Law Seminars International Presents:

29th Annual Conference on Critical Developments for

Water Law in Washington

Features a "powerhouse" faculty to bring you up to date on major legislative changes, final Yakima and future adjudications, Streamflow Restoration Act, and much more

June 25 & 26, 2020
Zoom in from Anywhere!

To keep everyone safe, this program will be an interactive virtual event.
Call (206) 567-4490 if you have questions about our Zoom platform.

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Program Overview

Who Will Benefit from Attending

Attorneys, environmental and land use professionals, local government and Tribal representatives, planners, landowners, water users, and other stakeholders

Why You will Benefit from Attending

As the Acquavella adjudication comes to a close, other basins in Washington State are now under consideration for a future water rights adjudication. The Streamflow Restoration Act (Hirst legislation), clarifying the use of permit-exempt wells and providing funding for instream flow protection, is now being implemented in a number of basins.

The Act introduced into statute the undefined term "Net Ecological Benefit." The Foster Task Force has been grappling with the task of creating a workable definition and we will take an in-depth look at its work.

The 2020 Legislature saw a number of different bills that would limit water transfers, water banking, or the use of water rights for specific uses, and the 2021 Legislature appears poised to be a major year for water resource legislation. Our legislative panel will provide you with good insights into the political dynamics and what to expect from the next session.

We also have new developments to discuss with regard to Columbia and Yakima Basin.

We hope you'll join us for what promises to be a very timely and informative program. Register now to save your seat!

~ Maia D. Bellon, Esq. of Cascadia Law Group and Bill Clarke, Esq. of Attorney at Law & Government Affairs, Program Co-Chairs

What You Will Learn

  • Senate Bill 6091 Streamflow Restoration Act (Hirst) implementation
  • Foster Task Force pilot projects
  • Net Ecological Benefit in streamflow restoration mitigation plans
  • Yakima Basin Integrated Plan at 10 years
  • Lessons learned from Acquavella
  • Columbia Basin issues
  • Tribal Water Law issues
  • Water rights transfers and the Trust Water Program
  • Mitigation programs for exempt wells
  • 2020 & 2021 Legislative insights
  • Water law case law updates

What Participants Have Said About Similar Programs

  • "Excellent and very qualified speakers."
  • "This program was very topical and I found that extremely useful. Nicely done!"
  • "All materials supportive and will be helpful in post reviews."
  • "Fabulous seminar. I greatly appreciate it!"

Agenda Day 1

8:30 am

Registration Opens

9:00 am

Introduction & Overview

Maia D. Bellon, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Cascadia Law Group / Olympia, WA

Bill Clarke, Esq. , Program Co-Chair
Attorney at Law & Government Affairs / Olympia, WA

9:15 am

Senate Bill 6091

Streamflow Restoration Act (Hirst) Implementation

Bennett Weinstein, Esq. , Streamflow Section Manager
Washington State Department of Ecology / Bellevue, WA

Gary S. Stoyka , Natural Resources Program Manager
Whatcom County Public Works Department / Bellingham, WA

Patrick Williams, Esq.
Law Office of M. Patrick Williams / Seattle, WA

10:30 am


10:45 am

Water Law Case Law Updates

Noteworthy judicial and administrative cases

Alan M. Reichman, Esq. , Senior Counsel
Washington State Office of the Attorney General / Olympia, WA

Updates and practice tips from the Hearings Boards

The Hon. Neil L. Wise, Esq. , Board Member
Pollution Control and Shorelines Hearings Board / Olympia, WA

12:15 pm

Lunch (on your own)

1:30 pm

Foster Task Force and Pilot Projects

Progress report including Net Ecological Benefit in streamfow restoration mitigation plans and Foster Pilots: How is it defined, and who decides when Net Ecological Benefits are achieved

Maia D. Bellon, Esq. , Program Co-Chair, Moderator
Cascadia Law Group / Olympia, WA

Joseph A. Brogan, Esq.
Foster Garvey / Seattle, WA

Sharon I. Haensly, Esq. , Attorney
Squaxin Island Tribe / Shelton, WA

Thomas M. Pors, Esq.
Law Office of Thomas M. Pors / Seattle, WA

3:00 pm


3:15 pm

Yakima Basin Integrated Plan at 10 Years


Jean O. Melious, Esq. , Professor, Moderator
Western Washington University / Bellingham, WA

Perspectives on what has been working well and what has not

G. Thomas Tebb, LhG, LEG , Director, Office of Columbia River
Washington State Department of Ecology / Union Gap, WA

Wendy Christensen , YRBWEP Manager
US Bureau of Reclamation / Yakima, WA

Lisa Pelly , Director, Washington Water Project
Trout Unlimited / Wenatchee, WA

4:30 pm

Special Address on the End of an Era: Lessons Learned from Acquavella

Sidney P. Ottem, Esq.
Brumback & Ottem / Union Gap, WA

5:00 pm

Adjourn Day 1

Friday, June 26, 2020

9:00 am

Columbia Basin Issues

Quincy Basin water supply issues

Eric Weber, LHG, CWRE , Principal Hydrogeologist
Landau Associates / Edmonds, WA

Columbia River: Treaty negotiations and current management issues

Thomas G. Myrum, Esq. , Executive Director & General Counsel
Washington State Water Resources Association / Olympia, WA

10:15 am


10:30 am

Skagit River Basin Issues

Update on the agreement between Ecology and Seattle City Light to provide water for 340 landowners and additional water for fish

Kelly McLain , Policy Advisor to the Director
Washington State Department of Agriculture / Olympia, WA

11:15 am

Tribal Water Law Issues

Update on Tribal water law and ongoing implications of the U.S. Supreme Court Culverts Decision for Washington water management

Robert Anderson, Esq. , Director of the Native American Law Center
University of Washington School of Law / Seattle, WA

The next phase of Acquavella and how groundwater use might be regulated: A scientific perspective on how to best meet Tribal, purveyor, fisheries, and agricultural needs

Chris V. Pitre , Founder
Coho Water Resources / Seattle, WA

12:15 pm

Lunch (on your own)

1:30 pm

Water Rights Transfers and the Trust Water Program

Mitigation, regulation of trust water, and speculation issues

Peter H. Dykstra, Esq.
Plauche & Carr / Seattle, WA

2:00 pm

Mitigation Programs for Exempt Wells

Case study of Kittitas County

Dan Haller , Principal Engineer
Aspect Consulting / Yakima, WA

2:30 pm

Legislative Policy: Post-Op on the 2020 Session and What to Expect for 2021

Perspectives from the House and Senate

Bill Clarke, Esq. , Program Co-Chair, Moderator
Attorney at Law & Government Affairs / Olympia, WA

Robert Hatfield, Esq. , Counsel, Environment & Energy Committee
Washington State House of Representatives / Olympia, WA

Karen Epps, Esq. , Senior Coordinator and Counsel
Washington State Senate / Olympia, WA

Kathleen Collins , Owner
Capitol Strategies Consulting / Olympia, WA

3:30 pm

Evaluations and Adjourn

Faculty Bios

Maia D. Bellon, Maia D. Bellon, Program Co-Chair, is a partner at Cascadia Law Group. She served as Director of the Washington State Department of Ecology from 2013 through 2019.

Bill Clarke, Bill Clarke, Program Co-Chair, Attorney at Law & Government Affairs, is a former Chair of the Pollution Control Hearings Board and Shorelines Hearings Board.

Sidney P. Ottem, Sidney P. Ottem, Special Address, Brumback & Ottem, managed the Yakima Basin Stream Adjudication until its near completion in 2008.

Jean O. Melious, Jean O. Melious, Moderator, is a professor at Western Washington University, where she teaches Land Use and Environmental Law.

Robert Anderson Robert Anderson is the Director of the Native American Law Center at the University of Washington School of Law.

Joseph A. Brogan, Joseph A. Brogan, a principal at Foster Garvey, is one of the leading water rights lawyers in Washington state.

Wendy Christensen Wendy Christensen is the Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Program Manager for the US Bureau of Reclamation.

Kathleen Collins, Kathleen Collins, Owner of Capitol Strategies Consulting, represents local governments on environmental issues.

Peter H. Dykstra Peter H. Dykstra is a partner at Plauche & Carr. He counsels clients on water rights, and complex natural resource projects.

Karen Epps is Senior Coordinator and Counsel to the Washington State Senate committee on Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources & Parks.

Sharon I. Haensly Sharon I. Haensly is an Attorney for the Squaxin Island Tribe. She previously worked for the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community.

Dan Haller Dan Haller is a Principal Engineer at Aspect Consulting focusing on water rights and systems.

Robert Hatfield Robert Hatfield is Counsel for the Washington State House of Representatives Environment & Energy Committee.

Kelly McLain is a Policy Advisor to the Director at the Washington State Dept of Agriculture. She formerly served as Agency Scientist - Natural Resource Assessment Section and as an Environmental Protection Manager for the City of Auburn.

Thomas G. Myrum Thomas G. Myrum is Executive Director & General Counsel for the Washington State Water Resources Association.

Lisa Pelly Lisa Pelly is the Director of the Washington Water Project for Trout Unlimited. In 2016, its Yakima and Methow projects were showcased in White House summit focused on water resources and sustainability.

Chris V. Pitre Chris V. Pitre is the Founder of Coho Water Resources.

Thomas M. Pors, Thomas M. Pors, Law Office of Thomas M. Pors, focuses on water rights and municipal water system planning.

Alan M. Reichman Alan M. Reichman is Senior Counsel for the Ecology Division of the Washington State Attorney General's Office.

Gary S. Stoyka is the Natural Resources Program Manager for the Whatcom County Public Works Department.

G. Thomas Tebb, LHG, LEG, G. Thomas Tebb, LHG, LEG, is the Director of the Washington State Department of Ecology's Office of Columbia River.

Eric Weber, LHG, CWRE, Eric Weber, LHG, CWRE, is a Principal Hydrogeologist at Landau Associates and manages the Water Resources Group.

Bennett Weinstein is the Streamflow Section Manager for the Washington State Department of Ecology.

Patrick Williams, Patrick Williams, Law Office of M. Patrick Williams, works with state and local agencies, and Tribes, on complex environmental regulatory and policy issues.

The Hon. Neil L. Wise The Hon. Neil L. Wise is a Board Member for the Pollution Control and Shorelines Hearings Board. Prior to his appointment to the Boards, he was a Senior Counsel at the Washington State Attorney General's Office.

Continuing Education Credits

This program qualifies for 11:00 WA MCLE, 11:00 AICP planner, and 11:00 ABCEP environmental professional credits. Upon request, we will help you apply for CLE credits in other states and other types of credits.

For the Live Program

The Zoom login link and a link to the materials will be emailed to you shortly before the webinar.

Time Shift Your Content

Audio podcasts and video replays, with course materials, are available for download or on a flash drive at the same price as live attendance. The course materials alone are available for $100. Replays will be available within five business days after the program or from the date we receive payment.

Register or Purchase a Replay