Who’s Who Legal: Environment in 2016.

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