303-407-4455 | direct
303-407-4499 | firm
800-886-6566 | fax
“Choose battles wisely and fight them aggressively.”
Chris helps his clients build natural resource development projects and keep them running. He draws on his experience in private practice and as the Deputy Director of Colorado’s Air Pollution Control Division to formulate strategies for obtaining regulatory approval and complying with environmental standards.
Chris is well versed in environmental law, particularly the Clean Air Act and state and federal air quality regulations. He advocates for oil and gas operators, electric generating units, coal mines and other industries in permitting, compliance, enforcement and regulatory disputes. He has appeared in state rulemaking hearings and submitted written comments on proposed EPA regulations. Chris litigated regional haze disputes involving emission controls with total costs in excess of $1 billion, a $4 million Clean Air Act citizen suit, and several National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) cases, including a challenge to a lease of 430 million tons of coal.
As a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Air Force Reserve, Chris represents federal agencies in electric utility rate cases before state public utilities commissions.
Represented oil and gas producers in the development of Colorado’s methane leak detection and repair regulations.
Led Colorado’s development and adoption of three ozone SIP revisions, achieved consensus among industry and environmental organizations.
Wrote Colorado’s plan for spending $68.7 million in settlement funds from a nationwide diesel emissions enforcement case; praised as national model.
Obtained a regulatory determination that air emissions from approximately 75 wells and natural gas dehydrators should not be aggregated.
Forestalled enforcement actions against coal mines, avoided permitting requirements, and defended against agency document production requests.
Improved environmental assessments and environmental impact statements for oil and gas development plans, a rail line, pipelines, and other projects.
Rapidly obtained state regulatory action enabling a $7 million oil and gas transaction to close on schedule.
Litigated Clean Air Act “regional haze” Federal Implementation Plans (FIPs) in the 8th and 10th Circuits involving $1 billion in potential emission control costs.
Defended BLM’s approval of permits to drill 200+ wells against NEPA challenges.
Negotiated and drafted a $10 million settlement agreement in a 12-party CERCLA case.
Represented federal agencies in electric utility rate cases before the Regulatory Commission of Alaska and the Oklahoma Corporation Commission. Obtained authorized rates of return that were 23 and 60 basis points, respectively, below the utilities’ requested rates.