Case Studies

Made in the Shade

Pioneering Aquatic Thermal Credit Trading Program


Our Client’s Challenge:

Our client, a market-based conservation organization, was developing a freshwater environment ecosystem services thermal credit trading program and sought our advice to identify and design around the legal components of the program. This required us to help design a program that would allow regulated entities to meet environmental permitting obligations through riparian restoration and flow augmentation projects.

Our Solution:

Our water service group worked closely with in-house counsel to provide strategic and practical assistance in this pioneering area of conservation law. We helped develop the program by offering advice about the regulatory, business, and programmatic aspects of the thermal credit trading program. This included analyzing Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act issues, developing thermal credit contracts with regulated entities, developing agreements with regulatory agencies, and developing legal documentation for program participants, riparian landowners, and subcontractors.

The project was recognized by President Obama as a pioneering conservation program at the 2012 White House Conservation Conference. Our work helped our client establish its reputation as a pioneering force in free-market conservation, leading to significant additional projects and investment. In addition, our work yielded templates for future transactions, allowing our client’s in-house legal team to manage future deals and keep outside legal fees to a minimum.

Tags: Water, Agriculture

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