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).
Brooke 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. Brooke 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.
Brooke 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.
Brooke 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, Brooke co-chaired CLE International's 2nd Annual MBTA & BGEPA Conference: Hot Topics in Avian Protection in Denver, Colorado. In 2018, Brooke served on the Planning Committee and spoke at the 2019 University of Texas Renewable Energy Law Conference. She is currently a guest lecturer at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law on federal wildlife risk and renewable energy development.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- Brooke 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.
- Brooke 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.
- 08.29.2019 | Law360
- 04.2018 | The Natural Lawyer
- 11.16.2016 | Law360
- Ground Birds & the Endangered Species Act: The Rising Trends in Conservation Efforts & How the Greater Sage Grouse's Story Compares to Other Recent Upland Game Bird Listing Decisions01.19.2016 | The Natural Lawyer
- 08.01.2015 | Natural Resources & Environment, American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, Volume 30, Number 1
- 05.01.2014 | Texas Environmental Law Journal
- 05.01.2013 | Trends, American Bar Association's Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources
- 11.05.2019 | Endangered Species Law & Policy
- 03.28.2019 | Endangered Species Law & Policy
- 12.18.2018 | Endangered Species Law & Policy
- 12.11.2018 | Endangered Species Law & Policy
- 08.09.2018 | Endangered Species Law & Policy
- 07.05.2018 | Endangered Species Law & Policy
- 05.04.2018 | Endangered Species Law & Policy
- 04.04.2018 | Endangered Species Law & Policy
- American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) to Address Cutting Edge Topics at Upcoming Wind Project Siting & Environmental Compliance Conference02.26.2018 | Endangered Species Law & Policy
- Ninth Circuit Partially Reverses Agencies’ Sea Turtle and Migratory Bird Conclusions Related to Swordfish Fishery Expansion01.03.2018 | Endangered Species Law & Policy
- 10.24.2017 | Endangered Species Law & Policy
- 10.20.2017 | Endangered Species Law & Policy
- 07.21.2017 | Endangered Species Law & Policy
- 05.05.2017 | Endangered Species Law & Policy
- 03.17.2017 | Endangered Species Law & Policy
- 02.01.2017 | Endangered Species Law & Policy
- 10.27.2016 | Endangered Species Law & Policy
- National Marine Fisheries Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Propose Listing One Hawaiian Species and Four Marine Species09.21.2016 | Endangered Species Law & Policy
- 08.09.2016 | Endangered Species Law & Policy
- Supreme Court Declines to Give Chevron Deference to Agency Regulation that Departed from Prior Agency Practice06.21.2016 | Endangered Species Law & Policy
- 05.06.2016 | Endangered Species Law & Policy
- Court Holds that the Bureau of Indian Affairs is Not Obligated to Ensure Migratory Bird Treaty Act or Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act Compliance When Granting Right-of-Way to Industrial-Scale Wind Farm04.19.2016 | Endangered Species Law & Policy
- The Wolverine Takes on Climate Change: Montana District Court Remands Withdrawal of Proposed Listing Rule04.07.2016 | Endangered Species Law & Policy
- 03.02.2016 | Endangered Species Law & Policy
- 02.08.2016 | Endangered Species Law & Policy
- 12.29.2015 | Endangered Species Law & Policy
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Issues Updated Guidance to Streamline 90-Day and 12-Month Petition Findings11.13.2015 | Endangered Species Law & Policy
- 10.28.2015 | Endangered Species Law & Policy
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Issues Proposed Listings and Designates Critical Habitat Pursuant to 2011 Listing Settlement Workplan10.02.2015 | Endangered Species Law & Policy
- 09.03.2015 | Endangered Species Law & Policy
- 09.02.2015 | Endangered Species Law & Policy
- 07.01.2015 | Endangered Species Law & Policy
- CLE International's 3rd Annual MBTA & BGEPA Conference12.09.2019
- Handling Your First (or Next) Environmental Law Matter: Finding Your Niche12.06.2019
- University of Texas at Austin School of Law CLE Webinar07.12.2019
- University of Texas at Austin School of Law CLE Webinar07.12.2019
- Developing and Financing Wind Energy Projects: Contract Provisions, Protecting Developer and Landowner InterestsStrafford CLE Webinar06.25.2019
- CLE International's 29th Annual Texas Wetlands Conference03.29.2019
- The American Wind Energy Association's Wind Project Siting and Environmental Compliance 2019 Conference03.28.2019
- 2019 Renewable Energy Law Conference01.28.2019
- Texas Public Policy Foundation's 2019 Policy Orientation01.10.2019
- 30th Annual Texas Environmental Superconference08.02.2018
- San Antonio Pipeliners Association Luncheon04.17.2018
- American Wind Energy Association's Wind Project Siting & Environmental Compliance Conference 201803.21.2018
- CLE International's 2nd Annual MBTA & BGEPA Conference11.30.2017
- CLE International10.16.2017
- National Rural Electric Cooperative Association's (NRECA) Legal Seminar08.14.2017
- 29th Annual Texas Environmental Superconference08.03.2017
- Transportation Research Board's 56th Annual Workshop on Transportation Law08.02.2017
- National Rural Electric Cooperative Association's (NRECA) Legal Seminar07.23.2017
- 2017 Wildlife & Energy Interaction Symposium06.27.2017
- 2017 National Mitigation & Ecosystem Banking Conference05.11.2017
- AWEA Wind Project Siting & Environmental Compliance Conference03.21.2017
- CLE International's MBTA & BGEPA Conference11.03.2016
- 2016 Wildlife & Energy Interaction Symposium06.14.2016
- American Wind Energy Association Webinar02.04.2016
- Nossaman's 2015 Environmental & Land Use Seminar09.22.2015
- CLE International: Endangered Species Act Conservation & Litigation06.12.2015
- CLE International: Endangered Species Act Conservation & Litigation06.01.2014
- Class IV Renewables04.01.2014
- 2014 AWEA Wind Project Siting Seminar03.01.2014
- CLE International's Endangered Species Act CLE05.01.2013
- The Wind Coalition03.01.2013
- 2013 AWEA Wind Project Siting Seminar02.01.2013
- 09.17.2019 | Law360
- 09.01.2019 | Texas Lawyer
- Chambers Recognizes Nossaman's Eminent Domain, Environment & Land Use, Healthcare, and Infrastructure Groups04.25.2019 | Chambers & Partners
- 11.16.2016 | Law360
Community & Professional
American Bar Association, Section on Environment, Energy and Resources
Austin Bar Association
Honors & Recognitions
Chosen for individual recognition for Environment in Texas by Chambers USA, 2019
Selected as an Environmental Rising Star by Law360, 2019
Received the Texas Lawyer's Professional Excellence Award: On the Rise, 2019
- George Washington University Law School, J.D., 2006
- Colorado College, B.A., 2002
- U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas