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NAEP Webinar: NEPA Caselaw Update
Wednesday, June 07, 2023, 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM EDT
Category: Webinars

NEPA Caselaw Update

June 7, 2023 12:00 PM (PT) | 3:00 PM (ET) 

90-minute Zoom Webinar 


NAEP Members: Free
Chapter Members & Non-Members: $50

Registration closed. 

Interested in purchasing access to a past webinar?
Check out our webinar recordings in the Past Webinar Library!


This webinar will mirror the Case Law presentation provided during the recent NAEP 2023 Conference & Training Symposium, with updates as warranted. The panel is focused on a paper that reviews substantive National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) cases issued by the United States Courts of Appeals in 2022. The implications of the decisions and their relevance to NEPA practitioners will be explained. This webinar will summarize the more detailed paper prepared for the 2023 conference session. The paper briefly explains, with an emphasis on the substantive NEPA findings, each opinion issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals. The paper identifies statistics regarding the NEPA appellate opinions, such as a twelve-year record of NEPA cases, organized by circuit, and by year. The paper also identifies the agencies involved in each case and presents statistics relevant to the agencies; the paper further identifies the prevailing ratio of federal agencies, including by agency and by document type (categorical exclusion, environmental assessment, environmental impact statement). The paper analyzes the trends in the court opinions involving NEPA for 2022, with an emphasis on substantive NEPA practice, and by the grouping of the cases.

Finally, each court opinion is paraphrased and organized in a manner easy to read for practitioners to find the court's ruling. Appellate opinions are grouped and analyzed by agency. Past trends include challenges to purpose and need, alternatives considered, public comment, scientific impact assessment methodologies, GHG emissions and climate change impact assessment, incomplete or unavailable information, determination of significance, segmentation, duty to supplement, connected actions, federal actions, cumulative impact assessment, mitigation, monitoring, and adaptive management. Suggestions for improving the implementation of the NEPA process and to meeting current challenges are offered, looking ahead to the future with a renewed emphasis on one of the world's oldest and most forward-looking environmental laws.

Please join us for the popular webinar offering.


Fred Wagner, NAEP Elected At-Large Board Member
Venable LLP

Fred Wager focuses on environmental and natural resource issues, associated with major infrastructure, mining, and energy project development. Fred was appointed chief counsel of the U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) during the Obama administration. Fred began his career as a trial attorney in the Environment Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. He also served as a special assistant U.S. attorney in the Misdemeanor Trial Section of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia. Prior to joining Venable, he spent more than 20 years in private practice at a national law firm focusing on environmental and natural resources issues.


P.E. "Pam" Hudson, Esq.
Department of the Navy Office of General Counsel

An NAEP member since 2013, P.E. "Pam" Hudson serves as the Senior Associate Counsel for Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Southwest. Prior to joining NAVFAC, Ms. Hidson served as Counsel for Cibil Engineer Corps Officers School, where a majority of her portfolio notably included environmental impact assessment legal sufficiency reviews and the Nacy's environmental law training program. Since 2013, Ms. Hudson has authored fifteen federal agency, academic and peer-reviewed articled, which have been cited in the Federal Register, on agency websites and journals, academic journals, and in news articles. She has twenty years of environmental impact assessment experience; from 2013-2015, she served on NAEP's committee for the CEQ's Pilot Project on Best Practice Principles for Environmental Assessments. Prior to joining the Office of General Counsel, she practiced at Kilpatrick Stockton, LLP, in Atlanta, Georgia, and Roetzel & Andress in Naples, Florida. She interned as a federal clerk for the Northern District of Florida for the Honorable Robert Hinkle. Ms. Hudson is an alumna of Florida State University School of Law, where she was the Beverly Stout McLear Environmental and Land Use Scholar. Ms. Hudson retired from the Navy as Commander (Oceanography). *Ms. Hudson's views are hers alone, and do not reflect the views of the Department of Defense or the Navy.

Charles (Chuck) Nicholson, NAEP Elected At-Large Board Member
Senior Environmental Planner/Scientist

Dr. Nicholson has been a NAEP Member for over 10 years and is an elected NAEP Board Member and chair of the NEPA Practice Group. Chuck has 43 years of professional experience in the environmental and natural resources fields and 23 years as a NEPA compliance specialist. He has extensive experience in the preparation of EIS, EA, and CE documentation for a wide range of actions. Chuck earned his Ph.D. in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 2004, an MS in Wildlife Management from the University of Maine in 1978, and a BS in Wildlife and Fisheries from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 1975. 

Interested in purchasing access to a past webinar?

Check out our webinar recordings in the Past Webinar Library!